Saturday, March 06, 2010

Independent arts correspondent wins Idiot of the Day

The award goes to Arifa Akbar, who starts an article in the Independent today thus:
In an age when even an uncovered piano leg could cause moral offence to prudish Victorian sensibilities...
She wins it for three reasons.

First, the story is about a drawing that may date from as early as 1808 and certainly dates from no later than 1826. Victoria did not come to the throne until 1837, so the drawing does not date from the Victorian era at all.

Second, the story as a whole seems to be based upon the idea that it was not possible for artists to exhibit nude works in the 19th century. This is nonsense and Queen Victoria had a personal fondness for such works.

Third, and this is what really clinched it with the judges, Akbar repeats the story that piano legs were covered up in the 19th century. As has been shown on this blog before, this is nonsense. In fact it was a joke that the Victorians used to poke fun at the straitlaced Americans.

Perhaps one reason that the Independent is doing so badly is that it prints rubbish like this?


media scum said...

Sorry to say this, but when i knew Arifa as someone working on our local dialy, the Northern Echo, Arifa was very much a she.......

Jonathan Calder said...

You may notice that I have subtly edited the post in the light of this important new information.