The Spectator's 175th Birthday
September 25, 2003 10:18 PM   Subscribe

Happy Birthday, Speccie! Your 175th, actually. There's a special issue out - only five free articles on the web, of which the Graham Greene competition is probably the funniest - but The Spectator itself (my favourite comic in the whole wide world, I have to say) is still in fine fettle. Among the more interesting articles in today's issue, Paul Robinson's delirious defense of West Point and its highly questionable Code of Honour (whereby you're compelled to rat on your fellow cadets if they lie, cheat or steal, or be expelled if you're found out covering up for them) and Melanie Phillip's firm opinion that the evidence of the Hutton Inquiry shows that Blair - Shock! Horror! - spoke the truth about Iraq are probably the most provocative. Damien McCrystal's tirade against fat nannies is the most predictably outrageous and typical. But the whole issue (I am particularly fond of Jeremy Clarke's column) is a cracker. No other weekly (or even monthly) conservative magazine is anywhere near as good. Congratulations, old fruit!
posted by MiguelCardoso (12 comments total)
The highlight of my writing career so far is the letter I had published in the Spectator last year and the subsequent hatemail I received...
posted by PenDevil at 10:36 PM on September 25, 2003

Not to sound ignorant (more than usual), but is the Spectator's Your Problems Solved column actually, err, serious? I mean, is stuff like
‘One suddenly realises why tea has been such an integral part of the lives of the middle- and lower-income groups. The ritual of preparing it is soothing and, in default of alcohol for either medical or other personal reasons, an addiction to tea can go some way towards providing an adequate substitute.'
for real?
posted by kickingtheground at 10:45 PM on September 25, 2003

Did you just say, "Congratulations, old fruit?"
posted by solistrato at 11:26 PM on September 25, 2003

I always liked the Spectator as you could buy it for £1 in the Students Union and there was a big poster of Boris beside it saying "Students! Get the Spectator for a £1". No such largesse from the New Statesman.
posted by Damienmce at 1:53 AM on September 26, 2003

The problem with Speccy these days is that there are bloggers the world over doing the same old rants on a daily basis.

I s'pose it gives succor to those who are still clinging to the sodden driftwood of an older England that is drifting inexorably into the sunset.
posted by i_cola at 3:33 AM on September 26, 2003

I too enjoy the Spectator, though on a more infrequent basis. I usually disagree with pretty much everything inside, but like the way they do it.

Well, all apart from Jeremey Clarkson, who is little more than a xenophobic snob who appears to genuinely believe his own hype.
posted by ciderwoman at 3:43 AM on September 26, 2003

Ciderwoman: Jeremy Clarkson is that oversize yob who presents "Top Gear" and does indeed write xenophobic, philistine claptrap for the Sunday Times. Jeremy Clarke, who couldn't be more unassuming, is the down-and-out columnist who writes the "Low Life" column in The Spectator and is the worthy successor to Jeffrey Bernard.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:58 AM on September 26, 2003

Yup...get yer Clarksons right. Remember kids; never listen to anyone who tucks their jumper into their jeans.

Oh look. Just to hammer home their relevance they're running the same 'Hey, Brighton is the place to be!' article that every other publication in the English-speaking world was running last year. Sheesh...
posted by i_cola at 4:22 AM on September 26, 2003

Well, I won't be reading anything from The Spectator again.
posted by eilatan at 6:43 AM on September 26, 2003

Miguel Cardoso: still clinging to the sodden driftwood of an older England that is drifting inexorably into the sunset.
posted by languagehat at 7:13 AM on September 26, 2003

The 'speccie is back to its old form, having gone through a rather shaky period a couple of years back. Even now there's only so much Theodore Dalrymple '... the streets were littered with empty bags of marijuana ..' (eh?), Mark Steyn and the uncomfortably homophobic Heath that I can take.

Take that aside and the rest is brilliant. Part of this recovery is attributable to Boris Johnston but much of it seems reflect the fact that, having tried for some years to be a faithful mouthpiece for the Conservative party, like most (small c) conservatives they've given up on that bunch and are now wonderfully free to say exactly what they like.
posted by grahamwell at 8:35 AM on September 26, 2003

error connecting to host - too many connections! We have mefied a 175 year tradition?

That's a really long time...think of what was happening in 1828 - Jules Verne and Dante Gabriel Rossetti were just being born!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:29 AM on September 26, 2003

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