When I was 17 years old, I wrote for the student newspaper at Varndean Sixth Form College in Brighton. It was called The Bernard, after Bernard Butler from Suede. We were never sure how this happened. It was edited by a nice chap called Tom, who probably ended up going to a fancy university and being incredibly successful. My friend Rob and I took it upon ourselves to squeeze as much puerile, pointless and irrelevant bullshit into the magazine as possible. Tom was too nice to stop us, but you could see the conflict behind his eyes. He clearly envisaged a proper student newspaper with politics, poetry, reviews and so on. We submitted reviews of ‘Alco-fish’, exposes of radiation leaks from the photocopier in the library and hastily drawn posters of tiny mammoths scaling daisies. He must have hated us. But, he was nice and a bit posh and he let us get away with it.
Fast forward fifteen years. Tom is probably editing the Times or something. I dunno, I can’t remember his surname. I am still producing puerile bullshit for no money, but now describing it as political satire. Somewhere out there, a new generation of Toms is bunkering down and preparing to overtake those of us who spent our youth properly, with drugs and that.
Well, it’s happening already. I’ve been tracked down on social media and talked into contributing to a political commentary website by someone who should really be sitting in the park taking acid and drinking cider. I’ve never met him and know nothing about him, but I suspect he’s nice and a bit posh, will go to a fancy university and will be wildly successful in 15 years while I continue producing puerile bullshit for no money. Feel free to visit The Noticeboard Daily and mutter bitterly about the precociousness of youth. I’ve got a cartoon on there (also below), plus you can write abusive comments under an article written by a Tory MP.