Cliche uttered

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 03:03 pm

ohn Pilger on writing:

For years, I used to pore over my copy removing clichés. That made me the writer I am today.

Posted by Tim B. on 07/01/2006 at 10:31 AM
    1. Tim, when he says he “used to” remove cliches obviously he is telling us that he no longer does so.

      And then proves it.

      Posted by R C Dean on 2006 07 01 at 11:00 AM • permalink


    1. I think he means “copy-removing cliches.” Now, that’s a weird cliche!

      Posted by William Young on 2006 07 01 at 11:02 AM • permalink


    1. Fancy taking years to remove cliches from his copy. Surely he could have done it quicker. It’s a wonder he ever got anything published.

      Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 07 01 at 11:13 AM • permalink


    1. He’s the Bee’s Knees when it comes to writing copy, and you can take that to the bank!

      Posted by bovious on 2006 07 01 at 11:16 AM • permalink


    1. it taught me English, (He didn’t know this language prior to?) to use language that was disci-plined, simple, sparse.” (Yes, just like your gray matter)

      Posted by El Cid on 2006 07 01 at 11:23 AM • permalink


    1. For years I used to pore over my copy removing any trace of the hated neo-imperialist-zionist-fascist-blood-for-oil-Amerikkkan-teutonic-capitalist-empire-driven-corporate-barons cliches. That made me the nice guywriter I am today.

      Posted by TimT on 2006 07 01 at 11:27 AM • permalink


    1. A greying radical too obsessed by his childish fixation with ‘rebellion’ he can’t even recogize reality, anymore? The man is a cliché.

      Posted by Amos on 2006 07 01 at 11:36 AM • permalink


    1. It would appear that he failed to remove the biggest cliche of them all.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2006 07 01 at 11:40 AM • permalink


    1. What a journalist. And spawing all of those little bastard journalings. He’s been the busy boy hasn’t he. Never heard of him.

      Posted by Texas Bob on 2006 07 01 at 11:49 AM • permalink


    1. “It was a dark and stormy night…I was removing copy cliches when all of the sudden…”

      Posted by Patricia on 2006 07 01 at 11:51 AM • permalink


    1. Priceless.

      Posted by Hanyu on 2006 07 01 at 11:59 AM • permalink


    1. Pilger’s an old bore. Raised by Bolsheviks, and not having the stomach for anti-parental rebellion (he probably fainted the first time he saw a Conservative), he continues to preach what he was taught at table. But I’d like to talk about the author of the piece, Jackie McGlone’s writing for a minute:

      Pilger also has a son, Sam, a football writer, by his first wife, journalist Scarth Flett, from whom he is divorced. He has never married again.

      If you never married a second time, why is your one and only wife called your “first?”

      Posted by ekw on 2006 07 01 at 12:02 PM • permalink


    1. My brother Graham I and were fortunate to have very political parents – socialists.

      Mmmm, m’yes. And what does this lead to?

      “Sorry about all of this,” he says, looking helplessly at the litter of crockery . . .

      Posted by paco on 2006 07 01 at 12:03 PM • permalink


    1. And note the Scotsman piece on the Chargossians. Classic Pilger humbug.
      Should these handful of professional litigants succeed in returning to the atolls (an outcome I doubt they’d actually welcome, rather than the monetary compensation settlement) they’d starve in very short order.  Pilger just cruels my serenity.  Fuggim for that.

      Posted by Olrence on 2006 07 01 at 12:20 PM • permalink


    1. This is almost too easy.  Did he write this to see how many people couldn’t resist kicking him where he deserves to be kicked?  You have to admit that this guy makes MoDo sound profound!!

      Posted by dick on 2006 07 01 at 12:37 PM • permalink


    1. For years, I used to pore over my copy removing clichés. That made me the writer I am today.

      Too bad he couldn’t do something about the overweening self-regard while he was at it.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 07 01 at 12:46 PM • permalink


    1. Geez, the guy thinks he’s Hemingway.  And Hemingway he ain’t.

      Posted by ushie on 2006 07 01 at 12:52 PM • permalink


    1. Cliches? Avoid them like the plague!

      Posted by ErnieG on 2006 07 01 at 01:41 PM • permalink


    1. Cliches? They’re a dime a dozen!

      Posted by rinardman on 2006 07 01 at 01:57 PM • permalink


    1. No one told me Pilger had such a finely tuned sense of irony!

      Perhaps Mr. Pilger would do better to heed the advice of J. A. Spender:

      The hardest worked clich� is better than the phrase that fails.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 07 01 at 01:58 PM • permalink


    1. Language in general is the pasting together of cliches.  If you avoid cliches, you’re left with irony or idiosyncrasy.

      Barthelme made an art of writing in cliches, eg. and seems to have been a pretty good writer.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2006 07 01 at 02:42 PM • permalink


    1. What self-absorbed idiot.

      Is pilgery a crime yet? I mean something actionable, not just a crime against the reader’s intelligence.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 07 01 at 02:48 PM • permalink


    1. duplication is the sincerest form of cliche

      Posted by Grimmy on 2006 07 01 at 02:49 PM • permalink


    1. Spiny Norman: the verb “to Pilger” or the noun “a Pilgerism” entered the Aussie vernacular many years ago, basically meaning to lie or to be a lie.

      Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 01 at 03:34 PM • permalink


    1. At least now we know what made him the writer he is today.

      Wonder if Pilger would be interested in endorsing this product:

      Writers, do you feel like Samuel Goldwyn?* Do the old cliches leave you as unsatisfied as a duck out of water? Are you missing the cliche forest for the trees? Are you tired of covering the same old cliche ground? Are you scraping the bottom of the cliche barrel? Do you think there’s nothing new under the cliche sun? Do you want to rake in the dough? Do you want more cliches than you can shake a stick at? Then out with the old and in with the new,  the Cliche-O-Matic is for you. Don’t let another week go by stuck in the cliche doldrums. Get Cliche-O-Matic today (ordering is as easy as falling off a log) and you’ll agree with thousands of others that the Cliche-O-Matic is the best thing since sliced bread. With Cliche-O-Matic, you’ll be in clover and other writers will be green with envy as they eat your dust. If you want everything coming up roses, don’t let the grass continue to grow under your feet, act now. Remember, from small beginnings come great things. Call now—after all, there’s no time like the present.

      *Let’s have some new clichés.

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 07 01 at 03:34 PM • permalink


    1. rhhardin, did Barthelme write The Pukey, which many feel was the iconic anti-story, but, living with cats, I think is nonfiction?

      Posted by ushie on 2006 07 01 at 04:06 PM • permalink


    1. as TimT is subtly telling us, Pilger actually removes cliches the way other socialists remove towels from hotel rooms—and not just from his own writing but from other people’s as well.

      So now he has a huge collection of stolen cliches, of which he’s very proud—enough to make his output one giant cliche sledgehammer, smashing (per TimT) the “neo-imperialist-zionist-fascist-blood-for-oil-Amerikkkan-teutonic-capitalist-empire-driven-corporate-barons” with every phrase.

      OK, not quite a sledgehammer, more a giant pile of wet towels.

      Posted by arrowhead ripper on 2006 07 01 at 04:38 PM • permalink


    1. pilger is a sad pathetic wretched old fart, his whole life has been one big fat lefty cliche, spouting the same worn out, tired , moth eaten lefty shite in that whingy whiney voice of his, no wonder hes such a miserabilist i mean can you imagine what it must have been like having commited communists for parents stamping on your brains day in day out, i bet they were all in favour of the permissive society but made damn sure teenage rebellion stopped at there front door, what a despicable mangy creature he is.

      Posted by phillip on 2006 07 01 at 04:56 PM • permalink


    1. Well, I just tried to shovel my way through that big steaming pile of an article, but just couldn’t do it. Doesn’t “The Scotsman” own a blue pencil?  Can’t they find any writers to hire besides this perveyor of the sub-freshman prose?  Forget the clich�s.  What about the trite and hackneyed phrases, the over-blown, adolescent sentiments she uses to describe her angst-ridden hero.  She makes a perfect mule to carry the burden of his virtue.  Stupid girl.

      Pilger is an old fraud, with his “voice of the little people” condescension.  He is one of those people for whom the sores of the world furnish a pig’s-wallow for the comfort of his self-image.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 07 01 at 05:01 PM • permalink


    1. cliche question:

      If a tree falls in the woods, crushing the leftist journalist/writer/MSM reporter who was pissing on it, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
      (answer: yes, a nice satisfying SPLAT)

      Posted by klink on 2006 07 01 at 05:28 PM • permalink


    1. But, but . . . all those journalism prizes, all those accolades. He must be a great reporter.

      Recently, he returned from filming high in the Andes. He is working on a new film – for screening in cinemas – The War on Democracy. Featuring right-wing, militaristic llamas and their neo-nazi condor allies, waging total war upon peaceful communist Inca farmers. Seriously, anybody have a clue as to what this flick is about?

      Posted by paco on 2006 07 01 at 05:59 PM • permalink


    1. klink – no, the question is:

      “Does anybody care?”

      and the answer is, of course,


      Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 01 at 06:29 PM • permalink


    1. I didn’t know he was indoctrinated by socialist parents.
      It just confirms my view that he never had an original or balanced thought in his life.

      Posted by Barrie on 2006 07 01 at 06:48 PM • permalink


    1. “That made me the writer I am today.”

      A screwed-up writer that is. Oh, and a pathological anti-Westerner ignoramus too.

      I am glad he will only ever be confined to the wastebin of history – as someone who lives in a perverse reality.

      Posted by The Best Infidel on 2006 07 01 at 07:04 PM • permalink


    1. That’s cliché with an h
      Not clique with a q
      Straight from the writers crèche
      That’s Pilger!

      If it bleeds it leads,
      If oppressed it’s blessed,
      Socialist? It’s been kissed
      By Pilger.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2006 07 01 at 07:09 PM • permalink


    1. Funny that Pilger tries to remove cliques from his writing when his life is one long, boring cliche. Predictable, monotonous groupthink. He is a self-obssessed, nasty, old hippy.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 01 at 07:19 PM • permalink


    1. blogstrop,

      LOL! Well played.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2006 07 01 at 07:21 PM • permalink


    1. All of this conjures up images of some of our Dark Lord’s henchmen the in the basement sleeping it off after gorging themselves on all the Sumerian mead, italics, boldings and cliches they have accumulated down there.

      Posted by Vanguard of the Commentariat on 2006 07 01 at 08:07 PM • permalink


    1. Guys, careful with that “strike” tag. It seems to make anything you enclose in it behave like all one word. See how the page is stretched out just a little bit due to this? Not enough to delete, but please in the future break it up. (Close only a few words inside one set of strike tags, then a second set, and so on.)

      A tidy blog is a happy blog. (PS: if this is not happening in your particular browser, that’s nice, but it happens in mine, which is the latest version of Firefox.)

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2006 07 01 at 08:47 PM • permalink


    1. I dipped into one of his books years ago.  Dipped out again about 1.5 pages later, astonished at how many times he could beg the question, indulge in circular reasoning AND assume the consequent in so few paragraphs.

      Except that someone must have glued his caps lock key up, he makes Joe Vialls seem normal.

      Posted by ChrisPer on 2006 07 01 at 08:54 PM • permalink


    1. The writer he is today makes me throw up over his articles.

      Posted by pick-your-pun on 2006 07 01 at 09:20 PM • permalink


    1. #13 – obviously it was the maid’s day off.

      Posted by cuckoo on 2006 07 01 at 09:47 PM • permalink


    1. “Raised by Bolsheviks…”

      Ha – a ‘red diaper baby’.  What’s the equivalent in Australia?  Somehow ‘red nappy baby’ doesn’t quite cut it.

      Pilger’s grammar’s isn’t polished. He’s one of those who for no apparent reason throws in a comma after the first two or three words of a sentence. Typical of those who don’t care about the written word:

      For years, I used to pore over my copy removing clichés.

      I think ‘to pilger’ and ‘pilgerism’ were terms coined by the late Auberon Waugh in The Spectator in the 80s.

      Posted by walterplinge on 2006 07 02 at 12:43 AM • permalink


    1. While on the subject of bad writing, Pilger’s pathetic adoring fan, Antony Lowenstein has posted a piece on his website that he believes is great Here t’is. It includes a long 66 word sentence—subordinate clause after subordinate clause and in total not a lot of sense in any of it.

      “Already now, in Gaza, the line separating legitimate combat from actions meant to break the civilian population, is disappearing, as is the distinction between fighting that serves a real national interest and the desire to compensate the battered ego of the army, and the distinction between the supreme responsibility for the life of every soldier and his personal liberty, and the urge to seek retribution and vengeance.”

      Oh gosh—what was the author talking about.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 02 at 03:39 AM • permalink


    1. Phillip (#28), thank you for expressing my thoughts so perfectly.

      Posted by AlphaMikeFoxtrot on 2006 07 02 at 03:48 AM • permalink


    1. #35 – nice work, blogstrop.
      Pilger, Margo and Bob Ellis are all maggots out of the same corpse.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 02 at 03:49 AM • permalink


    1. “For years, I used to pore over my copy removing clichés. That made me the writer I am today.”

      I have removed the cliches from this sentence.  It now reads: ’ ………………… .’

      An eloquent, very welcome silence.

      Posted by Inurbanus on 2006 07 02 at 05:21 AM • permalink


    1. Wise man say: is easier to make silk purse out of pig’s arse than it is to make a writer out of a cliché-riddled propagandist pond scum – more better you make cliché-riddled propagandist pond scum into shitty handbag [Confusezus]
      Posted by hooligan on 2006 07 02 at 08:23 AM • permalink


    1. Recently, he returned from filming high in the Andes. He is working on a new film – for screening in cinemas – The War on Democracy.

      Featuring right-wing, militaristic llamas and their neo-nazi condor allies, waging total war upon peaceful communist Inca farmers. Seriously, anybody have a clue as to what this flick is about?

      You’re probably on the right track with the llamas etc., and the part you quoted might be giving us a clue towards that, if only it was punctuated correctly, i.e.

      Recently, he returned from filming high, in the Andes.

      Posted by PW on 2006 07 02 at 01:00 PM • permalink


    1. The “writer I am today.”

      Posted by MarshallD on 2006 07 02 at 06:27 PM • permalink


    1. From the tone of this thread it seems Mr.Pilger does not impress many here.
      I’ll have you know he has many admirers not least at our national broadcaster who will sit at the feet of the master whenever he finds time in his busy round to return to his unfortunate country of birth.
      A brief search of the ABC archives for “pilger” reveals 215 fully matching results, a search of “timblair”only 8.
      Fran Kelly (RN Breakfast) mentions him in the same breath as Jean-Paul Sartre!

      Posted by chrisgo on 2006 07 02 at 08:37 PM • permalink


    1. stupid commie shitebirds both of em.

      Posted by phillip on 2006 07 03 at 12:54 PM • permalink


    1. The bloghead merely cuts then pastes. No compulsion in this activity to remove the cliches of others. No care and no responsibility taken.

      Posted by Miranda Divide on 2006 07 03 at 08:07 PM • permalink


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