Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tasted Like Meths And Probably Was

In his 'All The Wrong Places', James Fenton, in reaction to the nocturnal loosening of tongues amongst the increasingly despondent South Vietnamese soldiery, considers setting up a new school of journalism, crepuscular journalism. Whilst it might not end the sorts of complaints found here, it would at least make a change, and would not quite deprive Chris of his enjoyment of calumny. The simple rule of the school would be to "[b]elieve nothing you are told before dusk". Fenton goes on:

Instead of diplomatic sources, or high-ranking sources, or "usually reliable sources", the crepuscular journalists would refer to "sources interviewed last night," "sources at midnight," or best of all, "sources contacted a few hours before dawn." It would be considered unprofessional to interview the general on the morning of the battle. You would wait till the evening, when he was reviewing the cost. Crepuscular stories would cut out the bravado. Their predominant colourings would be melancholy and gloom. In this they would reflect more accurately the mood of the times.


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