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Tales of the unexpected

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Tagged: / Posted: 23 April 2009

Fresh from subbing for the Korean paper I work for, bigger than the Mail, believe me, the curious story of how the US Army is to issue iPhones to all soldiers (iPhones have sold xyz billion copies thanks to their popular touch screen, you know), well: thanks.

Great poetry, in the old-fashioned view, is what oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed, so thanks on that score, and a bigger thanks for making the muddle of grievances in my mind so wonderfully clear.

Having said that, I would add that the job of journalists is not so much perhaps to tell the truth as to entertain with it, which is why the Mail is not a wholly bad newspaper and the Sydney Morning Herald really quite good: because they're full of stories. And that's also why Rupert Murdoch's papers are uniformly bad, because they're terribly thin on stories and full of boring hype. I suppose some serious people might ask what's amusing about Darfur, but unless it is in some way entertaining, I frankly don't want to read about it. Your writing, after all, is very entertaining.

And I think that, as much as the Ninja Turtle effect, is why P. Hucker was allowed to make headlines. Newspapers do have that honourable history of bringing you queer tales from queer places, and an eye for trivial particulars (so long as they're true) can sometimes keep journalists on the straight and narrow. 'Officials claim this, that and the other' on some big matter of global importance is more often a non-story than 'Man bites dog', and relevance is a powerful seducer.

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