Wot — no ‘personals’?

Here’s an example of an organisation ignoring the ancient rule that if something isn’t broken then don’t fix it. It seems that the London Review of Books, to which I am a devout subscriber, is dropping its personal ads. John Sutherland is not impressed.

High seriousness is due to get higher. The editor of the London Review of Books, Mary-Kay Wilmers, has decided to drop the paper’s ‘personals’. For 10 years now these cheeky afterwords have raised naughtiness to new levels of wit. Even highbrows, they reminded us, have low desires; the difference is, the highbrows do it cleverer.

The LRB personals will be sorely missed. I think fondly of those days, in 2002, when I was stalked personally in the personals by such ads as: “Mr Loverman. Shabba Ranks of the English concourse. Terry Eagleton is my gold tooth – John Sutherland is my Spandex pants. Come join me in my Essex ghetto for hot nights of suburban lurve . . . Bitchin.”Blissful times for “sixtysomethingpointyheadedprof”.

Hmmm… Does this have anything to do with the publication of David Rose’s book, I wonder?