Friday, 22 February 2008


It was none other than Guardian technology section editor and blogger Charles Arthur who, via his report on his blog, turned me onto a most amusing little corner of the Internet which I, in turn, feel compelled to share with you.

As if to show that the mighty Guardian can, indeed, take it on the chin, Charles reports on the fascinating affair of The Guardian's very own home grown scandal - that of the 'gap blogger'. The gap blogger, a young chap called Max, has been given a slice of the Guardian's blog in which to report on his travels in his 'gap year'. A gap year is the year between school and university that many, often well-to-do, British kids spend backpacking around the world and discovering themselves. Incidentally, I do think that people who set out to discover themselves are often just trying to travel away from the fact that what there is there to be discovered is very little indeed.

So Max, apparently no different from any other 19 year old, gets to write on a British national newspaper's blog. A break which few aspiring young travel writers could expect to get. The fact that Max's travel writer dad is a Guardian contributor introduces a beguiling whiff of nepotistic sulphur to an otherwise drab contribution: Max's first piece is really no more or less than you'd expect - a little silly, naive, slightly clumsy and perhaps gawky. What's perhaps surprising is that The Guardian Blog is supporting such a poor contribution.

And this is where we get to the real fun of the affair: the tide of abuse that nestles in the comments. It's even possible that the phrase gap blogger might enter our dictionaries or even transform into a real life honest-to-goodness meme.

I do recommend a flick through Max's first (and last?) post and the consequent howls of rage from readers. The criticism is nothing less than coruscating - and the volume of comment is quite remarkable. It's a rollicking good read and a fantastic example of social networking at its most... social or anti-social? You decide!


i*maginate said...

Reading those comments shows the thinking of the readership of the G - lower than whichever class they claim Max comes from.

i*maginate said...

Deer AlexAndEr,

I reed your sidepar tittl "Artikles I hav writ resently" and I kilik on some artikles - they very nice. Very, very nice! You imbortant person from the newspaper bbc! WoWWW!!

Keefieboy said...

Poor kid getting a hard time there.

i*maginate said...

And those idiots commenting on his post are so stupid to pretend as if the wasta system doesn't exist everywhere in the world, only that the word wasta is not in the English dictionary ;-)

If the same dudes lived here in Dubai and were in a position to give their kids such an opportunity, they'd do it without the slightest feeling of guilt, and the funny thing is, nobody would be complaining about it!

Perhaps it's because Dubai's not the kind of place that attracts your typical Guardian reader - and thank goodness for that!!!

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