Thursday, 1 September 2005

A Spot in the Limelight

I should not like to sully these pages with mention of so lowly a creature as Julie Burchill, whose name time will obliterate, leaving no more trace on culture than a spot leaves on skin after its passing, were it not that she represents something of a modern phenomenon, namely, the success that may be had through ignorance, stupidity, vulgarity and the celebration thereof; and thus I feel obliged to mention her for that reason only, and not, you understand, because she herself is worthy of any intellectual attention. For she poses no problems in intellectual terms, except in the way that the blathering of a child or the drone of traffic can disturb concentration.

As I have intimated, she is one spot amongst a rash, and I single her out only because she is a salient example of that disease of post-modern fatuity. Now, it could not be said that I take a positive view of journalists, but I must say in their favour that I can think of few who are able to gallivant with so great an abandon through so many subjects as her without ever happening upon sense. Few can boast so great a distance between talent and success. Few can be as predictable and insensible in their contrariness. And few are so desperate to evince their brattish desire to shock – and so artless in its application – that they cannot be bothered even to find any pretence for doing so.

That someone as ill-educated, talentless, idiotic and without any redeeming virtue as she could attain celebrity in this land says much about what its people think is worth celebrating; for she could not fare well were it not that society is degraded to the point of an “open-minded and inclusive” toleration of degradation. But I have said enough; for the less said about her, the better, lest one leave a trace.

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