Letter to the Editor

I sat on my fury long enough. weird-wide-web

You saw this picture and caption here on my blog the other day. I was annoyed not alone for myself, but also for Grandad and indeed for all older bloggers. If we were really weird, a major company like Microsoft would not have offered sponsorship for this category at the Irish Blog Awards.

Tonight I decided to deal with my fury and confront the Irish Independent with the email below.

Dear Editor,

On Thursday last I received a phone call encouraging me to read that day’s Irish Independent. On Page 18 of the Business section I discovered my photo. The surprise was not the photo, because it was taken at a public event.

The shock was the heading! ‘WEIRD WIDE WEB’ The caption was ‘Senior citizen bloggers known as Grannymar and Grandad tied for the award of the best personal blog at the Irish Blog Awards 2008’. Congratulations, you managed to get our names correct. Now before you make any more mistakes we are not married and met for the first time at the event.

I sat on my fury for a few days hoping that it would abate. It didn’t.

Please explain what is weird about older people blogging? Further down the page was a picture of two other Bloggers, young ladies half my age, I know that since one of them happens to be my daughter! You would not dare put a caption – ‘WEIRD WIDE WEB’ above them, I guarantee if you had, my daughter would have your guts for garters!

Am I wrong in assuming that the heading and caption were written by a young journalist? Why is that once silver threads begin to appear we are written off or thought to have lost our marbles? Let me tell you, neither Grandad nor I have lost our ability to use modern technology. We are both familiar with computers, email, blogging, Podcasting, Levelator, Skype and indeed Facebook!

I consider the term ‘WEIRD WIDE WEB’ an insult to all older Bloggers and hope that you will apologise to Grandad and I on page 18 of the business section next Thursday.



28 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor

  1. Good woman! Fair play for sending in that letter. It was a stupid comment and really pissed me off.

    I’m sure you’ll let us know if they reply, and I look forward to seeing their explanation on page 18 next Thursday.

  2. Well done!

    It was a ridiculous title to put on any news article. Both you and grandad did extremely well in your achievements. I enjoy reading both your blogs ….

    Pity to see ageism so ripe in our national media.

    You should have got a ‘plaque’ also ….. I know they awarded the best personal blog to you both equally but the organiser(s) should have ensured that you both got the actual physical award!

    Anyways … well done Grannymar … Maith thú! 🙂

  3. Well said, Grannymar. You and Grandad are fantastic success stories and an inspiration for bloggers of any age, myself included.

    There’s certainly nothing weird about that!

    Everyone at Microsoft was so pleased you won the award we sponsored, by the way – you have some huge fans on my team!

  4. Go get ’em, Grannymar. Of all the silly things for them to say, and in print! I guess they think you are not only “weird”, but can’t or don’t read the papers.
    It’ll be interesting to see if you get a reply.

  5. Gosh thanks for the support folks.

    My commenters range from over 80 up to 18! 😉

  6. Fair play to you, Grannymar!

    The Indo made a BIG mistake when chose to poke fun at older bloggers, and especially at two such wonderfully talented individuals.

    Thank you for standing up on behalf of all older bloggers.

    At the very least, you deserve an apology from the Indo.

  7. Of course, Grannymar, if you were really, really cross, you might email a letter to the other Irish papers – particularly the tabloids, asking if they have a similar attitude towards older people.

    You might also drop an email to the Equality Authority http://www.equality.ie asking if such headlines are permissible.

  8. Thanks Ian, that would be something to keep me quiet on a Monday Morning.

    The Role and Functions of the Equality Authority

    The Equality Authority is an independent body set up under the Employment Equality Act 1998. It was established on 18th October 1999.
    The Equality Authority replaced the Employment Equality Agency, and has a greatly expanded role and functions. The Employment Equality Act, 1998 and the Equal Status Act, 2000 outlaw discrimination in employment, vocational training, advertising, collective agreements, the provision of goods and services and other opportunities to which the public generally have access on nine distinct grounds.

    These are:

    • gender;
    • marital status;
    • family status;
    • age;
    • disability;
    • race;
    • sexual orientation;
    • religious belief; and
    • membership of the Traveller Community.

    Discrimination is described in the Act as the treatment of a person in a less favourable way than another person is, has been or would be treated on any of the above grounds.

  9. Heh! Fair play to ya! It was a rather immature bit of ‘fun’ on their part and I don’t think they are going to increase their readership by such tactics.

    It is more indicative of the growing fear that the print media have for the competition – if you can’t beat ’em, slag ’em. Two can play that game 😉

    Incidentally, I thought you were getting a plaque? We were told on the night that you were?

  10. Thanks Grandad.

    There was mention of plaque, if it comes it comes, I am not really bothered I know I won jointly with you.

  11. Will

    eThursday in the Independent is prepared by Silicon Republic and they have been informed. Hopefully an apology will be forthcoming.

    I have just heard that we were mentioned on RTE Radio 1 News on Sunday a.m. 2nd March as well, and when questioned whoever was talking about the Awards said that yes Grandad was in fact a grandad and Grannymar was a Grandmother!

    Is there something Elly is not telling me. 😉

  12. When I want to find out what’s happening in the world, I come here first.
    When I run out of toilet paper, I turn to The Indepedent!

  13. Oh GM:
    I’m so very pleased you protested, that is one of my absolutely pet peeve words.
    Just exactly what is weird anyway?
    Something not conforming to one’s idea of regular?
    I could go on and on but won’t (this time). It pisses me off everytime I hear it.
    One of the reasons I emigrated to Canada was that I lost my job on marriage. A damn fine one (then CIE) with free travel everywhere. So glad to see in today’s world in Ireland I would keep it…..
    Maith thu a GM!! (goodonya, GM)

  14. That’s the Indo passing the buck: The responsibility for what’s printed lies with them not their contractors.

    Silicon Republic could never be viewed as being anti-blogger – if anything, they would be pro-blogger. Hey, that’s where they get a lot of their news after all.

    Being ageist is another matter.

    Anyway, if there is to be an apology, it shouldn’t be from Silicon Republic only, but from both parties.

  15. WWW ~ you would like the Girly Geek Dinners and the new http://www.sassie.ie starting later this month. Thankfully Ireland has moved forward,but it still has a long way to go!

    Primal ~ I live in hope that we receive apologies from both parties on Thursday if not before then.

  16. Just back from a conference,,,,,, I wondered when the Wierd word would stir you up.

    Well done I say…please let us know if they print.

    I’ve got a bottle of Guiness riding on it as I showed a friend! He says they won’t print.

  17. Magpie I will let everyone know if I hear from them! I hope you win the Guinness.

  18. Well, have you heard anything from the Indo or Silicon Republic yet? Or are we all just waiting in anticipation of Thursday’s article?

    Does this mean we’ll have to buy the paper?

  19. Darren
    I have not heard from either the Indo or Silicon Republic yet. If there is no reference in Thursdays Paper, rest assured I will shout louder!

    I am hoping some of the ‘Twitters’ who are about early can check the paper and let me know.

  20. You are right to protest, Grannymar.
    Captions are not necessarily written by the
    journalist who writes the piece, however.
    Often even hacks are puzzled by the unusual
    slant a catch headline can put on their work.

    If any editors should ever read this,
    it’s worth recording that I tend to go
    to the Internet rather than to the mainstream
    media for news and ideas and I don’t tend
    to think much about age when I read a piece
    that is well presented.

    Ageism has always been a feature of European
    society. And it’s not correct, I agree.

    Well done on writing such a clear analysis of your experience,
    and an apology would be in order.

  21. Pingback: Grannymar » Patience is a Virtue

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