India Pale Ale – Commentary from an Empire Chaise

Congratulations to Test Match Sofa on being picked up by one of the big outlets.  Third Man has always valued irreverence and he hopes that they gain the wider audience that their cosy cheek merits.  If only he too were 29 and lived in Crouch End.

Congratulations also to Sportskeeda whose hits, according to the sports entrepreneur Porush Jain, exceeded 50,000 a day for the first time yesterday. Feel that width.

The other afternoon, while taking his ease in the Empire Room and casting a weary eye and a pulverized ear over an IPL encounter, the Squire wondered whether there was a niche market for a lower key commentary covering the tournament.

“A kind of IPL Ordinary, Third Man.”

He quickly summoned the village smith to put together the technology by which a rota of staff at the Great House could provide a languid and, frankly, muted alternative to the so-called commentary of those roustabouts making a crore bigging up IPL Entertainments Inc..

The Squire considered that he could make a quite decent Head Summariser, in the manner of a youthful David Gascoyne.

“It would be as laid back as this couch, TM.  Hardly a murmur. A sedative for the soul. We would utilize the Benaud Principle – silence is all that is necessary.”

“Your Grace, perhaps the mill could grind a lens to cover the screen and tone down some of the colouring”

“A serious option TM:  IPL Light.”

Chris Dillow, that radical left arm around the wicket bowler whose front-on and off-the -wrong-foot action delivers very late away swing – a sort of Proctor Through the  Looking Glass – has an interesting piece on the Media vs Bloggers.

Chris, a seasoned blogger, ‘can remember when mainstream journalists looked down upon bloggers as ‘socially inadequate’ angry ranters who were no replacement for serious journalism. But I’m starting to think that the opposite is increasingly the case. It is mainstream journalism that comprises linkbait (Samantha Brick), trolls (“Rod” Liddle, A.A Gill, The Mail’s nastiness towards female celebs) and shallow self-absorbed diarists, whilst many bloggers are serious, intellectual and high-minded.’

For those who enjoy reading good writing about cricket there is wondrous enjoyment to be had at Different Shades of Green,  or by calling in on Backwatersman  or seeing cricket with the excited, born again perspective of  Pencil Cricket  to name but three that echo the quality of Dillow’s examples.

Chris argues that ‘there’s the tendency for people to specialize in what they are best at. Mainstream journalists have an advantage over bloggers in some things – such as celebrity and Westminster gossip – but a disadvantage in other respects; such as their excessive deference and ignorance of statistics.’

Not something for which you could ever criticize Idle Summers .  

‘This,’ writes Chris, ‘creates a space for intelligent blogging.’ [And the quirky, don’t forget the quirky – TM]

In cricket the mainstream journalist can too easily be dependent upon sources to speak truth unto power. Or to have been picked for their celebrity rather than their prose or perspective.

The mainstream are forced to chase eyeballs with brashness.  From this tyranny the blogger is free.

And the Dillow conclusion?

‘I suspect blogs are a little like the BBC. There’s a lot of rubbish, but the structure of incentives is such as to facilitate a minority of great work to a greater extent than is the case for the capitalist sector.’

“Third Man, find out if Dillow is free for the Whitsun Bank holiday fixture against Quill and Pen C.C.”

“Now are we on air? Good.  ‘Coming in from the Venkatashwera End, arms pumping like the 8.25 out of Thurminster Newton …’”

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “India Pale Ale – Commentary from an Empire Chaise

  1. Thanks for the mention, TM. I suspect, in many ways, it’s more enjoyable being a blogger, certainly when it comes to the simple act of writing. You can write whatever you like about whatever you like at whatever length you like. No sports editor looking over your shoulder, no perceived demographic to pander to, no contrived ‘revelations’ to come up with.

    The downside is that no-one pays you to travel round the world watching cricket.

  2. backwatersman

    Thanks from me too for the mention. I think it is the freedom to write what you like that attracts about blogging and that does largely stem from the fact that no-one is paying you to write and no-one has to pay to read it. There is plenty of perfectly decent writing about cricket in the mainstream press, but but a terrible lack of variety in the kinds of writing, as opposed to the blogosphere.

  3. Gentlemen, it is no more than you both deserve. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

  4. I hope that interaction from readers also inspires you!

    • A thousand apologies Diogenes.

      You are right to take Third Man to task for not pointing out the quality of the relationships that can develop and which do indeed inspire, provoke and intrigue the bloggers who remain in close touch with those who are kind enough to contribute.

      Comments, here, have given The Squire and Third Man some remarkably really good leads. They have added considerably to knowledge and produced many insights.

      It is something that is special about this form of communication and it sets it apart from the ‘mainstream’.

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