Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Masticating Reporter

When I was growing up in the 1960's the chewing of gum was very definitely a no no. Those who indulged in this imported American habit were viewed with some disdain, perhaps even disgust. They were most definitely personae non gratae. I suspect however that the general view on the habit has become less damnatory over the years. Maybe this is due to the sale of nicorette gum to those trying to give up smoking. There has certainly been a reversal in the social acceptability of the two habits and it is tempting to suggest that chewing gum is now almost lauded by certain people because of its connotations with the giving up of the pernicious weed.


I have to say however that my views on the chewing of gum have not altered much from those that were inculcated into me during my formative years. I do not like the habit and I find it very off putting to have some individual talk to me whilst exercising his molars on a ball of saliva covered gum. If I have the misfortune to catch sight of some gum addict's mandibular delight stuck between his dentition I begin to feel nauseous.


Imagine then my feelings of revulsion when I recently viewed a video clip on the website of a small NI newspaper. One of the paper's reporters was requesting information on a photograph which had been supplied by a reader. He was chewing gum throughout the clip. I accept that this was not national television, nor the website of a national newspaper, but was this behaviour acceptable? I cannot be persuaded that it was. I emailed the editor of the relevant publication and asked him if the reporter was being admonished for his conduct. He did not respond.


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