Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The BBC's Simon McCoy: what to do with this scamp!

I see that at long last the increasingly sclerotic Daily Mail has awoken to the BBC peril called Simon McCoy. Ninety-nine percent of you reading this will be thinking 'Simon who?' but never mind about that. He's a presenter on BBC News (Channel 231 on Freeview - I do cheap dearies). Simon presents a credibly serious face for deaths, economic stats and terrorism. Then, suddenly (following news of an assassination or a beached whale) the eyebrows quiver and lift as he giggle-pauses his way through a non-serious item, such as an arts or doggy story or anything starring Boris Johnson or the Windsors. He does snigger a lot in the old Dennis The Menace comic way, joshes the artist-cum-Atlantic-depression-correspondent Tomasz Schafernake (btw, a brilliant photographic portraitist - cute little bastard) and toys naughtily with sports hacks who just want to tell us about Leyton Orient. If Simon wishes to sue over the use of "toys naughtily", I'll see you in court.

Fellow presenter Jane Hill (who fancies herself as a film and fashion critic) always pulls pained expressions if they're on together. The things she cannot say to preserve the illusion of worldly tolerance!

Simon needs to lose about three stone and even more of ego: but let's not body-shame the poppet. School boy smirking is a hallmark as is peering down at his desk prior to another irony. At least one misery-guts weatherman appears to be irritated by the handover banter. Simon needs modern hair restyling. The suit - it must be better tailored. Let's deal with the 'peril'.

The Mail today reported his sarcasm about the latest royal unborn sprog in Kate's womb. Fancy picking on a lickle foetus. Appalling. He doesn't think news of a royal birth time is news - and actually he's quite right.

But is he briefed to allow his personal tastes to colour the news tone?

Lately, he's started calling his segment 'Afternoon Live' (AL), which perhaps is his answer to Saturday Night Live. We are now witness to an attempted Caesarian of a news 'personality' in the Reginald Bosanquet tradition. So, once upon a time, earnest people in business suits stood in front of graphs and told us that the FTSE ("footsie") was down a point or two. Now they sit at a desk a la Kenneth Williams to Simon's Joan Rivers and relate the stocks and shares theatrics in a chuckly chat show format. Instead of facts-delivery we have news fishing where the viewer is expected to land the odd nugget from the torrents of Simon's quips and interruptions. Everything ends up drowned.

This has to stop. News must be lucidly dull. It is incumbent on news deliverers to sit there without a personality and just tell us what happened today. Allow the terrorists/politicians/film director-wankers/others to entertain us. Think Moira Stuart. Think Gordon Honeycombover. Even Selina Scott caused widespread narcolepsy with her unceasing froideur. I do not want to know about Simon McCoy's sense of humour or of his bromance with Tomasz Schafernake (he's mine, bitch). The stand-up must stand down.

Just get back to being a suit facing the camera. At 56 consider yourself lucky still to be employed, dearie - possession of a cock probably helps in that respect. Ooh - a quip!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kate Moss does George Michael with her barnacle lips

I loved the George Michael film Freedom. Such a surprise too last night. The TV listings mags, printed these days on Andrex rolls, had not made much of it; so I felt like I had been mugged by a very lovely Santa when he just popped up unheralded on TV - George! Oh but I'm not going to review it. I leave that sort of thing to the indentured slaves on rags, poor poppets. What will they do with themselves when they are retired at 41? Drink themselves to death? Find a deity? Edit an inflight magazine?

No, it's Kate Moss I come to praise, or evaluate, or at least notice. She kicked off the docu-film - and at first, one had to absorb the shock of her actually talking to camera. Pure Estuary, darling; a great career preservative these days. But it's her lips that fascinate me and what she does with them. Some time back, in the British Vogue fly-on-the-wall doc Absolutely Fashion, I saw for the first time this trick: that when the camera is on her, she moves her lips about as if inviting the lens to enter her mouth: semi-pouting, closing, parting, rippling, closing: it's a gentle pulsation, a slow-mo twitching or part-gurning that only involves her bouche. All done silently, on automatic. In the street this behaviour might invite alarmed comment. She was doing this again last night in Freedom. Before she said her little piece about George, she weirdly lipped us. Why? This wasn't a fashion shoot. The barnacle performs a similar motion with its mouth before feathery cirri emerge to grab plankton. Kate is absent of cirri which is just as well. I can't imagine the London Look would last long if she had cirri lunging out of her gob for a Pret a-Manger sarnie.

After Kate had said what she said, the lips started motioning salaciously again. Decades in fashion have left her with this curious habit. She learned a long time ago that gently moving the lips about increases the likelihood of an interesting shot being caught for the magazines. But on TV, outside the photographers' studios, she just looks very odd, as if in the midst of a sultry stroke she has decided on a last bout of self-pleasuring. But she does it well. Better than those bimbos on Babestation.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Si Newhouse never looked at data? Oh Anna Wintour!


I was sorry that Si Newhouse - who built Condé Nast's glossy mags division into an empire of highly lucrative scented-page snobbery (Vogue, Vanity Fair, Details, GQ and so on) - passed away before he met moi. How distressing! Actually, I missed the news of his death at age 89 altogether and only learned of it from Alexandra Shulman's new, most entertaining column on the Business of Fashion website. He was sucked up the astral tunnel on October 1 or thereabouts. I wonder who greeted the poppet in the afterlife. We shall never know.

Naturally, I googled the obits - and was most fascinated to see what Anna Wintour had to say about him. After all, he raised her to the heights of the American Vogue editorship (and beyond) and was immeasurably delighted by her editorial genius and celebrity glamour. Both Scorpio, they would have appreciated in each other the fervent desire to keep so much under wraps while the next chapter was plotted if not connived.

But, oh dear! Did Anna know Si at all? I have just been reading her Newhouse statement on Vogue.com. One line stands out: “Si never looked at data or statistics, but went with his instincts and expected his editors to do the same. He urged us to take risks and was effusive in his praise when they paid off."

He never looked at data or stats? Can this be true? I don't think so. We have to go to Thomas Maier's book Newhouse to get some hard facts as opposed to Anna's entrancing tosh. On page 63, for example, there's this: "Ascending to the role of chairman of Condé Nast Publications in 1975, Si became a devotee of market surveys and scrutinised the circulation reports to see how readers reacted to each magazine cover...and how they liked each feature inside." In another passage: "Armed with this information [the market research data], the editors working for Si Newhouse were expected to adhere to the computer results in making their decisions."

We learn that "Diana Vreeland [Vogue siren of Sixties' indulgences] particularly objected to the Newhouse concept and its reliance on marketing rather than artistic considerations or editorial judgement."

Perhaps Si changed as he got older but I have yet to meet anyone who very much alters over the decades, except to get droopier and more irritable before the dementia plateau. I suppose maintenance of the sepia tint on memory requires bullshit to be spouted.

All this does remind me of one thing, though: I really must find myself an Anna Wintour for my post-death eulogy. Her (or his?) words, "Madame Arcati never said a bad word against anyone", will resonate through media jails and trigger much in the way of chortling.


Sunday, February 05, 2017

Graydon Carter: It was "not my wish" to meet Donald Trump

The latest issue of Vanity Fair arrives in the post (I'm on one of those six-month subs that cost me about £12 - cheap, that's moi) and I turn excitedly to editor Graydon Carter's letter. The poppet is such a good writer, and just about hates everyone I hate, so his remote company is just like sharing a soul steam room. I want to know how it went, y'know, when Donald Trump visited the Conde Nast offices in NY. Did they end up wrestling on the polypropylene fire-resistant rug?

See, Anna Wintour (who is now my ultimate hero after years of satire and abuse at my hands) invited Trump to come say hello to the glossies in early January. I don't know why. She supported Hillary. But in the high-end world, hypocrisy is the coin. Must keep up those appearances. Democracy is the grand excuse. Carter did offer to boycott (perhaps for decency's sake, given his relentless hostility to the new President) but somehow was persuaded to attend and share the oxygen of the Commander-in-Chief he calls "short-fingered".

It is in Carter's editor's letter, though, that we find a little pearl. He confirms that he and his peers met Mr President and writes: "The get-together was off the record. (Not my wish. Nor was the meeting itself.)..." Ooh poppet! There's definitely a whiff of "Get my meaning?" about this bracketed aside, as if he did not think it a good idea. Whether it was Anna's idea or someone else's on the board, no one has said; but it was Anna who paid Trump a visit at his NY obelisk suite and lured him over (as Trump reported on Twitter).

It is distressing to think that Conde Nast editors do not think as one, and do not care if the world knows. I mean, only the other week or two, darling Anna was seen in a TV reality documentary about British Vogue. While she loyally rhapsodised about editor Alexandra Shulman (with eyes shaded), viewers had already witnessed Alex secretly shafting Anna over the Rihanna cover. How we pulled faces of gleeful horror! Goodness knows what Anna had to say when she saw the show.

So, now Alex has announced her exit plan.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Donald Trump: Meryl Streep and the accidental existentialist

Darling Meryl Streep needs no support from Madame as Donald Trump brands her "over-rated" for calling him a bullying cunt (in effect). How can a mere clairvoyante medium top all those articulate movie, TV and theatre awards that she's truffled away over the decades? - there are so many that Wikipedia has a separate entry on them. I'd be jealous except I can't act jealous. You just can't be jealous of genius. You tend only to envy the first-raters; the merely very, very good. Genius is beyond our grasp so we tend to be big about being small.

Trump is so grotesque, such a liar, deceiver and fool, that it is beyond my modest gifts to send him up or even mock and revile him in any effective way. Alec Baldwin gave it his best try - but his target out-did the send-up all the way. Trump is his own circular, self-creating satire, a fake whose absurdities depend on the paradox of his authenticity of self-manufacturing: he truly believes every word that passes his mauve lips as each day he resets his man-cave coordinates, for the best back alley ahead. He is utterly committed to the moment and the fact of his being beyond role, status or anything extraneous to the self-Trump. This is why he pays no account to his word, to what he said the minute before, to reality - except functionally to navigate from A to B - or even to his new role fast approaching, that of US President. He is an accidental existentialist. In his world there is no good and bad; both are relative terms that are moulded into matters of pleasure and pain by other people's flattery or insult (of the Trump-self). And good or bad things are just as likely to happen now as never or tomorrow, and with no consequence that cannot be seen off with a resetting of the Trump man-cave coordinates - and/or with an expensive lawyer.

This by far makes Trump the most fascinating US commander-in-chief ever. A philosopher-president with no philosophy at all. Before you stands 6ft 2ins of opportunist impulse arising from the selfish sentience that once dreamt of playing US President. There's no God or Devil to defer to, not even a non-God/Lucifer: he may be atheist or he may be a cod evangelical - which interest must be served in this moment for 'belief'? What anchors him in this or that moment of reality is not conscience or even any concept of good or bad but the visceral, sensation-hungry ballast dangling between his legs. These bestow a sense of power, entitlement; of timelessness (for they enable procreation of the self, among other things) as well as giving him something to think about when the mind wanders from business, politics or pussy. Bollocks, c'est moi. He talks bollocks, thinks bollocks, acts bollocks. So full of bollocks is he that we already start to forget what he said yesterday or this morning or ten years ago. In a few moments, the Streep tantrum will be forgotten by just about all. For that too was bollocks.
 
I suspect I shall have much more to say about Trump.It is of course an irony that this accidental, amoral existentialist most probably has opened the White House door to the pious Christer-evangelical by his side. Such an outcome would be in keeping with the low comedy to which we are witness Stateside. I'd laugh but I've just been diagnosed a hernia. 

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The Queen and the new Holocaust book

Much excitement today. The Queen has emerged from her Kleenex snot-igloo to attend church at Sandringham. The poor poppet. I don't catch colds any more by the simple policy of declining parties, especially around Yuletide and New Year. People only invite you to parties to give you their colds. They disguise the symptoms with Sudafed (other brands available). I know these things.

My point of course is that HM has demonstrated that she is still alive. A rumour was put out recently that she had passed away on account of her sneezing. Twitter got all excited while the rest of us slept. Suddenly a conspiracy was afoot. You can see how Holocaust deniers gain traction with their absurd claims and questions. Just say something and before long a moron will believe you as a symptom of her/his/its self-diagnosed illness-career.


Thinking of the Holocaust, may I draw your attention to a new book out next week. It's called Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1939-1949 by David Cesarani. It makes "extensive use of previously untapped resources such as diaries and letters from within the ghettos and camps (many of them in Polish or Yiddish and therefore previously largely inaccessible to Anglo-American scholars) and by adopting a rigorously Judeocentric approach the whole narrative of the march to genocide."

It appals me that Google has only lately started to act against anti-Semitic sites that peddle Holocaust denial, amending its algorithms so that neo-Nazi trash do not top the search. What's wrong with these bedroom-bound beards that run Google? Do they have some self-diagnosed illness-career we should know about?

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Esther Rantzen and anonymous internet swine

Madame was most distressed to learn that Dame Esther Rantzen is the victim of false, disgraceful allegations. From memory I can't quite recall what these may be but the eating of raw rhubarb was not among them. Something to do with turning children into fine dining recipes courtesy of Masterchef. This is the problem with sharing expertise with the sofa-bound sedated - a little knowledge in the wrong brains too easily leads many astray. Just ask Dr Google!

But let not my forgetfulness, doubtless brought on by living too close to a main road, distract us from the fact that Dame Esther has suffered grievously.

Her abuser, it emerges, is an anonymous website poster, unwittingly aided by the monstrous Google and its scheming algorithms. It has long been my view that people who veil their identity to launch malicious cyber attacks are plainly not entirely to be trusted with a sharp axe - a point the Dame herself makes, kind of. You can just imagine some lonely, pathetic male person posing as someone else (a notable woman, say) in order to vent his spleen or advertise his psychopathy. Dignitas would be too gentle a fate for such a person.

Nonetheless I was fascinated to learn that though Google unforgivably declined to remove the offending website or the grossly offensive items on Dame E - which might lead a post-That's Life millennial to think that Dame Esther was up there with the late Myra - it did delete a copycat entry on a Blogger site. This does not surprise me. Google has long treated Blogger as the equivalent of a holiday camp where everyone must smile and stroke their pussies and post tiresome items about their boring day. Nice cosy crap from cradle to grave. All in the name of responsible blogging.

Btw, Dame Esther had no idea what Blogger was, writing of it as if an obscure Inuit cultural artefact. What world does this woman live in I wonder. Easy access to the Mail editor has made her soft. But I wish her well in naming and shaming the filthy swine who uses a cyber mask so horribly. Exposure! 

Trump to meet Graydon Carter? Oh my....

The US President-Elect tells his growing Twitter mob that American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour paid him a visit at his indebted Trump Tower suite in the last few hours, inviting him to meet fellow Conde Nast editors. He said he would graciously do so "this AM". This is a canny move on the part of CN's artistic director who really should now be called Dame Anna. Dame Anna (to repeat myself - do please keep up, Donald) herself backed Hillary and Obama before her - and then there's the problem of Graydon Carter, the Vanity Fair editor. His dislike of "short-fingered" Trump is one of the wonders of journalism in its mainstream, imperilled current form. Why, only this morning, my new copy of Vanity Fair arrived in the post, and scarcely a good word may be found in its silky pages on the topic of Trump and his clan. Oh my! Just read Graydon's very rude editor's letter. But perhaps he's being post-ironic, confecting a rage that disguises a love of celebrity and success. And when Trump turns up, Graydon will throw out a welcoming hand in an attempt to latch onto those elusive short fingers, hoping not to crush the titchy digital petals in his mighty manly paw, assuming he doesn't miss them altogether.

Graydon's campaign against Trump did smack of playground big cockism, in its focus on size. In photos, Trump's hands look 'normal' to me and not appreciably smaller in scale to the rest of his over-sized, big-burgery booming self. My suspicion is that Graydon may take the day off when Trump pops in - I mean it would look most odd if the two men were photographed all bromantic after the anti-Trump propaganda unleashed by Carter's pen and commissioning. One has to think about credibility even in these times of post-truth and post-irony and hacked email posts.

I do hope that Graydon is not about to disappoint Madame.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Donald Trump - made in China

Bone-headed Trump and China
President-elect Donald Trump really must do better - if we suppose he's serious about anything he has to say. I see nothing but doom with this dreadful fraud.

New Year's Honours 2017 list suffers from lack of anal

I do wish the newspapers and BBC would get it right. It's the 'New Year's Honours list 2017'. Not 'New Year Honours list 2017'. Unfortunately the press release from HM Government also gets it wrong - 'New Years Honours list 2017'. I had hoped that the UK Telegraph would set an example in anally retentive practice but sadly we just get the couldn't-be-arsed 'New Years Honours....' It's possible that some under-paid sub-editor or unpaid intern will tidy up these solecisms on discovery. Then again, probably not. Madame enters 2017 faintly distressed.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Mary Beard (nearly) blows up over Henry VIII tapestry tale

My favourite historian Mary Beard has asked me (and about 10 million others) to make it clear that the Christmas tale of her discovery of one of Henry VIII's Caesar tapestries is not quite as reported in the excitable newspapers. She is threatening to blow up! She writes on her TLS blog apropos her chat with The Times: "I insisted that M Beard should not emerge from this as some Indiana Jones style discover. Anyway, what appear is this article in the Times (to see it all, you need to subscribe), and the BBC Radio news has an item on how Mary Beard has found one of Henry VIII’s lost tapestries. Aggghh." Oh dear, these pesky hacks are so desperate to fill space while famous people die all around us in a rush to catch the 'cull of 2016' headline. Fashion  queens! The actual story should read: "Cambridge prof discovers on Google a later version [my italics] of a lost tapestry owned by Henry VIII". She admits this sounds a lot less sexy but I think she's just being humble; oh but look, read the whole thing yourself.