I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the nature of fiction and its relationship to autobiography again, of late — and whilst looking around for the thoughts of other writers on this subject, stumbled across this interview with John Irving. Doesn’t really address the points that primarily interest me at the moment, but interesting nevertheless. Especially fascinated by his thoughts on recurrent themes and the things that haunt him as a writer.
Two sample chapters of If I Never can be read here.
Okay, it’s official. The world has gone totally fucking mad. First John Barrowman — star of the West End and Torchwood (he’s also been known to “sing”, but it’s probably best if I don’t mention that) — decides to flash his genitals during a Radio One interview. A pretty juvenile thing to do, admittedly, but not exactly the end of the world.
Well, and then someone actually complained. Someone sitting at home felt the need to pick up the telephone and express his/her disgust at the fact that Mr Barrowman had flashed his genitals… on the radio! Nothing appeared on the studio WebCam. No one, as far as I know, saw his “fruit and nuts” other than the hosts Nick Grimshaw and Annie Mac (who were, possibly quite provocatively, asking him about his “predilection for exposing himself during interviews”), and for all that the listeners knew the incident might not have actually occurred at all. But… someone… complained.
Mr Barrowman has since apologised for any offence he may have caused.
And whilst the image isn’t the most appealing to me, I like to think he was stark bollocking naked when he did so.
Whilst I certainly understand why he felt the need to do this I can’t help feeling that this light entertainment show has, in this case, lost some of the very things that made it successful. Humour and the opportunity for the viewing audience to stick two fingers up at the judges and vote for whoever they judge fit. Contrary to the insistent proclamations of some, this is not a dance contest. It’s more than that. If it were not, the old format Come Dancing would never have become unpopular and faded from our screens.
Strictly Come Dancing is purely and simply light-hearted entertainment. It’s disposable television intended for those of us who just want to turn off for a short while and watch something that demands nothing.
Let’s not take it too seriously, please. It kind of defeats the object.
John actually looking quite graceful in my humble opinion.
… is that really the point? The fact of the matter is, the money was spent by the RNC — probably in an attempt to make this proud hockey mom look less of a hockey mom, or maybe to wreck the Saturday Night Live budget — to improve her image. Okay, if it had all gone according to plan, they all would have benefited, but the bottom line is, she got to dress up and she loved every minute of it.
$150,000. And to think they could have improved her image at no cost whatsoever, and to greater effect… by simply telling her to keep her bloody mouth shut.
Sheesh. These guys could really do with a thrifty Yorkshireman on their team. If anyone from the RNC is reading this and wishes me to share my expertise with them, by all means email me. It goes against the grain, politically, of course, but… let’s call it $150,000 — I’m anyone’s for $150,000.