The pen is mightier than the sword... so long as it is writing gossip

Why...

Do we allow real news to be eaten up by rumour and gossip? I promised never to write about events of the moment but is pretty clear to me the battle between Hillary and Donald was fought not with facts on policy but rumour and tittle-tattle all dressed up in self righteousness. But let's be honest. The truth is we are all more interested in the activities from inside someone's underpants than what goes on between their ears. What is Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms other than a digital funnel to feed grist into the rumour mill?

...and another thing

From a young age we are actually encouraged to tell and inform. Teachers at my boarding school used interrogation techniques the SS would have been proud of. After we had all gone to bed in our dormitories where we were forbidden to talk after lights out, we still would all chatter away. Suddenly the door would fly open revealing the housemaster.

“If you”, the terrifying figure growled pointing at one hapless ten year old “do not snitch on who was talking after lights out, you will all be shot…(well maybe get beaten with a slipper)!” No surprise the guilty parties were quickly pointed out.

Just look at literature on the school syllabus. I’ve never read a book by the Bronte sisters whose plot did not totally revolve around gossip and it’s repercussions!

...and another thing

The idea that gossip runs on oestrogen is of course nonsense. Men just dress up rumour by interjecting a factual conversation with a personal barb.

“Sure, Putin has displayed he can outthink and outmanoeuvre the West at whim…… ”

“Yeah but did you hear he is meant to be banging Wendy Deng…..”

And then off we all go completely ignoring world politics and ticking off who is having sex/bribing/avoiding tax or boiling their in-laws in oil etc.

Even for famous historical figures we often remember irrelevant facts first rather than historical achievement.

President Clinton = Monica Lewinsky,

General Patton = Pearl handle colt 45,

Catherine the Great = squished by a horse in flagrant delicto and Churchill….well we all have favourite stories.

Mine was just after the war when Churchill was invited as guest of honour to  the White House for Thanksgiving dinner.

He was asked which meat he preferred from the turkey.

“Breast please,” the great Englishman replied.

An American female guest reprimanded Churchill.

“Here we don’t say that. We say white meat.” (Yup, PC was alive and kicking us all in the teeth 70 years ago.)

Churchill thanked the woman.

The next day he sent her a small box with a note:

“Please find enclosed a corsage for you to wear on your white meat next time you are invited to a white tie and tails dinner with the President.”

 

Genius!

 

My own view is it’s only gossip when you repeat something. Until then you’re just gathering information.

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar Yum Yum says:

    I was longing to hear your views on President Trumps arrival!

    I should think Lord Sugar is currently trying to cook up a way of becoming our next Prime Minister.

    Love the churchill story needed a LOL moment on this rainy morning

  2. Avatar Sherrye Landrum says:

    You, sir, are brilliant.