Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Better World is on the Way

I have decided to regard the impending split of Madonna and Guy Ritchie and the ending of the WAG circus that was the worst football team in the world as favourable auguries. Yes, you read it here first, a better world is on the way. Of course, neither of these events can be said to be caused by the financial meltdown, but there is such a thing a synchronicity and, anyway, causation is a only convenient illusion. Both the Madonna-Ritchie union and the inane shenanigans and haircuts of the England team before the arrival of Fabulous Cappuccino were aspects of the empty and, as we now know, lethal world of easy credit. The fatuous unreality they represented was the correlative of the absurdity of believing a credit card was not real money. This kind of celebrity was - I hope - a product of the same stupidity that produced the long con of securitised bad debt. Nassim - see this fine article by The Fink - has written of 'cash borrowed from destiny'. The celebs borrowed fame from destiny and - please, please - it's payback time. The virtues of the new world will be seriousness, hard work and great wit. People will say interesting things that will be reported by well-read and sensitive journalists. Horrible magazines will be closed by the thousand. Marketing budgets will be slashed. Wayne Rooney will be photographed reading G.L.S.Shackle. Nassim will win the Nobel and give it back. Newspapers and television will race upmarket. The Wire will be an A Level subject. Tabloid newpapers will offer their readers the works of Dickens. The children of Holland Park School will not shout outside my window because they are too busy reading Edward Thomas. Shops assistants will greet customers warmly and then help them to buy stuff. Banks will be boring and engineers interesting. Newsnight will introduce a policy of listening to what people are saying. Jeffrey Archer will apologise for his prose and Horace Engdahl for his stupidity. God will find Dawkins. In summary: the lion shall lay down with the lamb and all shall be well, all manner of thing shall be well. 

22 comments:

  1. Ah, Julian of Norwich. She had it right. Well that's how it seems from here in Abu Dhabi where I am stuck in the heat and the unreality of this instant megacity: all the worst bits of Christendom - ahem. Sorry, I meant The West - and none of the best.

    A good long walk on the dunes by Happisburgh helps to put things back in perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes yes, yes. Except, engineers, interesting? oh no I'm not. Apart from when in Germany where engineers are not talked at like they were something just found on the sole of ones shoe.

    Which ones Madonna again?

    Thought for today "gis a job, old boy"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mr Appleyard, today you managed to put a smile on my face. And even if you meant it ironically, I would just like to wallow a little longer in the dream.

    Someday this will be true and vengeance will be ours, the boring people!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Americans will embrace complexity and nuance and the French will seek simple solutions.

    All ghosted celebrity autobiographies will be ceremonially pulped and recycled into Ashbery anthologies and King James Bibles.

    Television will puke itself up.

    Australia will lose the Ashes and not worry too much about it in the greater scheme of things.

    Political wonks will realise that apathy was the right approach all along and apologise to the public for constantly berating them for low election turn-outs.

    Mandelson will first knighted and then sainted.

    Snickers will be Marathon again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good list, Brit. The one I want is for Sellafield to be Windscale again and maybe Pinter to apologise for threatening to kick me in the balls. Oh and PRs to go back to fixing lunch and pouring the wine.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hmmn, I'd rather like mobile phones and iPods to disappear so that folks could learn what it's like to be here now, chefs to go back to being cooks and SUVs to turn cannibal and eat their owners. Restaurant chains could disappear too, since the whole idea of eating by numbers via a cook-chill factory somewhere (paid for by some BS IPO) is a bit off. And bring back the Bombay Duck.

    But there's plenty of talk of interest rates dropping to 2-3 per cent The boosters are trying to kick-start the housing market, by which they mean re-inflate the bubble all over again. I don't think Count Easy Credit is fully dead yet and it will require a few more stakes through his heart before we can breathe easy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A brave new world to replace the knavish old one. I like it Bryan.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pinter threatened to kick me in the balls, Mandelson made me a crab salad, Michael Kelly called me a "wanker and chief cultural critic"...jeez, enough name-dropping already.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Um, I've been noticing that too in Bryan's posts Brit. And realizing I am sometimes guilty of name-dropping myself when I am talking to people I want to impress (a fact I'm not conscious of wanting to do until after I've tried to do it). Later, I really hate to see myself engaged in what looks like bragging. When I examine the deed psychologically I see this: A need to make myself look more impressive to people whose regard I'm not certain of by virtue of my associations. Shouldn't my own mind, my own judgments, my own conversation be enough? Yes. But sometimes they just don't seem to be, to me. It's a self esteem thing clearly.

    Bryan, don't take this the wrong way. We still admire you. Even if your only friends were the disdainful peasants of Norfolk, we'd still read your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "by virtue..." should come after "impressive." dangling modifier, sorry

    ReplyDelete
  11. Susan, we love you for your own sake. We could love you for your intelligence, your grace and charm, your warmth and humanity, but we just love you for you.

    BTW If you think that dangling modifier was a bad'un, you should see me without my pants.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very funny, Elberry. Bill Nighy himself once admitted his dangly parts don't dangle (he's the only celebrity I've ever seen who actually told a reporter he was not well-endowed -- it made me love him more as the 'anti-macho' man).

    As for Bryan, I occasionally think he says obnoxious, insensitive things and can be astonishingly egocentric, but I do still like him tremendously. His wit, his intelligence, and his ability to think outside the box are why I'm still here. I think if he were stuck on a desert island, stripped of all his worldly marks of power and prestige, he'd still be a fascinating person and an entertaining one.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You people do know I'm listening don't you?

    ReplyDelete
  14. That's nothing Susan - I'm so low I sometimes name-drop Bryan.

    "Oh Bryan Appleyard," they'll say. "You mean that British Buddhist Society guy?"

    "No, not that one," I say. "He writes stuff about consolation in the Sunday Times....No? Pinter threatened to kick him in the balls? Went on Richard and Judy plugging a diet? Oh never mind."

    ReplyDelete
  15. I had that Brit in the back of my cab once.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm not Elberry, Susan. Give the poor man some leeway, he's not behind every scam on the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  17. F*ck off, Elberry, get a life you f*cking tosser, blah blah blah, 'my life's so shit because I have to work like everyone else, blah blah blah, I have a stupid made-up name that sounds like a yuppy detox fruit, blah blah blah.'

    F*cking loser.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Are you really Edwina Currie?

    ReplyDelete
  19. No, I'm Susan.

    ReplyDelete
  20. And you, bill n., are really james h. I figured it out, dumb Yank that I am.

    Besides, I don't give a toss -- my baseball team is going to the World Series! Yes! If you think American baseball is an amped up version of rounders, you need to start watching them play it NOW. (Okay, I admit it's Yank stupidity to call the height of the championship the "world" series when no teams outside America are playing, but other than THAT caveat....)

    Love you Bryan, kiss-kiss and all that. But you never did say what you thought of that Marilynne Robinson audio program I sent you. British manners are obviously different than American ones...Or is it just you??

    ReplyDelete
  21. Susan B

    Okay, I admit it's Yank stupidity to call the height of the championship the "world" series when no teams outside America are playing, but other than THAT caveat....

    Nothing wrong with calling it 'world' series - it started as a league run by a newspaper called, I believe, the 'Chicago World' and the name has stuck...

    ReplyDelete