back to article Computers are so middle class – Mark E Smith

Computers are middle class and tweeting is for morons, reckons shout-at-the-bins Northerner Mark E Smith of The Fall, favourite band of the late John Peel. "I can never understand computers. It's a very middle-class thing", Smith tells Mojo magazine in an interview. Smith also berates people for using online banking and for …


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  1. Paul 195

    "Where's the cursor? Where's the eraser?"

  2. ThomH

    In summary...

    They put electrodes in your brain, and you're never the same.

  3. Jim 59

    MIddle class

    I can never understand playing musical instruments. It's such a middle class thing.

    1. Ancient Oracle funkie

      I disagree, shouldn't that be "middle class desperate to be working class"?

    2. Armando 123

      Depends on the instrument. Trumpet is middle class. Guitar is blue collar. Slide guitar is disreputable lower class and iconoclastic. Oboe is middle class. Clarinet is a cry for help.

      1. Geoffrey W

        class instruments

        Mark has often played a mean kazoo or cow bell. What class is that?

    3. Mips

      Whilst we are on about prejudices..

      ..I can't understand X Factor. Does that make me middle class?

  4. dogged


    Lay off the Staffs! They're delightful animals. And much like any other dog, a notable proportion of them have retarded owners.

    Probably a smaller proportion than GSDs and Labradors, though.

  5. br0die

    I say don't push it on them. They will either realise soon enough that they are being left behind, or they will just get left behind and nothing of value is lost. Society will shape itself to the adaptation to technology regardless of a few stubborn mules. Maybe sometime in the future, dole cheques will need to be claimed online and deposited directly to an online bank account. That will get them learning the internet.

    1. MrCheese

      Stubborn Mules

      You know the people she's calling dog-on-a-string types include your grand-parents right? Either of your parents tech-illiterate? Well they're stubborn mules of no value to society too, they live on "dirty council estates" and "prefer shouting across the street than tweeting" right?

      It's not a crime or an inferiority to not be interested in computers, it's just a generational gap, my folks and yours have lived most of lives without computers and very few of them actually NEED to learn how to use one, they're not essential to them, just a luxury, a perk.

      It's people like you I worry about, narrow minded to the point you can't imagine a world without Facebook or Twitter, where you have to *gasp* actually go and *see* people you want to talk to, you sir are a cyborg, you'd die without your daily dose of tinterwebs, right? Personally I think I'd rather be a Luddite!

      1. br0die

        Yes, both my parents and my grand parents are tech literate. Just as they know how to use a mobile phone they know how to order plane tickets online. There is no excuse not to learn this stuff now, it is everyday life.

        You go a long way to assuming I am reliant on Facebook and twitter, which are a whole other ballgame and not really relevant to this discussion (incidentally, I have a Facebook that I sometimes look at. twitter, well to this day I am not sure what it is for, and why people use it).

        I also function completely fine without these things (I can set up camp/build a shelter, forage for food and find water in the forest), but there is no need to in every day life.

        Why do you sleep on a bed? Is it necessary? Why not resort to the floor? It is, after all, a luxury and not necessary.

        Moron. It is because of people like you the world laughs at the UK and how far behind it is technologically. Enjoy recession and chav scum.

        1. dogged


          elitist prick much?

      2. Ramazan

        Re: MrCheese

        So they come and downvote you, or unfriend you on Facebook instead of punching you in the face The Oldskool Way for the post they disagree with :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as a soft southern twat...

    ... I'd have to agree. I'd rather listen to Mark E Smith eructate in the bath than any amount of patronising digital empowerment* guff from latte-guzzling Boden-wearing suburban Tory gobshites.

    *digital empowerment = Government speak for 'we want to close all Post Offices'

  7. Dan Howarth

    Who in this "story" isn't a fuckwit?

    "I can never understand computers. It's a very middle-class thing"

    - "I don't get it so it's something I dislike." Idiot, they've been around for 20 years. If you haven't figured them out, close the noise hole regarding matters you admit you know nothing of.

    " Smith also berates people for using online banking and for Web2.0rhea: "You always thought people are daft but you give 'em the benefit of the doubt, but they are as f**king daft as you thought." "

    - My, that's a well reasoned point. See my first point.

    "Has he got a point?"

    - No.

    "Well, statistically he's correct:"

    - No, he isn't, statistics or not.

    "17 million Britons are internet refuseniks"

    - A third of us. How is that 'statistically" showing that people are daft? It doesn't.

    "... is on a personal mission to brighten the lives of people on "horrible council estates" – people who prefer shouting across the street to tweeting and real communities to online communities."

    - Ah, there's the real middle class attitude. who am I berating now? The author of this article or the quoted Nobody?

    This is why people own Staffordshire bull terriers. It's not a lifestyle choice; it's a necessity.

    - See my last point.


    This isn't journalism. This is taking the effluent-like vocal output of someone who doesn't matter and keeping someone in a job somewhere writing a non-story for a news source I respect, albeit a little less.

    I love the Reg, I'm a daily reader.

    But this kind of "aren't the middle class snobby? Oh, and aren't the working class scummy?" attitude is exactly what neither the media nor the public need.

    1. MrCheese
      Thumb Up

      Hear, hear!

      A piece of meaningless twaddle written by self serving dolts so high on their own intellect they didn't seem to notice how much drivel they were spouting.

      Both Mark Smith & MLF have assumed that if you're not on internet you're either too good for it or not good enough rather than engaging some grey matter and asking why a third of us couldn't care less about the internet,

      Just a deliciously ironic aside, it's opinionated egotists like that passing off backwards stereotypes and prejudices as news which are my biggest gripe with using the web!

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Who in this "story" isn't a fuckwit?

      You must be great fun at parties.

      1. Dan Howarth

        I am. Karaoke nights are especially fun.

      2. jm83


        Try rearranging these words...

        Kettle Pot Black Calling The The

  8. John I'm only dancing
    Thumb Down

    And sacking band members every few weeks...

    Is so bloody upper class....Sorry Mark, you are totally off your rocker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Of course he's totally off his rocker

      That's what makes him worth listening to. Sane people don't make mad, eccentric, entertaining and challenging music.

      If you want common sense, there are any number of bland beige balladeers belting out bombastic baloney.

  9. MrCheese

    Mark Who? Mark What?

    That's a bold tirade coming from someone with an opening comment like "I can never understand computers. It's a very middle-class thing". If you don't understand computers perhaps you should be more tolerant of those who do, of those who know their capacity and who have at least some idea of what technology has done and can do for us.

    Alternatively, take all of that modern studio equipment you used for the last album, bin it and try recording the next one without it and let us mere plebs know you get on? No? You don't want to all of a sudden, thought not! Ultimately you've got to laugh at morons like this; so desperate to prove they're better than everyone else that their behaviour ends up falling far short of "people who prefer shouting across the street to tweeting"

    As for Lane-Fox, how many failed initiatives does she have to champion before she realises the people she's calling the dog-on-a-string type think about as much of her opinions as they do of their dog's mess. She abjectly fails to see the advantages of real interaction versus virtual and if you don't know why one is better than the other and one results in the erosion of human interaction and social skills you probably don't have too much of either yourself

  10. dogged

    Just wanted to add

    My best mate's a farm worker.

    He has a phone. It makes phone calls. I think it may - apart from his watch - be the only piece of 21st century tech that he finds a daily use for. He doesn't have a PC, or broadband or an iAnything because he's not interested. He has a job that's more of a lifestyle and a wife and two small children and his mates, who he will once a week send one-word SMS to (usually either "pub?" or "busy") and, er, that's it.

    However, Martha Lane-Fox, pointless cowbag that she is, does not get to call him thick or suggest he keeps a dog on a string. He did well at school, not only bright but a hard worker. Writing people off because their choice of job makes the internet irrelevant is stupid.

    MLF then, is clearly far more stupid than my mate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "usually either "pub?" or "busy""

      This is how most men communicate with each other -- then head off to the pub and do actual real conversation, With real other people. Using their mouths.

      We're all "techies" but that is seldom what gets discussed. They don't have a facebook or twitter account. If anyone mentions either we just titter drunkenly and shake our heads.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only the internet was middle class!

    I miss the good old days of the internet, when you could have an intelligent conversation online without thick-as-muck proles ruining it. If my friends' Facebook posts are anything to go by, the internet is a Daily Mail-reading chav-infested world of scum.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's so bad about being middle-class anyway? Pass a few exams at school....don't do a manual labour job (i.e, hardly anyone does in this economy)...that's literally accusing someone of being moderately successful. Where as presumably this singer guy is actually upper class, since he has way more money than most of us, and hasn't really earn't it. (playing songs doesnt count - it's a hobby).

    Anyway, the point is, the middle-class are the ones who pay _all_ of the taxes, since the rich live in moncao and the poor are net spenders of tax money. The middle-classes should be celebrated! And indeed are in most ecoonomies I think, or at least aspired to. Not so in this land of inverse and hypocritical snobbery.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most people who regard themselves as Middle Class ...

    ... just aren't. Not even remotely.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He sounds like he's thick or blind whatever class this snob really is!

    Does he have a mobile phone, a modern car, a flat screen TV, DVD, Blue Ray, use an ATM etc.; if he does, he uses a computer, they are everywhere!

    BTW: UK Fibre to Cabinet is excellent; I saw a peak download speed of over 1 Mega byte per second, not sure if it'll last!

  15. M7S

    The middle classes will presumably, however, be the only ones able to pay for his "wares"

    Once CDs are gone and downloaded music is the only way to purchase music

  16. Ben Rosenthal

    The fact that Mark E Smith is a dribbling moron has nothing to do with class.

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