Oliver Duff

i Editor's Letter: The late arrival of the silly season

 

Share

This newspaper apologises to readers for the late arrival of the silly season, postponed by war and plague.

The summer news cycle – mid-July to the end of August – is often not so joyously inconsequential as we claim. But 2014, in particular, could do with a little light relief.

Bring us a Jesus in toast; an image of Victor Meldrew spotted in space; a great white shark off Cornwall that turns out to have been photographed by Cape Town; an EU ban on busty barmaids; a Daily Express campaign against having to turn back the clocks.

With Parliament in recess, schools shut and the courts quieter, a few editors lower the bar. Spurious science triumphs. Farce has its day: a personal  favourite is the crystal ball that started a fire by refracting sunlight onto curtains, an incident which presumably had serious professional repercussions for the surprised psychic.

Pity, meanwhile, the MP or member of the public caught displaying an undesirable human trait. (Remember cat bin lady?)

The silly season acme, of course, is the animal saga. Amorous boar, para-sailing donkeys... SQUIRRELS ON CRACK – a terrible situation monitored by the South London Press, where industrious rodents were reported to be digging up drug  dealers’ buried stash.

Heroism or disability elevate a creature to global renown. Who among us can forget The Times’s moving front page photo tribute to “Benson, Britain’s best-loved carp, 1984-2009”? Or Yvonne the fugitive cow in Bavaria, who evaded capture by helicopter and armed search parties for weeks, prompting a gleefully hysterical global media pursuit and €10,000 reward offered by the German tabloid Bild.

The silly season article concludes with a sentence reassuring the reader that the above prose can be discounted without loss of sleep.

i@independent.co.uk

Twitter: @olyduff

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Residents of the Gravesham constituency are 10 times closer to what Peter Hain scorns as the “Westminster elite” than are those of Linlithgow and East Falkirk  

Will no one stop the march of localism?

Jonathan Meades
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam