Letter from the i editor: Beware the tyranny of beige


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The Independent Online

Well, the day has come. Some newer i readers such as Harry Latour (letters, yesterday) may be upset, but judging by the avalanche of hate mail over the past few months, few i readers will miss Cooper Brown.

Coop has filed his last column for today’s i before departing for Libya. Perhaps you don’t appreciate what you have until you lose it. Perhaps. And perhaps the poor Libyan people will wonder what they have done to deserve getting rid of Gaddafi only to have the Cooperman turn up and do his bit for nation rebuilding.

Coop will be relieved at no longer having to write a daily column. And, I will be relieved not to have to plough through all your daily diatribes about his poor taste. It makes the saga of the allegedly vulgar crossword clue pale. Never have so many stars been doled out to cover up so many swearwords in so small a word count. Oh, and asking him to cut them out was like p***ing in the proverbial wind.

Now, a last word on THAT subject. There was an underlying theme to some of our correspondence, which I found objectionable. More than one male reader implied that vulgarities may have been OK for the lads at the bar, or in the locker room, but were not OK for women of a certain age.

What a load of sexist twaddle. Have these people never seen Catherine Tate’s “nan”? Most of the hilarious, creative and colourful vulgarities I’ve heard in my life have fallen from the lips of older women (usually in histrionic Italian). One of the more imaginative cursers I have ever encountered works in the i office. And she writes like an angel – almost.

Yes, by all means, let’s avoid the over-use of meretricious vulgarity, but let’s also beware the tyranny of beige and misguided sexism. On that note, starting Monday, you’ll find a whole roster of fresh columnists. In the meantime, I’ll see you tomorrow.