Tuesday, 23 February 2010

In praise of 'Lost in Showbiz'

Marina Hyde's blog 'Lost in Showbiz' is proving to be one of the few things worth reading in The Guardian. Am I the only one who feels that since the recession has hit their more politically/feminist orientated articles have been sidelined for life and style pieces about making your own Christmas tree decorations out of discarded bog rolls and the politics of peeing in the shower? And don't even get me started on the proliferation of everyone's favourite middle class chicken saviour, Hugh Fearnley 'cayenne pepper really lifts a bowl of soup' Whittingstall's recipes. The bloody River Cottage is as removed from my life as melting ice-caps are for people in the Sudan, so he can take his well intentioned curly haired worthiness and ruddy well sod off ...

Anyway over the weekend I chanced upon Marina Hyde's article 'Gok Wan: God's Gift to Women' - a piece of writing so beautifully mesmeric, as to be utterly life changing and here I want to pay homage to its wonderousness. Marina Hyde manages to merge the seemingly impossible - all the outrageous showbiz gossip of a shameful trip to The Daily Mail website, with the biting politics of the old Guardian us proper socialists used to know and love. In these celebrity obsessed times its not just the gossip rag readers who want a piece of the action, everyone from psychotherapists to university lectures want to be clued up on the latest Kerry Katona story, Katie and Peter war of words or Su-Bo breakdown. And god love Hyde she provides it! Yesterday she criticised the once surely, tantrically speaking at least, untouchable, Sting, for taking a figure of between £1 and £2 million pounds for playing a concert for the daughter of the Uzbek dictator. Its blistering stuff and you can read it here.

I'm sticking to more familiar territory by discussing Gok Wan and more particularly one of the most shocking quotes I've read in recent times, straight out of the mouth of a man I once held up as the savour of all womankind. Here it is ' I had a huge crush on Tony Blair ... in a totally sexual way. He was so powerful but nerdy at the same time. That's my ideal man.' In one fail swoop Gok Wan's admission that he fancied Tony Blair has relegated him from position of quite possibly the ideal man - with his 'you go girl' attitude and nifty way with accessorising and sequins - to what looks like a phony stylist with New Labour tendencies. How can anyone fancy a man who dragged us into an illegal war?

Marina Hyde puts it far better than I ever could - Gok Wan is 'as at home manscaping the mad evangelist of the most disastrous foreign policy adventure since Suez as he is critiquing the new George Pelecanos or whaleboning a size 32 girdle.' And perhaps that's what 12 years of Blair's Britain has given us - Gok Wan, a compelling mix of deluded self-belief, capsule wardrobes, a champion of child labour (well I don't know if this is true but he uses an awful lot of Primark and cheap high street tatt in his make-overs) and the old fashioned gay best friend with the pretence of 'safety', but he'll whip your clothes of in a millisecond, photograph you and project it onto a high street where the great unwashed can laugh at your bingo wings. Perhaps after all 'How To Look Good Naked' (how many of us ever truly do?) is as disingenuous as New Labour ... You can read the full article here.

And in my own nod to all things showbiz I give you a truely astounding quote from Katie Price's new manshape Alex Reid. Apparently he got a lot of grief from Ms Price last week because the tabloids, with all their pretence to honesty, reported the seeming cheapness of the wedding ring he provided for his princess. Reid was quoted in The Mail as responding 'I can't say how much I paid but its more like £60,000. You only get married once, don't you?' Hmmm, try telling Katie that Alex. Indeed try telling Peter Andre that ... You can read the article here if you are not ashamed of going on The Mail website, or if you want to stare in awe at Katie Price's ability to remain unblinking as the paparazzi light bulbs flash. You will notice she's a pro - eyes wide open as if honing in on some unknown prey. By contrast Alex Reid's still getting used to his new found fame and therefore looks a bit constipated.

Quotes from,
The Guardian, 'Gok Wan, God's gift to Women', Marina Hyde. Thurs 18th Feb, 2010
The Mail, 'My parents are gutted': Alex Reid reveals his family's reaction to news of his surprise wedding to Katie Price', 21st Feb, 2010.

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