Saturday, September 07, 2013

Shoddiness in Brighton

William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
The Distressed Poet
359 millimetres x 408 millimetres
The British Museum, London

"As the Milvains sat down to breakfast the clock of Wattleborough parish church struck eight; it was two miles away, but the strokes were borne very distinctly on the west wind this autumn morning. Jasper, listening before he cracked an egg, remarked with cheerfulness: 
'There's a man being hanged in London at this moment.' 
'Surely it isn't necessary to let us know that,' said his sister Maud, coldly. 
'And in such a tone, too!' protested his sister Dora. 
'Who is it?' inquired Mrs Milvain, looking at her son with pained forehead. 
'I don't know. It happened to catch my eye in the paper yesterday that someone was to be hanged at Newgate this morning. There's a certain satisfaction in reflecting that it is not oneself.'
'That's your selfish way of looking at things,' said Maud. 
'Well,' returned Jasper, 'seeing that the fact came into my head, what better use could I make of it? I could curse the brutality of an age that sanctioned such things; or I could grow doleful over the misery of the poor—fellow. 
But those emotions would be as little profitable to others as to myself. It just happened that I saw the thing in a light of consolation. Things are bad with me, but not so bad as THAT. I might be going out between Jack Ketch and the Chaplain to be hanged; instead of that, I am eating a really fresh egg, and very excellent buttered toast, with coffee as good as can be reasonably expected in this part of the world.—(Do try boiling the milk, mother.)—The tone in which I spoke was spontaneous; being so, it needs no justification.' 
He was a young man of five-and-twenty, well built, though a trifle meagre, and of pale complexion. He had hair that was very nearly black, and a clean-shaven face, best described, perhaps, as of bureaucratic type. The clothes he wore were of expensive material, but had seen a good deal of service. His stand-up collar curled over at the corners, and his necktie was lilac-sprigged." 
George Gissing New Grub Street  From Chapter 1 : A Man of His Day (1891)

Britain has always been home to salacious journalism

Young people especially men have always seen it as a way to make their fame and fortune and fulfil their dreams of being a person of some standing and influence

But it has always had some standards even for the self respect of the author

Unfortunately in Brighton it would appear that it has no standards, not even the barest attempt to attain a semblance of truth. Times are indeed hard for local journalism.

Father Ray Blake has been subject to a vicious and unproked attack in the local newspaper. It is purportedly based on a post which he wrote about his work with the poor and indigent in his parish and his thoughts about it

Father`s full response to the newspaper`s attack is here: Bill Gardner: an unscrupulous journalist

Unfortunately "the hatchet job" was sold and taken up by various national newspapers who should have known better

Please pray for Father Blake and the continuance of his good work

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