|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
12 May 2012
The 'newly improved' ex-editor/chief executive of Murdoch's The Sun and now
defunct News of the World tabloids, Rebekah Brooks, appeared at the Leveson
Inquiry as a pilgrim: pure and demure. Makeup-free with a posh accent that
surely ex-Waity's speech coach must have facilitated...actually I don't
remember her whispering with a cut-glass accent last time round. The image of
her having been married to former EastEnder's thug, Grant Mitchell, aka Ross
Kemp (she was arrested for allegedly assaulting him in 2005) seems a bit
incongruous. Now it's all toffs and horses.
Smirking, smug, suffering from severe memory loss, RB did reveal that she had
to inform the PM CallMeDave that LOL meant Laughing out Loud, not Lots of
Love as he had signed his innumerable emails to her. Perhaps laughing (as in
nudge, nudge, wink, wink 'we're ever so clever') would have been more
appropriate than effusively offering love. "Love our hourly text messages, our
BSkyB £8bn take-over bid, our phone-hacking subterfuge, our horse riding,
our lunches and dinners. Love it all. Love ya. LOL Dave xx."
So. CallMeDave's a bigger idiot than we had assumed. ROFL.
Add 45 seconds and £23 million, top it off with £25 and you can experience a
London view from 120 metres.
London Mayor Boris and Britain's richest man, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal,
had a 45 second conversation in a Davos cloakroom and voila, the
ArcelorMittalOrbit steel sculpture at the Olympic Park is the result.
Artist Anish Kapoor and designer/architect Cecil Balmond are responsible for
what has become a controversy - not simply regarding the design, but the
entrance fee. £10 to enter the park and £15 to view east London while the
Games are on; it will then be closed until April/May 2014 due to £490m
redevelopment. Queue now.
Kapoor had hoped "for something very democratic," - ie; free.
Gustave Eiffel is naturally cited when the lack of aesthetics is mentioned.
Kapoor reminds us of what we all already know: "The Eiffel Tower was hated by
everybody for a good many years and now it's a mainstay of how we
understand Paris." Yes, but it's comprehendible - not an allusive aesthetic.
Kapoor's tower is 'awkward', 'unsettling' as he himself describes it, but adds
"...and I think that is part of this thing of beauty." Hmmmm. I haven't seen the
tower up close and personal, but I'm not moved - in any direction - up, down,
fleeing. Perhaps it's the colour.
Boris thought the design 'mind-boggling'. "It would have boggled the minds of
the Romans. It would have boggled Gustave Eiffel" when they asked what the
bloody hell it was.... Fridge magnets, small/medium/large statues, key rings,
pendants, lamps, posters, post cards, ad inf - I don't see it.
Not really conceptual, although Kapoor says it is: "We wanted an experience.
It's dark under the canopy - a black moment before you rise and the sky comes
in." Hypothetically it's meant to represent going 'from the darkness into the
light'. You and maybe 100 Olympic visitors can stand under the canopy, queue
up to take the elevators, then finally look out over London on a cloudy day. 45
seconds of creative deliberation might have improved the original idea. Only a
thought - view, vision.
It's All in the Jeans
A government agency has decided all those pastel-track-suited massively
obese Brits waddling down the high streets, breaking any chair that isn't
durable plastic, scaring small animals are not in fact obese or even fat. They
are merely in need of guidance to 'achieve a healthier weight' - before they
drop dead. Obese is considered derogatory.
"Oh my god. She sat on a kitten!"
"Sat. Flattened I'd say."
"Quite. She is obese."
"No. No. She's simply in need of guidance."
"I'm not telling her."
"Nor am I."
"Surely it's dead."
Doctors, public health workers, councils, and brochure designers must be
careful 'to consider the type of language' they use. "You simply have a largish
frame." "It's all in the jeans. I wear a size ten." "Of course you do."
One quarter of Brits are now obese. Childhood obesity is soaring. Fat parents,
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE - really) has
issued the 'you're not actually fat' guidance. NICE's paper is entitled Obesity:
Working with Local Communities.
Tam Fry (you can't make it up), of the National Obesity Forum, told The Daily
Telegraph: "This is extremely patronising. They should be talking to people in
an adult fashion. There should be no problem with using the proper
terminology. If you beat around the bush then you muddy the water." Curious
analogy. So. Fat is fat regardless of the terminology.