Thursday, October 20, 2005

Oo-er, It's The Talkies All Over Again

Recently, a well known blogger, (to bloggers anyway), was interviewed on the radio. His blog is brutally funny and crackles with amusing vulgarisms, original jokes, and hilarious, well told stories.

I twiddled the volume control up a notch as the guest blogger was about to be introduced, and nodded in recognition once his identity was made known. This will be interesting I thought. This guy will become a star right here, right now. His audience for his blog is immense, and it's about to go stratospheric. In fact, it hardly matters because he'll probably get radio work. Nicholas Parsons will demand his presence on 'Just A Minute', Humphrey Littleton will refuse to do any more recordings of 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue' without him. He'll be a shoo-in on the 'News Quiz.' And then there'll be the telly, and then, and then..

It made difficult listening. I'm sad to report that Monsieur sounded decidedly nerd like, hesitant, dull. I could not believe it was the same guy whose writing makes me laugh out loud. And my disappointment was complete when he wrote on his blog, post interview, that sadly he had neglected to utter any coded profanities and private mockery with which to leave the interviewer, fellow guests and other non-blogger cognoscenti, confused butts of the joke.

It was never going to happen. The impression left was that the non-internet savvy interviewer and guests were normal, balanced people; with the top blogger reduced to oddball status.

This frightened the Hell out of me, and started me thinking that - if he's, HE's a dull nerd, what does that make the rest of us? But then I remembered something. I remembered how disappointed I was when I first heard Tony Parsons speak following years of reading those gun-slinger, punk pieces in the New Musical Express in the 70s. And then later those elegant, 'cultural observations from the sideline' type articles in the Daily Telegraph. What did we get when he first appeared on the TV? An impish, glottal-stopper cockney sparra. A costermonger's scamp of a twitchy-talker. One of Fagin's little tea-leafers talkin' 'bout cultrul stuff.

And that was nothing compared with when I first heard his erstwhile wife Julie Burchill talk. Her journalism, despite her weird politics, her parental quirks, (which render her worst mother of the year every year), her confused sexuality and obsession with not being obsessed with her body (apart from her multiple orgasms), is superb. Acidly brutal, clever, and delightfully entertaining. And I could happily go on with the rest of the alphabet, I rate her that highly.

But when JB does a turn on the TV, it all just disappears. I'm looking for the she-devil of the acid tongue, the scourge of the older lads: Nick Hornby, Toby Young, Tony Parsons, Jeremy Clarkson, A A Gill, Tony Parsons, John Peel (RIP),Tony Parsons and many many more. (Did I mention Tony Parsons..? I think I did.) These are all regarded by Jules as middle-aged, balding, lad-men in need of rude, and sometimes crude, abuse.

But when she talks, she can't do it. What she does do is act the role of the fat, shy girl with an embarrassed, helium high, giggle-girlie, voice and say really quite dull things. The talker doesn't always fit the image of the writer.

And I shall continue reading this really good blog.

who was that then? what did i miss?

why do i only comment in question form?
Fair enough, I am a blogger and I'll admit that, around people I don't know, I have the social skills of someone going through puberty. For a lot of bloggers I would guess that writing is a way of expressing what we like to think of as the "real" us - or overcompensating, perhaps. Unfortunately, I don't think many of us have the personal wealth of Tony Parsons or Julie Burchill.

Incidentally, one thing I've noticed about Julie is that, when on the telly and interviewing working class celebs like Jade Goody, 'er Bristol accent dunnarf get more broad, it do.
sg: Scaryduck. It's quite safe, he doesn't visit here, far too successful to bother with minnows. Strange that isn't it? Like a kind of microcosmic celebrityhood I suppose.

betty: It's true, I've been harsh, and I'd have been rubbish in all probability. Can't deny that I was surprised though.
Bristol girl, yes. "I doont come from Broit-on, I comes from Brizzle"
Luckily, I combine the debonair good looks of George Clooney with the urbane charm of David Niven.

Which is why I'm on the internet all the time, obviously.
i hear what you're saying, nay, squeaking, about our julie

i almost rang dollond and aitchison to book an eye test when at long last i saw what was purported to be JB on the telly and she opened her mouth

bill bryson is the same: written word hilarious, tv documentary dull
So right urban chick, so right: BB witty, confident writing; boring, nasal, whiney-wimp voice.
I've been amazed when I've met bloggers in the flesh how ordinary they are. I keep thinking they will all be amazing, zany, witty and super cool and actually they aren't. And in some cases they are extraordinarily geeky. Could be the nature of the medium - create a persona online that can be hard to keep up in reality?
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