Book shops. I could (and sometimes do) spend hours in them. But, at this time of year, approaching heriu renpet, it all goes wrong.

Point(less) the first

Biographies and autobiographies (ghost or traditionally written) pack the shelves, waiting for empty-headed celeb-wannabes to buy them to see how their vapid and more empty-headed heroes got to be where they are. Alright, so I don’t really care if these get published or not, as I amn’t going to buy them, but it seems to say so much about life today. Be famous for pointing your breasts at other famous non-entities and get your life story published. When you are twenty-three. Please. Of course, when I look at the vast tables set out with numerous volumes laid thereon, I recognise perhaps only one name on the front of those books. (Last week the only one book by someone I knew was Humph Lyttleton. The various other plastic people and Z-listers, well, I had no idea.) Can I be so far out of step with modern culture that those who are worshipped don’t even fall onto my radar? (I must also say I haven’t even read PopBitch in a while, so my knowledge of gossip is even less. And even reading that I don’t know who they are talking about half the time.) It is probably due to my lack of televisual time. Currently I am watching Torchwood, through some sense of misplaced loyalty that I should. (Although the evil fairy episode was quite good, but old Cap’n Jack is wrong. And RTD just wanted to make the X Files, didn’t he?) I also like Jack Dee’s show, with the hot Magda in it. Yes, I sit through Catherine Tate before that, but only to prove my moral superiority, I think. Even if I did laugh at her signature bovvered sketch last week. (The one where she is being asked about the elements in a chemistry lesson. ‘OK, how about Mi?’ ‘bovvered?’)

Point(less) the second

All those 1000 insert something here before you die books. Like 1000 places, or 1000 films, or 1000 books, or 1000 women to sleep with. They annoy me also. Muchly. For many reasons. But let us start with trying to justify it first. They are useful, in a finding-out-things-I-didn’t-know sort-of way. Although that implies I have read *any* of them. I haven’t. I may have flicked through the 1000 painting you must see before you die or else your life will be pointless, culturally barren and a waste just to see their recommendations. However, and here is my main dislike for these type of books. I, and I guess 99% of the population, won’t have the time, energy or most importantly, the money to do this. Thereby being belittled by the intelligensia, looked down upon by the self-appointed guardians of current mores, sneered at by the media commentators who dictate the prevailing tastes to the proles. Or Why don’t you make enough money to travel the world for the rest of your life? Perhaps sit still for the half of your life you aren’t travelling in a cinema? Wouldn’t it be great to be as smug as that? To reinforce your credentials, to validate your life based on what some wastel with cash tells you you should experience? And this post isn’t even coming out as bitter or vitriolic as it should.

Life your life. Be free.

  1. We sat through fifteen minutes of Catherine Tate without even having so much as a smile raised.

    You should watch the weather forecast - it’s much funnier.

    Thu 23 Nov, 10:12PM

  2. Torchwood, I have to say, is shite. But then, I also think that DrWho has gone downhill as well, so my opinion is generally discounted. Maybe it’ll be better without Ms Piper, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    And the only one of those bookshop filling autobiographies that I’ve read was the one by Col. Collins. And it was quite good, but mainly because he had a few interesting things happen to him in recent years. All the z-listers, as you say, make me go ‘meh’. Or make me go stabby, it’s 50/50.

    Fri 24 Nov, 9:54AM

  3. My latest foray into a book shop was the excellent Book Cafe in Derby. I had a hour to kill, but sadly they were closing. Short visit.

    Katherine Tate doesn’t quite do it for me - but by then I’ve usually not got enough energy left to do anything more interesting. The chemistry lesson skit did raise a vague smile, but irritation soon took over: Mi bovvered? - no, there’s no such element!

    As for Torchwood, it’s very much X-Files.UK. I’ve not gotten into it, really.

    Fri 24 Nov, 1:36PM

  4. Love Dr Who, enjoy Torchwood, hate Tate, try Bones, its definately my recommendation.
    Christmas books suck, except the michael palin one, which i got for mum. ummm…i only have stocking fillers left to get, yay me!!
    Am mostly entranched in bus stops and weddings at the moment.

    Fri 24 Nov, 4:39PM

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