A serious post about something meant to be funny

I seem to have raised the hackles of a fellow blogger, and that is not something I like doing. So this is a post in riposte – though not something I am very comfortable doing (more of which I will explain later). I want to write it, but this may be too dull and serious post for some, so Im going to put most of it under one of those read more things.

A couple of weeks ago, in professional capacity, I was asked to listen to a new radio comedy about blogging on Radio 2, and give my considered response as a blogger. This I did. Having done so, people commented on that post, and I moved on and did other things. Then yesterday I discovered that Shazzle, comedy critic by profession, over at Dreadful Nonsense had called me out about it. She was understandably upset – the radio comedy in question was written by someone very dear to her. Had I been in the same situation, I would also have been upset.

It is a post that catalogues many of my faults and my failings. The stuff about lazy journalism, bad writing and other such comments I can handle, as I am growing a thicker skin and realising that these are the kind of things that people say. Its a recently learned fact that I was a popular hate-figure on many Take That fan forums for a while, for example, which is something not many people can surely say. Basically, if I were to get upset about those things, I would have to get used to being upset rather a lot.

However, it became more personal when Shazzle mentioned that one thing she was very upset about was the fact that I hadnt cross-posted my dislike of the radio comedy on this, my personal blog.

I dont really tend to cross-post on subjects between my professional writing and this, my very personal site. There are various reasons for this: professional courtesy being one; the fact that I consider this my safe home space for all things non-work another. I sometimes point out things I have been doing elsewhere – and when I do this its usually by way of explanation for why Ive been to busy to post over here, or because I think the thing that Ive written is littleredboatish enough in style or content for people who read this to perhaps be interested. But most things I dont. Its my personal site, and I like to keep it personal. So, for example, though I may write about television an awful lot elsewhere, I hardly ever touch the subject here, and will probably do so less and less.

Anyway, since this was one of the main points of contention, I am breaking this general rule.

I listened to a radio comedy show about bloggers. I didnt like it. I thought the view of bloggers was typical old broadcast media stereotyping, and, more than that – because I could forgive that if this hadnt been the case – I didnt enjoy listening to it, and thought that it wasnt very funny.

I put this down mainly to the commissioning and editing process in radio comedy – plus the idea of writing about what is seen as a geeky or niche hobby for a mainstream Radio 2 audience. I have no doubt the writers are competent and talented people: you have to be to get that far in radio. I hope their next project will showcase them better, I look forward to hearing it.

You can find the show in question on BBC Radio 2 on Thursday nights at 11.30, and its repeated on Saturdays at lunchtime. You can also listen again to the last episode through the BBC website here. It wont be the same episode as I heard, and who knows, as the series progresses, it may have become a more complex, funny and relevant series as it went on. But I was put off by the first episode (by not liking it), and I didnt listen – or want to listen – to any more. It may have turned out to be great. I dont know.

Therefore, I suggest you listen to it via the links above or on the radio, and form your own opinion. If you like it, you could tell your family and friends and readers about it. If you dont, you dont.

I wasnt being malicious – I was asked to give my opinion (whether good, bad or indifferent) of something and I did. I didnt write about my self-righteous rage, or the fact Id listened to something I didnt think was very good on here because thats not what this blog is for. I tried to reply to this criticism on the blog that published it, but the comment wasnt moderated: so I thought I should probably do it here, if the conversation had become public.

Listen to it and form your own opinion. Despite writing professionally a lot these days, I dont suppose I can claim to be a radio or comedy critic: no ones shown me where you buy the official critic jumper from. But if needed to I – or anyone who is reading this, probably – could name 10 blogs that are funnier, and 50 that are written better than this particular slice of radio comedy. Including, in fact, Dreadful Nonsense itself, which appears to be a very witty and intelligent read that I wish Id found under different circumstances.

But whatever. I was being derided for not doing something I dont do, and because I got upset by having upset people by not liking something I didnt like, I have now done the thing I didnt do that was a sticking point.

And Im not entirely sure if its helped. Because I still dont like the thing people didnt like me not liking, and Im not sure everyone being upset about people being upset makes that different, anyones opinion change, or the show in question any funnier. Sorry.

Update: Oh. The post this was in reference to has disappeared. This doesnt make much sense now. Still, I will leave it up, because otherwise how will you find the nice programme to listen to?