Stephanie O’Brien asks:
Was the Justin Bieber interview (Are You A Belieber?, 13 November) a deliberate attempt to induce apoplexy in recent po-faced correspondents? Love it, but how will you top it?
It’s true that some readers were dismayed to find celebrity features in the Weekend, but the Bieber piece is unlikely to have been a specific response to their letters. Ronson interviewed Bieber in San Jose, “in the midst of an 85-date tour” – which places the date at around 28 October, when Bieber played the San Jose HP Pavilion. The Cheryl Cole article – the first to prompt the “po-faced” letters that Stephanie mentions – was published on 23 October. To respond with a vindictive Bieber interview, the magazine would have had only five days to receive the annoyed letters, decide on a suitable vengeance, secure an interview with Bieber, and dispatch Ronson to meet him. Still, it’s not impossible!
Unlike topping the interview, which pretty much is impossible to do with a single article.
Ben Johncock asks:
Several smug letters about doing more interesting things than being on Twitter. Like writing to magazines, then?
The letter-writers Ben mentions do seem to think that writing to a magazine is a better bet than tweeting, but they list other example activities as well, from walking and gardening to painting and cleaning the house.
Jane Brueseke asks:
In response to Lucy Mangan’s let’s riot column: happy now?
We can’t be sure about Mangan, but many approving non-rioters found the Millbank riot satisfying. Observers who were cheered by it took heart from the demonstration that people cared so intently about the cuts, and were willing to take action.
Stef Stewart-Hodges asks:
To respond to Darren Evans, Graham and I met a year ago on Blind Date. This morning, while seeing me off to work with a lovely packed lunch, he burped, scratched his groin and told me he loves me. Does this count as a “long-term relationship”?
It depends who you ask! As we found out last week, many people only consider a relationship to be “long-term” after two or three years. But it’s certainly true that Graham and Stef’s relationship may turn out to be long-term, even if we can’t call it that with certainty just yet!
Claire Jackson asks:
If Tim Dowling lives so close to Westfield, why not walk?
It’s possible to live “close” to somewhere in driving terms, but still be far enough away that walking is significantly less convenient.
Dowling has grappled with the drive or walk question in a past column, in which he implies that he lives a five to ten minute drive from Westfield, on a good day. A five minute drive can easily be a half-hour walk, and the choice between the two isn’t always clear!
Sam White asks:
Is it just me who has no recall of the content of articles mentioned a week later on the letters page?
Definitely not! Anyone who wants to understand the Letters page fully should keep the previous week’s issue at hand for reference. In fact, sometimes it’s necessary to dig even further! Letters that address an editorial policy rather than a specific article can delve back weeks or even months.
Of course, most readers don’t mind whether they can quite recall what the letters are referring to. You’d have to be pretty obsessive to actually search out past articles and compare them to other people’s throwaway comments.