Windbag Punctured

For those who have never heard of John Waters (and they are many) let me explain. This is a fellow who has an enormously inflated sense of his own journalistic importance and infallibility.

No. He isn’t the Pope, but he’s the next best thing, having once dallied with Sinead O Connor. This unhappy coupling, whence a child issued, has provided Waters with a highly-profitable sense of grievance ever since, on which he has battened and on which he has written extensively.

(Incidentally, this is also the man who famously claimed to be “crying as I type this” when writing about Katy French.  A new low in Irish Times standards.

Waters has recently started to make a complete fool of himself by attacking the entire bloggosphere, while at the same time conceding that he knows almost nothing about the internet and never reads blogs. He has claimed, inter alia, that bloggers couldn’t string three words of English together, and in revealing his prejudice, has also exposed a lamentable inability to tell the difference between the medium and the message, bless him.

John Waters isn’t the Ronaldinho of writing. He’s not the Wayne Rooney and he’s certainly no Roy Keane. I suppose he might be Mick McCarthy: a basic hoofer denouncing street football in case somebody might do it better than he does.

It seems he doesn’t like the idea of unqualified people writing.  Now, I don’t know what John is qualified in, but he doesn’t strike me as a particularly well-read man, or a particularly gifted writer.  I’ll lay you odds I know at least as much as he does on many things, and I can probably express myself at least as clearly as he does. For one thing, I don’t have the urge to quote a German philosopher every three lines, but that’s probably just a hangover from his student days when such pretentiousness might get a guy laid.

John, it seems, would like to have a licensing system in place before you’re allowed to express an opinion, and the new freedom provided by the internet offends him to his elitist, authoritarian core.

Somewhere along the way, he seems to have become a fossil, trapped in the past and terrified of a medium he doesn’t understand. This, in my view, is terribly sad for a fellow who used to write for Hot Press, a magazine that engaged in more than its fair share of iconoclasm in its time.

Twenty Major put a link to one of Waters’s early rants here and this led to a furore of debate on Mulley, Daragh O’Brien and elsewhere.

Eventually, Waters summoned a blogger to appear before him on Newstalk FM.  He doubted they’d find one who could speak three consecutive words of English, but Fergal Crehan of Tuppenceworth took up the challenge, duly annihilating the blustering old fraud. Listen here.

After that debate, I think I’ll have to sing John Waters the same thing we Munster folk sang to Lawrence Dallaglio on Saturday when he was sent off: Cheerio! Cheerio! Cheerio!

(From Green Ink Pen )



Mr Darwin’s view

22 thoughts on “Windbag Punctured

  1. There is nothing so threatening to an over-paid ranter than the knowledge that hundreds of people do it at least as well as he does, but they do it for free.

    … lest we suffer collective amnesia he is the man who devoted 25 pages of a magazine he edited to a hagiographic portrait of the then living and conniving Charles J Haughey TD.

  2. Any man who is capable, as John was, of porking a lady who bites her toenails on a tv chatshow, such is the respect she has for anyone, leaves little else to be said.

  3. In a distorted way I can see where John is coming from, windbag though he may be. He has gone through the motions and done his journalism training and all to work his way to where he is now – not only is he a leading columnist for the IT, his opinions are regularly sought on such national forums as Questions and Answers and NewsTalk. Then along come us bloggers and all wee need to get noticed is a bloody internet connection!

    It’s a bit like when you’re waiting an hour for a bus in the pouring rain then when one does finally come some guy steps out of his front door to get on with you. You’re filled with this natural urge to stop them getting on. Now you may have the urge, but if you actually do try and stop him, you’d be an asshole, which should tell you what I think of John.

  4. I can’t comment in case something poisonous spews forth from my person-screen interface onto the toilet wall of the blogosphere.

    The man’s embarrassed himself. He’s read a handful of blogs, isn’t comfortable with using the medium himself (I’ve heard him take delight in his Luddite status elsewhere) and has come to some hugely over-simplified decisions. His argument is poor and what’s more disturbing he won’t back away from it. Here is an example of the human-hubris interface distorting his naturalistic world view.

  5. The man is a goober.

    There’s very little else to be said about him. Negativity on the internet? Welcome to humanity I’m afraid, and if he thinks that it’s something that is confined to people with computers, then he must have led an extremely sheltered life, and has obviously never run afoul of the kinds of people who’ll threaten to syringe a person for something as common as a mobile phone.

    He is a goober, and judging by his statements, he seemingly has no connection to reality what so ever.

  6. Ohh the evil inter web, can Sinead O Connor really put her foot in her mouth, I would never have believed it. Fergal was well able to put him self across, Waters was trying to argue on a subject he has not researched,my opinion, I do not blog but I do enjoy reading blogs. Are blogs needed, yes, they show a varied opinion on a variety of subjects ( sometimes sarcastic, but funny) which make me question my own views.

  7. Hey folks, look on the bright side! We’ll never have to endure a John Waters blog…..Will we?

  8. John Waters will blog when the order is given by the IT management that all columnists must. Other papers have already recognised the value. The IT is slow, but will catch up eventually.

  9. I love that debate,it goes all Monty Pythin towards the end.

    Fergal: “around 60%?,where did you get those stats ,what survey did you get this from? ..Your making this up arent you?”

    John :(in a john cleese voice) “No I’m not!”

    Fergal:”You are,you are ,Your making it up..”

    Hilarious.. I do make sure to catch Questions and Ansers when hes on though,its always entertaining watching him talk shit about stuff he knows not a jot about and then turn the subject around to himself…cunt..

  10. If you are reading this John,yes the last sentence was crass but thats the whole point of this scary medium freedom of expression

    “…Grab your Torch and Pitch forks,lets get the internet….”

  11. As an Irish woman living in Wales I love reading Irish blogs. I get some idea of Irish thought and can take or leave what suits me.
    I just listened to that interview and it made me cringe.
    And I will now voice a negative opinion……what a tosser.

  12. I love the bit where he can’t back up his pulled out of his arse ‘statistic’ on the internet being 60-70% porn, backing down to ‘at least over 50%’. Then bestowing the virtues of print journalism and it’s fact checking. Hellooo?

    I’m also reminded of a recent Simpson’s episode where Nelson does his Ha-ha bit at a ‘print journalist’ : “ha-ha your medium is dy-ing!”

    That’s you that is John. D*ckhead.

  13. Karl: I think it was the Frank Skinner show, don’t know if you know it.I lived in the Uk for a number of years and Sinead was a guest on it one night about 10 years ago. She picked and she ate. I do yoga and I can’t even do that! Although the host didn’t seem phased by it at all. Or else he was a good actor. A very good one.

  14. Heard the original interview. Couldn’t believe it. This guy is really sad and pig ignorant to boot.

    He used to be quite intelligent. Almost sounded like an intellectual in the past until he got obsessed with the discrimination against single fathers. He had some good points but couldn’t write about anything else for ages. Every other subjects ended up turning on that same axis.

    It’s very hard to see how even the worst blogs could be much worse than the gutter press in the world of print.

    Fergal the blogger was really good and knocked Waters for six. Unfortunately that will be like water off a duck’s back and no doubt we will be subjected to more ignorant shite from this guy.

    I like the idea of Madam editor instructing him to start his own blog. Maybe that’ll shift him to the Indo where he can spend his time sparring with Kevin Myers and spare us all.

  15. Listened to the link.

    This man is an intellectual pygmy. And an opinionated one at that.

    “Everything that happens on the internet is distorted”?

    So John Waters challenge was to find a blogger who could “Speak three consecutive words of English”

    Here’s 43 words from John.

    “…but the good news is, the hopeful sign is that, actually I believe its actually going to wane, that ehehewah that blog and and the internet is actually even now it’s on the ascendant is actually the CB radio of the noughties now…”

    In this incoherent ramble he uses the word “actually” four times as if it lent credence to his gibberish.

    John Waters, giant intellect or inflated windbag?

    Why do the Irish Times waste money employing the man?

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