Saturday, 16 October 2010

Made In England

I’ve just given away my television, one of the results of trying to cram the contents of a house into an attic room. What was formerly scattered throughout the rooms of a spacious maisonette converted from an art gallery has been drastically scaled down for a room which quadruples up as bedroom, bathroom, living room and dining room. I don’t miss the tellybox though, anything I badly want to watch is merely a few clicks away and it saves having to faff about with an aerial. But why do I find myself repeatedly watching clips of Cher Lloyd, X-Factor’s scrawny emotional darling ghetto girl? She’s so fresh and young and talented and hip, the voice of her generation!

If that’s the voice of a generation I think we’d all be better off communicating by sign language. Another of her talents seems to be bullying. Probably complemented with advanced fag/bus money scheming skills and Top Shop thievery.





I think on this occasion I was right to judge on appearances.


And not only does she have a skeletal appearance, but harbours some skeletons in her closet too. I’m sure X-Factor’s grooming process will sweep all of this under the dangled red carpet.

Another form of social commentary I’ve been tuning into is also quick to turn a blind eye to the darker side of the United Chavdom. In an effort to get to know my new home town, ‘diversecity’ Brighton, I recently checked Julie Burchill’s Made in Brighton out of the local library, recognising the author’s name as the creator of Sugar Rush. I thoroughly enjoyed not one, but two prefaces, only to be let down by the misty-eyed ‘Hope Lies in the Proles’ narrative of the first chapter. Perhaps Julie wouldn’t be so quick to defend chavs if she’d ever been beaten up by one. On other issues, she hits the proverbial on the euphemism (as in I agree with her):

“If this country looked like a person right now, it would probably look a lot like Michael Jackson; a perfectly decent specimen to start with which for some reason convinced itself that it would look a lot better with everything taken off and put back on inside out and upside down.”

“Oh, but I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body!” (on the availability of transsexual operations on the NHS). “So? What about all the white people who feel black, black people who feel white, poor people with rich people’s tastes and short people who are dying to be tall? They’re all welcome to go off and seek to make their dreams a reality, but I don’t see the NHS spending money that could be better spent on hip operations, cancer treatment and simply cleaning up our filthy hospitals. The NHS was never designed to be a sort of state-run Jim’ll Fix It, and I don’t understand why gender must be the one exception.”

The section penned by co-author Daniel Raven on new meedja is hilarious and still relevant, despite being quite dated (2006 – with Daniel having to describe what Wikipedia is).

The next beneficiary of written praise is Jordan, about whom she tries to deny painting as a ‘feminist icon’ while all the time making her sound...well, like a feminist icon. I wonder what me Julie would make of the snarling weak voice of Cheryl Cole’s latest protégé. It seems right up her street.