I’m possibly beginning to see why people don’t like Toby Young

March 19, 2009

Oooh! The little liar!  Today, he went on Radio 4 and slagged off ‘Bad Movie Club’, which I ran a while back on Twitter. It was an idea I wanted to try out which I thought might be interesting. I may do another one sometime if an appropriate movie comes up, and we succeed in improving the experience for everyone involved… you know, so that the whole thing isn’t just witless banter. I’ve not done one since and there haven’t been any unofficial @badmovieclub screenings on Twitter either.

However, even though Bad Movie Club has only happened once, Toby Young has somehow been tuning in since the 13th of February, and has developed some thoughts on it. (Link to piece on his blog, now prefaced with a bit of back-pedalling about recording the radio 4 piece some months ago, but nothing about the post he put up this afternoon.)

“Which brings me to the Bad Movie Club. Every Friday evening, several thousand people all over the country sit down and watch a bad movie and share their thoughts about it on Twitter. A DVD is selected by the Club which then issues strict instructions about when to start the playback so everyone’s watching it at the same time. After that, hilarity ensues.

At the risk of sounding like a prig, I do think there’s something a bit odious about this. The Bad Movie Club is an opportunity for a group of urban sophisticates to advertise just how superior their taste is to that of the hoi poloi. The films selected are often Hollywood blockbusters, which no doubt adds to their pleasure since it enables them to pour scorn on the great unwashed across the pond at the same time. Come on chaps. Let’s get together and exchange witty putdowns about the execrable garbage that passes for “culture” in America.”

The underlining is mine.

Ah, Toby…Toby, Toby, Toby…don’t you know what the Internet is? Don’t you know that you can’t get away with the same journalistic bluffs that have got you into the position you’re in, eating bugs on telly and whatnot? I used to be a journalist and I did my share of bluffing my way through a topic I knew nothing about, but the times, they are a changin’, Toby! You’ve got to be more careful!

Later on, you describe these imaginary, regular get-togethers as comprising of “witless banter”. Thanks for the heads-up. We know now how the witless will tend to describe us if and when we decide to do a second one.

By the way, you spelled “hoi polloi” wrong.

(Update: On Twitter, Toby just wrote this “I wasn’t slagging off Twitter, merely @badmovieclub. My timing was off since it appears to have spontaneously combusted.” Stop digging, Toby!)

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