more evidence of slavery to modern ‘fads’ and trends…

Late yesterday afternoon I attended the monthly editorial meeting at the offices of ‘Le Modern Edwardian’ journal. Aside from the routine business to attend to, I was full of high expectations that the assembled members would review my latest essays with critical acclaim and agree to their immediate publication.

However I was sharply cut short by Edward Johnson-Belfry (the managing editor) who stood up and announced:

“Gentleman, after my consideration I have come to a pivotal decision. Namely that ‘Le Moderne Edwardian’ must change direction.”

“Change direction?” I spluttered. “But what do you mean Edward?”

“I know you won’t like this Nigel, so let me explain a few basic facts. Readership of the journal is at an all-time low. Unless this improve, I’m afraid that I’ll need to close up shop. Therefore, I plan to renew and reenergize ‘Le Moderne Edwardian’ and rebuild it afresh. I feel that it needs a cutting-edge post-post modern slant. Therefore, there will be less articles about grooming tips for the Edwardian gentleman, and more articles on underground music and culture. The journal must become a modern cultural ‘mash-up’ featuring  articles on underground fashion, music and culture. And Nigel – I have some very special assignments for you…”

I was utterly speechless. I managed to blurt out “And what, pray tell, are these assignments?”

“Firstly, I want you to visit several late night musical venues and write a series of articles on DJ’s who are influenced by dark-ambient sounds, and how this music is being fused and reinvented via collaborative projects on the web. Secondly, I want you to take a trip to Japan and interview that splendid musical combo Boredoms.”

I sat in disbelief. What about the articles that I sweated over and poured my very blood into? I regained my self-control and bellowed:

“Edward! This is a blasphemy and an utter tragedy. What you are suggesting is…that YOU DESTROY THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS JOURNAL IN THE COUNTRY…in order to PANDER TO PLEBEIAN TASTES?”

Edward sat there looking as cool as a cucumber and replied “If you put it that way Nigel, then, well YES. A magazine or journal does not keep running on fine ideas and thin air. It needs revenue from advertisers and the readers. Presently we don’t have much of either. However, do not be so hasty to judge Nigel. We shall retain the title. It will still be called ‘Le Modern Edwardian’. It will just cover…more contemporary issues. In fact, I think the title will supply it with a huge amount of ‘post-ironic’ cool…”

I simply could not tolerate another second of this travesty. I stood up and announced “Gentleman. Are you all in agreement with…this…USURPER?”

All of the assembled nodded their heads or muttered “Yes”.

“Well then. I’m afraid you leave me no choice. I cannot stand here and participate in this…CRIME…for a second longer. If you continue down this path, I am afraid that we will have to part company. I will set up my own journal entitled ‘Le Nouvelle Moderne Edwardian’. Then you and your pseudo-trash journal will face some serious competition…”

Edward sat with a beneficial smile on his face and said “I thought that you may feel this way Nigel. Look, it is nothing personal. Just business. Why don’t you go away for a few days and think it over?”

“Think it over?” I replied. “No thank you. I WOULD RATHER USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT BEFORE THINKING THIS OVER”.

“As you wish Nigel. If that is all, we have other business to attend to.”

“Where are my essays? Where are my essays? GIVE ME BACK MY ESSAYS…” I shouted as I ransacked through the paperwork on the table.

Edward carefully reached over and handed me a folder. “Here are your essays Nigel”.

“And I should think so!” I retorted. “You will have no further need for these. They are only fit to be published in a journal of high standing. I bid good-day to you all”.

I strode across the room and kicked the door as hard as I could. A wave of intense pain shot through my toes and up my foot. I hobbled out onto the landing and collapsed down the stairs.

It was if I had just walked out of a hallucination. Did I really hear the words that were just spoken in that room? I needed to sit down somewhere…anywhere… I entered the nearest wine-bar and demanded “A bottle of your finest champagne please!”