Letter to Róisín Ingle
I took a swipe at Róisín Ingle once before, but that was at the behest of Herself. Today I am taking my own swipe. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that I hate to see large areas of newspaper go to waste. So maybe I should address this to Geraldine Kennedy instead? No. I’ll leave it as it is.
Dear Ms Ingle,
I read your article in the Irish Times with disinterest.
You managed to fill a full page on the subject of why you are happy to remain childless, or “child-free” as you inelegantly put it. Well, as the Bard once said – “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” I would humbly suggest the cure-all espoused by my spouse that what you require is “a pint of Guinness, an old time waltz and a good ride”. That might solve your delemma.
However, I am not writing to suggest a cure for your woes.
I am not a literary critic. I would not even class myself as a writer. I would be more inclined to place myself in the genre of the literary hack. A genre with which you should be familiar. I am therefore in no position to judge the writings of others.
However, I am a consumer. I buy the Irish Times, and as a consumer, I have a right to complain about the quality of the goods I purchase. Also I am a reader, and I know what interests me. Or more importantly, what disinterests me.
Occasionally, you produce good material. One article you wrote recently on the subject of religion was good. But you have a habit of resorting to your overriding obsession with yourself. and that is tedious. I get the distinct impression that you are struggling for material. Should the muse desert you, I would suggest that whatever subject you eventually decide to write upon should exclude the words ‘I’ amd ‘me’. Take that as a challenge.
You are paid well to produce your column. There are many good, even great writers in the world of blogging. They do it for the love of it. The difference shows. Their writing is interesting. It is often funny. It is rarely self indulgent. Maybe your page should be handed over to a different blogger each week?
My suggestion to you Ms Ingle is to either piss, or get off the pot.
Having subjected myself to the festival of self-indulgence that is the Irish Times recently, I did come across an article by said Roisin Ingle.
The muse hasn’t deserted her, Grandad, he/she/it was never there to begin with.
Dammit Dario – give me a chance to finish typing before replying! Do you have a direct line just waiting for my output?
She has produced some reasonable stuff in the past. I used to read her on a regular basis because she had a certain wit. Now I read her on a regular basis to boost my own ego and to convince myself that I’m a better writer than some.
So she has her uses…..
I thought the article was brilliant – wonder if Grandad might be unconsciously acting out some of his ire about not being child free?
I’m delighted to be a dad. And a Grandad. No ire there.
You aren’t really called Róisín by any chance, That Girl?
‘fraid not Grandad – but you never really did outline why you didn’t like the piece – apart from your own disinterest…what was it about the article that prompted your response?
Very hard to put succinctly. It was a sort of smug self-congratulation, I suppose. There were lines in it that grated –
“I’d prefer to have a lie-in and no little person to bring me into contact with bigger people I’d prefer not to engage with”.
What does she mean by that?
Frankly I find her articles disappointing lately. They used to be full of wit and observation, but lately have become rather self-obsessed and dull.
I think it’s a reaction to the smugness of many parents who talk to those of us who have no children as though there was something missing in our lives and we’re somehow “less than” – the word itself “childless” is so grating and I thought Roisin captured it very well…It happens all the time…really, it does 🙂
Wooooah there!! I’m not commenting either way on the actual topic itself. Rather I’m commenting on the way it is written. At the risk of repeating myself, it contains an irritating smugness [‘look at me all snuggled up in bed while the rest of you struggle with your kids’] that grates on the nerves.
On the topic itself, she has an air of ‘I can take it or leave it’ which is frankly a bit scary and immature. Having children is not an area for ambivalence, yet she herself uses that very word about herself.
I am not arguing the pros and cons of parenthood. That is entirely up to nature and the individual. I’m not saying people should or should not have children. It is none of my business.
On another note, I used to read her predecessor – Maeve Binchy. Now, her articles were always funny and incisive. She always managed to get a laugh with her ‘overheard in the cafe’ type articles. She had a lovely insight into human nature, but I don’t ever remember her writing about herself.
I don’t have any ESP powers; but I was up early this morning, so I saw the post not long after it came up.
“not long after it came up”
About 2 seconds!
Um Grandad – I think that Roisin’s column is precisely that – writing about herself, her life and commenting from that position…there are lots of people who are ambivalent about having children – better to be ambivalent about having them while not having them rather than the opposite!
I don’t know about that. I gather her attitude is that she doesn’t care about whether she has a child or not, which seems a little blasé.
I think on reflection, that my greatest problem lies with her shallowness. Frank McNally can write about his personal life with great wit and depth, without sliding into mediocrity.
We’ll have to agree to disagree on Ms Ingle – I’m a fan and love the way she weaves her personal life into the column…
That’s fair enough. There are doubtless millions out there who say this site is rubbish!!
She’s just symptomatic of the Irish Times which has completely lost its way. They are so attentive to shrill voices that people like Myers are driven out. (I know he’s an obnoxious bugger, but we need obnoxious buggers to say awkward things). The Irish Times has become bland, If She Who Must Be Obeyed is away it doesn’t get bought.
Dennis Skinner MP says we should all buy the FT – “the bastards don’t tell each other lies”
Yes. Herself is the paper nut here too. We have to get the IT on Saturday and the Sunday Times. Tons of paper to be dumped.
I could live happily without the IT [apart from Brendan McWilliams] but the weekend magazines are good for seeing what isn’t on the TV for the week.
Ah GD I guess we had to fall out eventually. I am a big Ms Ingle fan. I think her style in the piece was meant to be a response to the over hyped response of people who do have children. When you are on the receiving side of such comments the content and style of the piece makes perfect sense.
Ah Flirty!! We aren’t going to fall out over something that small 😉
I think ultimately the problem is that she appeals to a relatively narrow spectrum. She is writing for the twenty/thirty-something woman [and sorry for borrowing your name!]. If you think I am harsh on her, you should hear Herself! She can’t blog on the subject as 90% of it would be unprintable.
Now, I’m all for audience targeting, as long as it is in the right place. I think a lot of people would be just as irritated if she wrote about nothing but rugby.
It used to be a general humourous spot, but it has become too focused and the Times are going to lose readers there.
Spot on for me too, as it would have been for a lot of 30 something women. I really liked it, and it seemed to me to be a very level piece of writing considering the sorts of things that are routinely and carelessly said to you if you don’t have a child by those who do, or who presume to be rude enough to ask you nosy questions.
And as that girl said, Roisin’s column is about her and her life. That’s the slant. It’s probably not aimed at grandads to be fair, in the same way that the bridge column isn’t aimed at childless, wine swilling, ridiculous shoe wearing 30 something me. And I very much like the way she polarises opinion too, which is a traditionally IT thing to do, when you think about it.
As I said before, I have no opinion on women who decide, or not to have children. Though I can easily understand how people can be tactless and unfeeling.
You Young Wans are all missing the main thrust of my complaint. I’m not targeting this particular subject, rather the standard of her writing. She used to be good, but the standard has deteriorated lately. It is like she has lost her spark.
BTW, I am definitely not in the bridge league 😉
Maybe it’s her hormones Grandad…;) Anyway, I’ve picked up this and written a piece on my own blog about the issue.
Aha! You can use words like ‘hormones’ but I would get lynched. 😉
I like your piece. It is well written and should be sent to Ms Ingle as an example of how to write.
However, you are still accusing me of taking exception to the article. I’m not. I’m taking exception to the decline in the standard of her writing.
I only read the IT article yesterday. I suppose it’s not the best piece of prose in the World. But it is a relevant subject faced by many women and I’m sure some men (think Cliff Richard who often gets a hard time on this also). I personally thought it was reasonably balanced and fair – it’s no more than mirroring the thoughts of many women, I don’t entirely feel it’s about her exercising her own ego or trying to justify her own position, as I think you imply. But we are all entitled to our opinion.
I’m glad you wrote on it because I confess I hadn’t read Roisin Ingle before and it gave me a reason to read it.
I hear what you are saying that you were commenting on her standard of writing, but it doesn’t completely come across that way to me.
“it gave me a reason to read it”
See – there’s no such thing as bad advertising!
Yes, it did come across a bit as if I were criticising that particular article. Really what I was trying to say was that that article epitomised her current style of writing.
If you want to see how it really should have been written, then head over to Think Out Loud.
Oh! I see you already have! 🙂
Yup, I’m also a big fan of Roisin Ingle. Interesting that you only feel like “taking a swipe” at her when she writes about other women bloggers.
She’s a great writer – with immense appeal to her target audience – which is not you.
Simple answer: don’t read her column if you don’t like it.
“Interesting that you only feel like ‘taking a swipe’ at her when she writes about other women bloggers.”
I hadn’t noticed – if that is the case then I promise, it is pure coincidence.
I would take great issue with the ‘great writer’ bit.
She obviously has appeal, but not to me and a lot of others.
As you suggest, I shall not be reading her column again. I just wish the old Róisín would return.
Grandad flattery will get you everywhere!
You may recall that, like yourself, I’ve been wise to the inanity of Ms Ingle for quite some time:
@That Girl – Not flattery. I only tell it as it is. Your piece is well written. [I wonder if I flatter the girls from beaut.ie, will they forgive me?]
@JC – Where were you when I needed you?
Ah! The good old days. Bring back Maeve Binchy and Kevin Myers……….
I have deleted a few comments that were made yesterday. I did that with reluctance, as I believe in free speech.
However, the “debate” descended into a rather personal slagging match between two contributors. That I will not tolerate.
I received a mail last night suggesting that “it’s slanderous stuff and if Roisin were in the mood she could make hassle”. I disagree. If Ms Ingle wishes to make a comment, she is fully entitled to. All that has been expressed so far is opinion. She is fully entitled to contribute and say that she thinks my opinions are a load of crap and that my writing is drivel. I wouldn’t take offence, provided she confined herself either on my writing style or the subjects I have covered. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. In fact, the comments made so far have, if anything, been in favour of Ms Ingle’s writing. I can’t see how she can take offence at that.
The advantage of blogging over the printed media is that people have the ability to express publicly and immediately their opinions. If Ms Ingle were to write an article slagging off Grandad and Head Rambles in the IT, she is quite free to do so, but I would have no right of reply except through the letters section, which by its nature would take a day or so to get into print.
I had closed the comments section here, but I am reopening it, as someone else [Ms Ingle?] may wish to add something.
And for the two who started the slagging match – stoppit. You know who you are 😉
Addendum to the above….
This post is a comment on the writing style of MS Ingle. It is in no way an attack on her. Her writing is in the public arena and is therefore open to scrutiny.
All comments are welcome, but must not be on a personal level. And that includes contributors making personal comments about each other.
Ingle’s writing is nothing but self proclaiming boring rubbish. As you say Grandad bloggers are doing this kind of thing with more verve and passion. If I ever see a column with her name on it I immediately skip past it as I know full well it would be not worth my time. Suffice it to say that her writing annoys me and the fact that she gets paid to produce such drivel annoys me.
It appears that the opinion here is divided. I get the very strong impression that your comment supports the majority opinion, but she does have a fan base, albeit a rather narrow one.
I suppose if the IT want to go on paying her that’s their business. I just skip her page now and go onto the more interesting stuff, like the death notices.
Pity you weren’t around earlier when the fur and the handbags were really flying 😉
Is Grandad running the show here?
Hi Chuck. Are you asking if I write the blog? Are you asking if I make the decisions? I’m confused.
(i) Has she ceased to be 14 stone?
(ii) How much of her columns are taken up with the twins?