Whither the gentlemen?

I have never considered the excellent Mirror-based website gentlemen ranters.com as much of a competitor mainly because, as founder of the Can't Be Arsed Club, I have only occasionally updated the Daily Drone whereas the Ranters had a fresh edition every Friday. 

Just recently, however, as a result of jibes from my former colleagues, I have been popping something new on the redesigned Drone site almost daily. That is only correct in view of the website's title, which was originally meant to be ironic. But sometimes irony fails to have any effect. Look! I even started a blog! (Stop sniggering at the back.)

Anyway, I ask about the Gentlemen Ranters because they appear not to have returned from their Christmas 2011 vacation. To be fair, when they signed off on December 16th they explained they were taking an extended break at Palazzo Ranter, which I presume is Revel Barker's place in Malta. Where the hell are they? 

Can anyone enlighten his lordship where on earth the buggers have got to?

The Daily Drone is, on the whole, a harmonious place, given to humour, general silliness and reminiscences from the grand old days of the Daily Express. But I fear I must inject a little controversy regarding the Ranters.

Why do they presume to call themselves gentlemen? I have always considered that the title should be endowed by others, not one's self. They are probably nothing of the kind. One wonders, for instance, how many times they may have inserted footwear upon the ingress of their recalcitrant victims.

The word gentleman has always jarred with me since my days as a stone sub on the Daily Express in the 1970s. This dreaded shift involved spending the evening standing up with the compositors who liked to term themselves, with out any hint of irony, as 'gentlemen'. 

Those who have been victim of their uncouth and unhelpful behaviour will not recognise the comps thus. With few exceptions they were appalling, drunken foul-mouthed boors who very nearly brought about the end of the Express and succeeded in ending the blessed days of Fleet Street.

Gentlemen? Pah! To hell with them.


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