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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Is Rachel Pilcher the worst journalist in Britain?

Rachel Pilcher

Triple P uses Yahoo email so we can easily access it from anywhere in the world but in order to get to it you have to go through the Yahoo news page.  Over the last few years the content of this has become more and more inane and now is totally dominated by Z list celebrity gossip.  The very worst of this is spewed forth from a section called OMG which is a complete microcosm of why Britain is no longer the country it was.   It is bad enough that they think that entertainment news isn't, as you might think, what new play has opened in the West End, which new film has just started filming or what new tour a band has announced but instead what new hairstyle some minor celebrity has.  It is bad enough that they don't employ real journalists (like Triple P's cousin, for example, who works for an Australian newspaper and if he is reporting on a new film flies to the location to file a proper report) but poorly paid just post university hacks who get paid on the number of hits their stories attract; as if this was a measure of quality.  It's bad enough that they focus on a tiny group of celebrities whose self publicising antics they are just feeding: the Kardashians (what do any of these people do?), Miley Cyrus, One Direction and non-entities from UK reality shows.

All this is bad enough but Yahoo OMG has an awful house writing style which seems to be entirely based on how a particular type of stupid American teenager speaks (and it's not clear if they themselves have picked this up from their depiction on screen so it becomes a horrible circle of banality as each copies the other).   I cannot fathom why a UK website wants its writers to write in a way that reflects how they think young Americans speak.  This does, however seem to be a deliberate policy.  The very worst of these Yahoo journalists is a lady called Rachel Pilcher (who is known to her very many detractors as The Pilchard, inevitably).  A classic example of her recent writing is here.   This piece is so bad that nearly all the comments are about how incomprehensible it is rather than the (frankly impenetrable) story itself.   Yahoo don't care, of course, because they are only interested in hits.  In another piece, a couple of days before that, Pilchard described an event as a "damp squid".  It's SQUIB you worthless excuse for a writer.  

So who is this semi-literate word mangler?  Some fifteen year old hired to "get down with the kids"?  A computer programme that randomly generates text based on web crawls?  A foreign student still in their first week of an English course at a shabby Oxford Street language school?  Or even a room fall of chimpanzees banging away randomly at keyboards?  No, because all of these would do a better job than Pilchard.  It turns out that she has a 2.1 degree in English language from the University of Reading (ranks 37th in Britain - their English course ranks 39th).

We are sure her tutors are very impressed by her ability to write such passages as: "If you're fully onboard the good ship Larry Stylinson then you might want to take a seat and get yourself a cold flannel ready, because someone has made a Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson face morph and it's everything you never knew you wanted. The ridiculously flawless morph has been making it's way across the One Direction fandom, and - oh, you haven't seen it yet? Oh, well, TA-DAH. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. MERRY CHRISTMAS. HAPPY EASTER. And everything else in between. STICK A FORK IN US, WE'RE ACTUALLY DONE. Well done, like a gourmet steak. Or a cheap one, whatever. Everybody take a deep breathe and compose yourselves. Ready? Grool."   Rachel you are a young woman in your early twenties trying to make a (short-lived, I suspect) career in journalism, so why do you insist in writing in a parody of how you think a twelve year old speaks. And stop using random capitalisation. And stop using invented abbreviations like "awks" for awkward. CRINGE.

Pilchard has obviously spotted some negative comments as she moans on her blog:  "Figured I should learn some sort of new life skill too, so I've decided to try and stop reading comments on things I write and just let the haters, er, hate... As you'd probably expect, not everyone is always so keen on what I write, how I write it and why I write it, and some stories get some pretty brutal comments. Or I get tweeted telling me I suck and need a new career. Not exactly a confidence booster."  So do something about it, woman!  Don't ignore criticism, learn from it!  Rachel, we are sure you are a lovely girl but writers like you have a duty to stop the slide in the appalling decline in the standard of young people's English in this country.  You are actually contributing to damaging young people's prospects.  You must be stopped!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

More of Ola!

Triple P's favourite Polish dancer, Ola Jordan, has been out and about recently and generating comments that her rather full figure must mean that she is pregnant,  Engagingly, Ola, who is recovering from what was thought to be a career ending knee injury, has just scotched the rumours by tweeting "I'm just FAT!!".  Well done, Ola, and all the fat is beautifully distributed too!

Since she injured her leg while training for winter sports reality competition The Jump last year, Ola has been having daily physiotherapy.  

The good news is that it has worked and the BBC have just announced that she will be back as one of the professional dancers in the 2015 series of Strictly Come Dancing.  Her new series publicity shot has just been released.

Also returning will be the luscious Aliona Vilani, who needs rather less PhotoShop than some of the others.  In her new publicity picture she looks like a delicious coffee sundae.  Lick, lick!

Siberian tigress Kristina Rihannoff also returns with what looks like a completely new face. Make-up, PhotoShop and perhaps a little more.

The BBC haven't released an official shot of new female dancer Otlile Mabuse yet because she was still appearing in the German equivalent of StrictlyLet's Dance, until celebrity her partner was knocked out last week.  She is South African and has a degree in civil engineering, which makes her unusual for a Strictly professional!  She is also Strictly's first black professional dancer.  Not that the BBC say that because in BBC land you can't admit that some people have different coloured skin.  We thinks she looks very cute.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Return of Nashville

Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere - mature woman v perky girl -who can choose between them?

Of all the guilty pleasure TV Agent Triple P watches, the most guilty of them all must be Country & Western soap, er, drama, Nashville which returns to UK TV tonight with Season 3.

We are not a particular fan of country music (which has a very uncool reputation as the music of sad losers in Britain - when Shania Twain hit it big a few years ago the UK mixes of her albums had all the C&W instruments removed to make it more acceptable to the UK market) although we do have 137 tracks of it in our iTunes.  Much of that, we have to admit, is from the Nashville soundtrack CDs.  No, we like Nashville because it reminds us of the heady days of Dallas in our past, where quite often you would get to the end of an episode and there would be some ludicrously theatrical revelation.  As our fellow Dallas-watching girlfriend at the time used to say, it's "ooh, er" television - a rather old fashioned British exclamation of surprise.  Nashville gets Triple P uttering "ooh, er!" at the end of its episodes more than any other show.  

Tonight we will be watching it with our lady friend A and she is planning unhealthy American-style snacks (actually, aren't all American snacks unhealthy by definition?).  She suggested we get some American beer in but there are limits.  That said, the decidedly un-country Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is rather good and available from Waitrose.  They also do Sam Adams but that is even further, taste-wise from the gassy, low-alcohol, watery stuff most Americans seem to drink.. Nashville has a number of craft beers (and American craft beers can be very good indeed) but you can't get them in Britain.

Nashville nearly got cancelled after season two and was threatened with a short run for season 3 but just last week it has been renewed for a fourth season.  So many more episodes of industry back-stabbing, agonised partner swapping (and the odd song) ahead.  Yee haw.