Talk about Newsnight

Newsnight Review

Newsnight Review - Friday, 8 September, 2006

  • Newsnight
  • 8 Sep 06, 06:25 PM

Helen Mirren in The Queen; Gaddafi, the Musical; Mark Haddon’s new novel A Spot of Bother; and Little Miss Sunshine. Comment on the latest edition of Newsnight Review and let us know whether you agree with the views of our panel, Julie Myerson, Michael Gove, Toby Young and Jari Kunzru.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 08:26 AM on 09 Sep 2006,
  • Kenny Craig wrote:

Why oh Why do the BBC continue to use Julie Myerson on Newsnight Review. This 50-something going on 20 year old twitters on trying to appear "hip". Her views about Gaddafi were unbelievable. I can just imagine her getting down with the Asian Dub Foundation's beats. Thank god I have not had the pleasure of reading any of her books. Please drop her.

  • 2.
  • At 09:32 AM on 09 Sep 2006,
  • Gerry wrote:

Kenny (above) may have been a little unfair to Julie Myerson, whom I think makes an excellent panellist and might only be accused of being too forgiving in some of her criticism this week.

I was slightly concerned however, that Mark Kermode's introduction seemed to be that someone had been removed from a screening of Destricted for inappropriate sexual behaviour.

We are all very pleased to see the review back from its summer break.

  • 3.
  • At 01:37 PM on 09 Sep 2006,
  • Naomi wrote:

I agree with the previous comment about Julie Myerson and am always surprised and disappointed when she is part of the panel. Her views seem banal, ill thought out and never an interesting comment on the topics for discussion. Please stop using her - I think we've worked out after many many programmes that she's not going to come up with any original or intellectually rigorous views on anything. Please don't mistake my view for snobbishness - it's not that the voice of an 'ordinary' person isn't interesting, just that her voice isn't.

  • 4.
  • At 02:00 PM on 09 Sep 2006,
  • Scott wrote:

I always switch Newsnight off when the Review begins.

Can't we supersize Newsnight, and spin of this culture business into another show?

Yippeee... Jeremy is back on Monday. About time.

  • 5.
  • At 02:20 PM on 09 Sep 2006,
  • David Meller wrote:

Three Oxford students in a Newsnight Review panel of four. Not particularly demographic, is it?

I was away on Friday, but am delighted to see that I didn't miss anything. If there are 1.2 million viewers of Newsnight and this is the sixth reply, there must be something very, very wrong about this rut-stuck part of the programme.

I didn't of course see the controversial (wow, a controversy among five people!) panellist, but I side with the more negative faction.

Couldn't tbe BBC create a serious arts programme instead of this in-crowd farce? And, crucially: where is the serious BBC TV books programme?

Eric - I'm not sure I understand how only five negative comments posted here is indicative of something being "very, very wrong" about Newsnight Review?


  • 8.
  • At 07:01 PM on 11 Sep 2006,
  • George Jenkins wrote:

It is a good job that the BBC provide an excellent web service for viewers, like Eric, who were unfortunate enough to miss the programme. License fee well spent if you ask me!

  • 9.
  • At 09:27 AM on 12 Sep 2006,
  • Paula wrote:

I don't understand why everyone's being so negative about Newsnight Review. It's not like there's hordes of other programmes on that offer intelligent and interesting comment on the arts. Can't we just be happy it's on at all, or would everyone prefer it was replaced with the kind of lousy output you find on all the other channels we pay our license fee towards?

And, as for not liking a particular presenter, forgive me for for being obvious, but you can't please all of the people all of the time - be nice, people!

  • 10.
  • At 05:23 PM on 24 Sep 2006,
  • Michael Paul Francis Shea wrote:

Quibblers Inc.

In defence of an unassuming, perfectionist Flaubert, and the other true great revolutionary artists—at least in their Craft—against arch-egotist Rushdie and his closet-reactionary cult: the mediocrites. . . .

You hide behind a First from Oxbridge,
A complacency of brash.
You rub shoulder with petty royal,
Attend a crotch-groping bash.

You have friend in pop music and stage,
And scrawl in “Quality” press.
You move in fake Notting-Hill circle,
All-Foured to corner the dress.

You cold ‘n’ hard Londoniumed strut,
Tutting at peasant and prole;
You character core it damn strengthless,
Affirming your mental hole.

You pampered and prosperous design,
A ditchwater-dull big snout.
You review with anti-aesthetics,
A barren-shab gruff & pout.

You have structored pontification,
Arts’ brain and blood squashed on mat;
You cherish the safely prosaic,
A tear is “so old hat”.

You chatter round the soiree table,
A self-receiving creed crew;
You discuss print-page, colour and sound
—A critique lie! Who are you?

You hate the supremes of “inside out”,
And you sure not a crowd-pull.
You global cabal tie us in knot
—A time to be a seagull!

You posturize much on fartistic,
A navel-gazing poo-hook.
You jealously sneer at the Great,
And give us Pretentious book.

You circulate the whoring fib sheet,
A commentary of disgrace.
You only back bull over skilful,
A lot hate your pale face.

You boy and girl of the privilege town,
A-dulging you all do sow.
You of the New Sub-Establishment,
A nauseous; you make us low.

You and your dreadful gang preach decay,
And say it is blue-rinse fault;
You block out the real world of pain
—Apologist, how you vault!

You claim boat-rocking is “just not on,”
A sacred cow we can trust?
You ultra-filth columnist bore long:
A bourgeois “lyke, y’know” thrust.

You squirm in slime as the day go by,
A siege-mentality scheme.
You misrule from a third-rate altar
And distort-jam all our dream.

You have belched much trash, each decade wrong:
A sheep tank, a word of grey;
You with your “educated titter”,
And excremental, “I say”.

You scowl “us” merest encroachment;
A culture our hope has “marred”;
You kill anything outside in pun
—A radical stuck in lard!

You do not watch the same screen as us,
And will not listen good chord;
You never read or write dissent line,
A preference for “Letter” horde.

You do not seek entertain or thought,
A tittle-tattle dead end.
You Isling scorn the self-educate,
And we fall in Struggler bend.

You drivel across the trendy rag,
A subscription of conceit;
You gush-rush on the Zeitgeistizm,
A pseud journey of deceit.

You do not pen the truthful issue,
As the pauperized mass bleed.
You do not suppress your vanity,
Anointing the Hampstead greed.

You buzzword brother, soundbite sister,
An atmosphere of carping.
You flicker on television stand,
And publish your mold craping.

You mollusc of mediocrity,
At Autocue feel sate;
You dance when the old-rope cheque arrive,
As wine bar thrown into state.

You instituted Sanctimoneite,
A current phenomenon:
You coexist love of good and guff
—An exquisite confusion!

You do not possess a saving trait,
And much bitter fill your void;
You our shallow foe of numbskull spite,
A forever will avoid.

You selfishly stash commercial gold,
A reflective fact you mask.
You should look at your pocked writing wall:
As you swept out, we will bask.

You shall fall on Nepotismo knife,
All the humble will cheer;
You and your weak-brow failure it die,
And talentocrat clear.

© Michael Paul Shea 2006

PS. it is no coincidence that genuinely gifted artists, such as Paula Rego, Peter Ackroyd, Pat Barker, Harold Pinter and sadly few others, never appear on bourgeois chattery drivel like Newsnight Review: they would also be too busy honing their art, than emitting the verbal vomit engaged in by 95% of the panellists---one can glory in imagining Byron, Blake, Dr Johnson and Tolstoy ridiculing such a pathetic attempt at serious art criticism.

And where is the great art criticism of Baudelaire and Robert Hughes, Ken Tynan for theatre, Ackers himself for literary stuff, and Leo too just to shake up the ignorant Bardolatory of Bill Shaks lovers, who, great though he was, is beyond any critique by the rent-a-gob cliques!

Lest wishes

Mike Shea

  • 11.
  • At 09:24 PM on 25 Sep 2006,
  • Michael Paul Francis Shea wrote:

Hello again!

Re: my poem, Quibblers Inc., the phrase on line 8: "all-foured", means having the big four:

1. a cosy relationship; 2. a chosen cushy career with undeservingly high income; 3. cuddly children; 4. a smug, narcissistic contempt for those without the first two---but the other sexualities are also represented in this type: the "all-threed": those without "kids".

And: line 25 should read:
You *knock* the supremes of “inside out”;
and line 36 should read:
A lot hate your *stale* face.

Enjoy the rise of us latter-day, independently-minded Marxist romantics, those unafraid to critique (and engage in political activism against) the corrupt arts' establishment besides this corrupter and rotting pseudo-democracy of a government that betrays the fine, principled memory of Keir Hardie, Militant and others; that arms despots with weapons and torture equipment; that uncollects billions of corporation tax; that condones playboy, druggie, liquory, disloyal footballers (Steve Bull, a great player and rare exception) to wallow in mountains of loyal supporters' cash---many advertise boots and trainers made by child-labour for the relevant multi-nationals who are supported by New Labour!---and also a highly undemocratic BBC, which throws us hard-working licence payers' money at so-called celebrity star presenters and journalists---and they dare to call themselves (even) liberals!!

Thank you for reading.

Best wishes

Mike Shea, single dad and TA/SEN in an inner-London primary---yes, unlike the chatterers, we public-sector employees actually work (worthwhile and worthy) for our living!!! . . . and some of us possess artistic talents to supercede most (contemporary) cesses.

  • 12.
  • At 12:44 PM on 06 Oct 2006,
  • Marie wrote:

Wouldn't it be possible to display on the website what the next Newnight review is going to cover rather than just details of last week. I know the presenter says this at the end of the show but if you miss that or don't have a good memory you're stuck.


  • 13.
  • At 11:40 AM on 11 Oct 2006,
  • Pamela Smith wrote:

I disagree with the views on Julie Myerson as I find her views refreshing and spontaneous unlike Mark Kermode who is pompous and rigid, hiding behind 'genre'. I can predict what he will say and how much he will shout down all of the other participants. Since Mark Lawson left, I have found the programme more superficial. This is partly due to having four people instead of three discussing the topics and so nothing is discussed in depth and partly due to the topics which are discussed. Increasingly, the chosen books, films etc are of little interest to anyone who likes literature, 'good' films etc. and this applies to the reviewers too. Blockbusters are discussed elsewhere in the media.

  • 14.
  • At 12:32 PM on 05 Nov 2006,
  • Robert Clark wrote:

What happened to that Irish geezer (a poet I think) who was always so entertaining with his droll and dour manner when commenting on 'whatever' or was ridiculously effusive at the other extreme about topics that are really neither here nor there and are in any case soon forgot.

  • 15.
  • At 12:38 PM on 13 May 2007,
  • ray borge wrote:

How ironic, we, the British taxpayers are forced to fund the very existence of the most undemocratic org on the planet, the BBC. Why is no-one ever, in the history of the BBC, been allowed on air to criticise the org? One small example, I have this morning attempted to post comments about the Eurovision song contest. However, my comments were blocked by the BBC censors because I had dared criticise one of their gods, Terry Wogan. My criticism was, in my opinion, fair & justified. Other people, who have praised him, have been allowed their comments to be posted. The BBC rants on about democracy but stinks in it's contempt of it! Time & again the opinions of the majority are disregarded if they do not fall into line with the views of the all-powerful BBC!

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