LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
26 July 2011
1. Back to Black
‘One of the greatest singers of all time’. Of all time? ‘The greatest singer of the
century.’ The century? Amy Winehouse? With tears flooding computer
keyboards every A-Z list personality has expressed their shock and opinion
between sobs.

Her ‘influences’, Bessie Smith...Billie Holiday...Etta James...Sarah Vaughn
were the greatest singers of all time. Winehouse was clearly talented, several
really good songs, but enough of self-important experts pontificating on and on.
Fans and neighbours have left vodka bottles, beer cans and cigarettes butts
outside her North London house. Thinking she would need them on the other
side?


2. The Emperor's New Clothes
‘The greatest painter of the century’. Oh not again. ‘A genius’. ‘The greatest
British painter’. Not quite. Sycophants have queued up to deify Lucian Freud.
His early drawings were competent but illustrative as were some of his early
paintings. His later work was obviously visceral, grotesque, repellent, creepy,
shock-producing, reminiscent of Ivan Albright with a bit of El Greco - not
Francis Bacon, his rival – no matter how much he may have wished to have
that much facility and talent. Freud admired Vermeer. Really.

More London News about Lucian Freud


3. Off With Her Head
600,000 aspirants, fantasists, royalists have already presented £17.50 to see
‘the dress’ – that £250,000 wedding dress upstaged by Pippa’s bum – the cash
cow showpiece of the Buckingham Palace's annual ten week summer
exhibition. Not only will they see that dress, but also the eight-tier partially
preserved/partially replicated cake, the 1936 Cartier tiara lent by the Queen, a
silk version of the bouquet, the earrings, the shoes – but no knickers.

Beating the crowds, the Queen took a tour with ex-Waity. As they stared at the
headless mannequin, the Queen and was heard to say: 'horrible' and then
'horrid'. Surely she wasn’t referring to KM’s Machiavellian methods. 'It's made to
look very creepy’. KM added: it had a ‘3-D effect’. What? Don’t tell the punters.


4. Up, Up and Away
Airmiles Andy has been made redundant. No more hanging about with dubious
sheiks, paedophiles, billionaires making all sort of dodgy deals with us picking
up the tab for the ‘special representative’. Prince Andrew is throwing in his
monogrammed silk hanky and his anti DVT Flight socks to promote
apprenticeships for young people. Will he be requiring the expertise of dear
friend American billionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein who had been
jailed for 13 months for soliciting prostitution from minors? Perhaps not.

Five ‘business’ trips PA made in 2010-11 alone added up to £350,000 courtesy
of our generosity. God knows how he’ll extract cash from us with his new title,
but you just know it’s inevitable. Quite a dilemma for pensioners’ budgets; food,
heat or Andy’s fund – or should it be fun?


5. If You Say So
Evidently Beyonce is still talking about herself a week later: “I have a God-given
talent, drive and longevity that will always separate me from everyone else...”
while husband Jay-Z’s music is “more than music. His lyrics have fathered
generations. All that he has overcome gives millions so much hope. There are
moments when I think, ‘Wow! How did I get so lucky to be able to witness this
level of genius so closely?’” His or hers? Geniuses? Not quite.

Apparently Just Jen continued her monologue as well. She revealed that after
promoting her new rubbish film Horrible Bosses, she was planning a break from
acting – so that’s what she does. “After I take time off I’m hoping my brain
expands.” Sometimes a response isn’t necessary.

After a week of hysterical hyperbole and horror, the Murdoch mess will be quite
a relief.
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