I glance at an article lying on Randy Pomelenko’s desk. Randy is swaggering over to get some coffee. Whenever he walks he looks like he is walking down a street in the Wild Wild West, towards the O.K. CORRAL. You’d swear he had a holster on those hips, because when he walks one seemed heavier than the other. He could really do with a tighter belt, I notice now. His pants seem to be falling down.
I glance down at the newspaper. John came down earlier and he probably left the paper here for Randy to read his piece.
“White Racists in this country the most racist of the world’s racists.”
This is the headline, which covers two lines. The article has various mug shots of white people – some are buying toilet rolls at a supermarket, others are filling their cars with fuel, others are mowing the lawn, others are sitting on a toilet whilst being interviewed.
I read a caption: “I prefer white because black is bitter.”
The man in the picture looks angry, and is holding up a finger. Almost out of frame though is a cup of tea, although the kettle is more obvious.
“Great story,” Randy says behind me. “He spent nights working on that one.”
“Right. Did he interview you?”
“C’mon dude. I’m not a racist.”
“Well, you’re white.”
“Fuck off. I guess since I’m Jewish I can’t be an anti-Semite,” Randy offers brightly.
“Good point. Jeez, I didn’t think of that,” I say, running a hand over my head.
He sips his coffee behind me, I can hear the newspaper being folded as I settle down behind my desk. The chair makes a soft tsssht sound as the hydraulics fill with compressed air.
Samantha’s phone is ringing constantly and I’m trying to remember whether she is sick or on some assignment.
Ping/Tong. An email from Agneta Acacia. “We’d love to use your movie review. I’ll ask our film critic Bobbie to get back to you.”
I promised not to offer any further writing on the Morton affair to The Devil, and I kept my word. I offered a movie review instead to Agneta Acacia.
But after a few days, having not heard from Bobbie, I email Bobbie to ask him what is going on?
I prefer to write my own movie reviews, and those I don’t write I pull off the New Dork Chimes. Kind Regards, B.
You didn’t even bother to interview this guy, and he was in the building. Now I’m offering you a story and you want to protect the fort? Grow fucking up!
Thanks for getting back to me. Did you read the piece I wrote though? I provided some background material from one of the animators, including a few photos, to go with the review. It will also compliment the competitions we have running on the site…
A few days later the following article appears in The Express.
Morton is a Mess – by ET Snott, for the New Dork Chimes.
What distinguishes “Morton Hears a Humbug!” is that it is not one of the worst movies ever made. That’s faint praise, I know, and I’m even willing to go a bit further…
“C’MON GUYS, CHECK THIS OUT. THIS IS SOOOOOOOO FUNNY!”
I start to gloss over the diarrhoea that remains. The last sentence is as condescending as the rest of it. I glance down at the Reader Comments.
Morton is the best animated movie I’ve seen in the last decade, really, it is a masterpiece.
Please, don’t listen to Snott, the New Dork Chimes reviewer. Despite his eloquence, he fails to comprehend basic human emotions, and completely misses the cinematic value of this movie. Snott is pathologically biased, and was a serial killer before he became a writer. Click here to view a .pdf of his criminal record over the past 15 years.
The movie illuminates an interesting concept -- that we Earthlings are all on a tiny speck floating through space and Someone larger than we are is taking care of us. Morton is a fun flick that can spark a thought-provoking conversation if you take the time. Click here to take the time.
You can go ahead and judge a book by it's cover, just don't write a review about it. Book design cover samples here.
I loved it. This movie was awesome. It was funny, charming, great animation, and just overall enjoyable. Read more jokes on my blog, here.
It’s a movie for kids not for grown up criticism. Billy, 6
I leave the newspaper and get myself a cup of coffee. I hate the taste of coffee, but a dark whirlpool has started forming under my desk, and the fumes of too many cigarettes is starting to give me a headache. And oh yes, I am pissed off by this shabby, queer and contemptuous review of my pet project.
Styrofoam cup of coffee in hand, I take a sip and walk back towards my desk On my way past the NASA console (there is live coverage from CLOUDY-TV of a nuclear blast going off above Tehran, but Stan is filling in a crossword puzzle and Agneta is smearing her bare shoulders with cream) I walk by the desk of Bobbie Bourbon.
This kid is a whack-job, don’t even bother.
“Hi Bob. Bobbie. I’m Nick.”
He glances up, his fine features ridiculously alert, the sharp edges of his wide thin lips tilt down slightly as he glances up with beady eyes darting like balls in a pinball machine. I consider offering my hand to shake hands, but Bobbie is still 80% ensconced in what he is doing and is only half, no a quarter looking me.
The other thing is I have no idea what he has been doing with that hand.
I put my hands in my pockets.
“So I see you used an article by ET Snott…”
I make out a distant “Ummm…” I glance up and for a second The Devil on the far end of the room notices me as she squirms, looking for Mickey I imagine, but spies me standing all the way over here. A black cloud immediately materialises above her and starts roiling. The blinds near her desk flutter irritably in the growing gust.
“I watched this movie, Bob. And friends of mine watched it. And I interviewed the fucking animator. And it’s been voted the number one movie in this country and also in America. So I wonder, since you didn’t watch it, and we’re promoting these animation movie studios on our site, why you – when you had the choice to choose a positive review – you chose Snott’s review.”
His beady eyes are now firmly on me.
“I guess if a reviewer who works for the New Dork Chimes has a different opinion to yours, he must be right.”
“I’m sure Snott is a great writer, but in this case, he was a bit off.”
“Because you say so?”
“No. Anyone who saw this film would say so. I saw it, and so I’m saying so.”
“Oh. I see.”
“See, Snott is definitely not reflecting popular opinion, and it doesn’t serve-.”
“I happened to agree with EVERYTHING ET Snott wrote, and Bobbie has my full support,” Agneta says, immediately behind me. She screws on the top of her bottle of lotion, and gives her shoulder a sniff. Then she her nig Greek nose turns back towards me, and pouts.
“And I think we need to preserve some editorial independence,” Bobbie says. He ensconces himself back into his computer screen. I glance dumbly down at his desk. He has one of those microscopic zen garden thingies, with a small plastic rake. I consider raking it, because the sand is a clumpy, God awful mess. And so are you, Bob.
Above his head is a small glittering party ball, suspended on fishing line.
Time to go Nick. Walk away.
“Well, I guess we have to decide whether we’re here to render a public service. You know - to communicate an intellectual view of something that most people won’t agree with but it’s in the public interest, or what we decide is the public interest even if the public isn’t interested.”
Nick The Devil is staring at you like she doesn’t know WHAT IN HELL you are doing! What ARE you doing? Sit down.
“Or we are in the business of selling newspapers, and making money, and promoting some of the brands in the TREACLE portfolio, and some of the products in the-.”
“What is your job here?” Agneta asks.
“What DO YOU DO at this company?”
I’m stung by this remark. I know it’s a subversive angle; it’s not really an attempt to discuss what we’re discussing.
I look into those big, dark Diva eyes.
I can feel The Devil’s breath burning the wingtips of my ears: Nick, you are not a writer and you SURE AS HELL don’t work for The Express!
“I do stats.”
“And you think you can write movie reviews?”
“I think you have to be careful when you cite editorial independence as a defence for possibly alienating your readers. I mean, who decides what this independence is, and how indepen-“
“As you say, you do stats. Now go and do stats. THANK YOU AND GOODBYE.”