Wednesday, March 08, 2006


On Peaches Geldof

The other week, feeling bored, I perused nearly the whole of the Sunday Times, including all the supplements - no easy task, as seasoned veterans of the Sunday papers will know.

One article particularly caught my eye, being perhaps the worst nonsense I've ever come across in a supposedly serious publication. It was in the 'Women' supplement, and it was some fellow named Robert Crampton interviewing Peaches Geldof. Let's take a look-see, shall we?

'Barely drawing breath for the next hour and a half, Peaches reminded me of meeting Jamie Oliver before he got massive, or Kate Winslet before divorce and Sam Mendes, when those two were still just fresh, free-thinking full-of-beans talents. Except, at 16, she is a good few years younger even than they were then.'

'Full of beans?' That sounds like something your grandma might say about you just before she caught a terminal illness. I particularly like the way he says 'those two', as well, as if he were a fond uncle, and they were nieces and nephews who were once cute, but now gone wayward. Wistful, you might call it. Except, of course, nostalgia has nothing to do with it, only arrogance. 'Oh, oh, look at this, I've got so many famous people in my address book.' Oh, piss of, you tedious bore. Still, what comes after only gets worse . . .

'Some newspapers are saying she’s set on the same trajectory as her mother: hooked on fame, got her tongue pierced, goes to too many parties, blah blah blah.'

Don't you blah blah blah me young man! If I wanted to read someone write like a sixteen year old, I'd go back to my old job marking GCSE English papers. Writers, understand: it is just so not cool, as Peaches Geldof might say, to put such rubbish colloquialisms into a report of an interview. All we want to know is her opinions, not yours - it isn't The Robert Crampton Hour. (Actually, I don't really care about her opinions either, but, you know, let's keep that down for forms' sake).

Now, here comes the dreaded list:

'And, on Saturday, she lies in bed until 1pm. And she harbours baseless anxieties (“I’m trying to eat better because I’ve put on so much weight!”). And says absurd things (“I don’t think there’s a class hierarchy in Britain any more”). And reads Salinger, Burroughs and Bret Easton Ellis. And takes the mickey out of her dad’s music (“Yeah, Irish punk, go for it! Cool!”).'

Quite apart from the shudderingly banal daily life of a girl, who, let's face it, is only famous because her dad is a rather annoying man who seeks publicity the way Jimmy Carr seeks 100 Greatest . . . countdowns, we have here a man who is deliberately - deliberately, I tell thee! - throwing the rules of English grammar in my face and laughing maniacally as he does so. Yeah, way to go man, rage against the machine!

Oh, I've met your sort before Mr Crampton. You like to believe that the English language is a sort of linguistic plasticine, that can be shaped into whatever bizarre constructions and contortions you want. However, you're wrong. This is not Creative Writing 101. As a result, you are writing for a readership - people who actually wish to engage with your subject - so stop writing in such a self-consciously 'brave' way, and tell us something interesting.

'Normal teenage stuff, in other words. Except maybe the bit about “Bono coming round occasionally” and actually having met Bret Easton Ellis.'

Pull the other one. My mom's best friend met Bill Bryson at the Cheltenham Book Festival a few years ago, and at least people still read his books. A marked contrast, then, with Bret Easton Ellis, who is currently to be found on those horrifically pretentious More4 segues, admitting to the nation that he's currently almost broke. I could meet Bret Easton Ellis if I put my mind to it.

'At the moment Peaches Geldof is still more famous for her parents than for herself.'

That might be because she hasn't ever done, you know, anything.

'I’m sure she’ll make a good journalist, and on her own merits. She’s bright, yet unintellectual, with a gift for the punchy phrase. Jane Austen, for instance, is “boring feminist crap”. What’s wrong with being feminist? “I don’t like feminists. I like the mild feminists – go for it – but not crazy I-hate-men feminists.” She thinks “the Brontës are boring” too. Despite brimming over with opinions, she isn’t, she insists, the voice of a generation. “God, I hate that, being pigeonholed into being this teen spokesperson. I’m just one girl.”'

Read it and weep, folks, read it and weep. I'm sure she'll make a great journalist, if Robert Crampton is indicative of the intellectual level needed to attain that oh so lofty profession. What's more worrying is that he can describe the phrase 'the Brontës are boring' as 'bright.' Yes, Charlotte Brontë only wrote possibly the most important - and progressive! - novel of the entire nineteenth century. What a boring wench.

'Peaches is keen I don’t run away with the idea she is “some posh girl who hangs around Chelsea”, or that she doesn’t have a social conscience. “If somebody takes my phone,” she says, “I’m angry that I’ve lost all my numbers and, like, ‘ohmigod, my dad is going to kill me’, he always thinks I’ve lost it, which isn’t true, but I don’t feel anger for the people who took it. I feel sorry for them because it’s a small rebellion against the state. It’s just,” she continues, with the impeccably misplaced guilt of the young and well-off, “because of the culturally politically disenfranchised state that we live in! Because people are depressed and they have nowhere to turn and they need money so they take people’s phones and it’s not their fault, it’s the fault of the government!”'

I had some pretty stupid political ideas when I was sixteen too, but the difference is that I'm not 'the closest thing there is . . . to the voice of her generation.' A voice who thinks that the socially progressive literature of the nineteenth century is 'boring . . . crap', but who loves Bret Easton Ellis.

Feminism, R.I.P.

The best thing that could happen to this voice of a generation is for it to get laryngitis.

Despite brimming over with opinions, she isn’t, she insists, the voice of a generation.
No-one even mentioned!
There's little I hate more than someone disavowing status no-one has given them. Why interview her? Could they not get Chantelle from Big Brother?
Fuck - I meant...

No-one even mentioned it!
"culturally politically disenfranchised state that we live in"

Someone's been listening to late night BBC. Certainly seems an abuse of adverbs, but who am I to judge. I'm not the voice of my generation, after all!
So, having a social conscience is feeling sorry for someone who nicks your 'phone? What the fuck! You'd think with what her dad does (love him or loathe him) she might have slightly more of a clue!
Ooh that's quite posibly the most annoying thing i've read this year!! I can't even joke about that article! Voice of a generation? what a load of bollocks! Are all 16 year old girls Chelsea socialites? Do they all have ranting millionaire fathers who they rely on completely for their success? What does she know about anything tangable that makes her so fabulous? politics? cultural disenfranchisement?!! Making stupid comments about literature and which stupid useless celebrities she knows... Grrrr!!!

Her mother died of a drug overdose- now if she used this experience to reach out to people in that awful situation, she may have something relevent to say. Otherwise fuck off! God i say that a lot...
Just like to let everyone know that I am not the voice of my generation either.
In case anyone was wondering.
Sixteen, eh? So is it OK to want to fuck her? Just to wind her old man up, obviously.
"read it and weep"? Weep being the operative word.

No you may not Hung.

I give it six months until she gets a boob job out of daddy's pocket. I mean, call them breasts?

sorry, I'm in a woman-hating mood.

If you want to blame anyone for this fevered little ego, look no further than the true target of Steve's post, the fawning ringpieces that venerate clueless rich kids because their editor tells them to, rather than doing something worthwhile like blowing their brains out or falling under a bus.

Bunch of cocksucking shills.
Is it possible that a sixteen year old girl can be worse than Bob Geldof? It doesn't seem right somehow.
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