A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Beyond parody.....

If you ever thought that The Observer was a serious left-leaning newspaper, then think again. Today, its two colour supplement magazines - OM ('The Observer Magazine') and The Observer Food Monthly are beyond parody. I have just spent (wasted!) an hour creased up in incredulous fits of wide-eyed mirth. The paper should be re-styled The Trustafarian Times forthwith. The pages are laced with impeccable young ladies, mainly in impeccable little black numbers, with impeccable socialite credentials, mouthing impeccably-PC recycled rubbish about food and the environment. It is all way beyond my own limited powers of parody. I will thus append a glorious catalogue of quotations for your delectation:-

"Will climate change leave the British coast at risk of Jaws-style shark attacks?" [One can only pray so!]

One "eco fashion designer" has her first complete collection made from hemp blends. Why hemp, you might ask? "'I'm infatuated by it,' she explains." [I wonder if it's addictive?]

"The Windsave mini turbine, £995 plus installation. You strap it on to your roof....."

"Model farmer: Sheherazade [she was a former model] at home in the Grade 1 listed house on the Goldsmiths' Devon estate." [At least Sheherazade is in a homely white cardie and jeans.]

"Young British people do not know how to cook." Julie Guerin, photographed looking a million dollars at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris' Place de la Concorde. Superior double rooms: a snip at "from 585 euros" a night, and where Jean-Francois Piege is the chef at 'Les Ambassadeurs', the hotel's restaurant. [I bet he knows how to cook!]

"Victoire de Castellane ... late 30s, creator of Dior fine jewellery, mother of four. Lives in Paris." "I like old-fashioned foods and classical restaurants. I don't go to 'new' restaurants."

And how do all the gorgeous, pouting French ladies in their little black numbers stay so chic? "Most French women smoke instead of eating," says Mathilde. [An eco-slip there, shurely, Ed?]

Polly Vernon: "I admit I nabbed a chopstick holder from Nobu and a side plate from J Sheekey" Not to mention "a large pepper grinder from Belgo, Chalk Farm" - "I was wearing classic Joseph tuxedo pants and a Donna Karan vest top in light charcoal." [So that's alright then! Nell's caf in Doncaster is clearly safe.]

"'Zac [Goldsmith] and I laugh sometimes because we say we'll spend all these years planting trees and so on, achieving this, then we'll die, and the children will go 'Let's chop down the forests or get some GM seeds in.' She watches the sheep making their way up to some young trees they planted..." [Baaa! Go for it kids!]

"Pure Luxury: recycled satins, organic cottons, sumptuous vintage silk. Smart shoppers choose reclaimed and fairtrade products - and not a sackcloth or sweatshop in sight." [Just pages of sexy black briefs from 'Gossypium' - cotton on, folks?]

And "30 ways to do the right thing": 1. Plan your green funeral; 4. Splash out on clothes [now there's a surprise!]; 9. Donate paint; 22. Plant a flower meadow; 26. Install a compost toilet; 28. Straw bale extensions....

Oh help! Enough Ecofroth, Ed. I've truly lost the will to live! And The Sunday Times is hardly any better with its: "The Jungle Masquerade benefit... in the Hamptons, New York [where else?]. The most recent ball raised $50,000 for the protection of ecosystems and life in the Amazon." But at least The Sunday Times never claims to be a solid paper of the left! Just Democrat (Beacon Hill, Martha's Vineyard, and a billionaire spouse!) I suppose.

So remember, gals: tonight you can slip off those sleek organic-cotton black briefs (Bridget-size) for a dip in your lovely ecofroth, gently warmed by the sweet windmill strapped to your straw-bale roof, while having a cigarette [Fire!] to keep you svelte and slim and getting ready to stun Justin 'Swampy' Fitzwaller-Frumpy all in blended hemp. Oh, and don't forget to pop on the compost toilet before you leave to car-share that Porsche and to take the 'Heritage' paint for the charity donation.

Philip, off for a strong double. Toodle-Pip!

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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