Thursday, 14 May 2009
Will Young and I
I love Kate Winslet. I know she made a right golden globe of herself at an award ceremony last week, but she is alright by me. Kate falls into that very special kind of celebrity; one I could imagine being friends with. It’s the mate category, just behind celebrities we secretly think we look like when we smile (Julia Roberts, aah thank you) and just above celebrities we sing like in our head (Judy Garland, bien sur!)I know she’s hardly an imaginative choice, but as a teenager, I always imagined we’d get on. Me , Katie, Stephen Fry hanging out in the pub on a Sunday, waiting for Graham Norton to arrive, wondering what he had got up to, that was how I imagined my twenties. You can say what you like about me as a teenager but I was nothing if not optimistic.It’s hard to be a good friend. Am I a nice person or have I just seen enough films that I know how a good person acts? I’ll be listening to a friend rattle on about her problems, compassionately nodding my head, sensitively stroking her arm, outwardly the image of the perfect shoulder to lean on , inside I’ll be thinking- God, I’m such a good person. Look at me, I’m squinting my eyes up and tilting my head to the left. I am adorable. I’ve definitely earned about fifteen minutes of talking about myself once she’s finished. I could probably borrow money off her as well. Did people in the past ever aspire to have celebrity pals? I think the worst choice would have been the bloody Bloomsbury set. What a smug load of self satisfied, sleazy, sourfaced wankers they would have been. “Darling, would you like more wine darling, Oh have I told you I’ve taken a lover”“Why darling, I’ve taken a lover too, I’m writing a novel about it!”“That’s wonderful; I’m painting a picture about mine. How fascinating we are”“Yes we are fascinating, I’m so glad there’s not a war on”It would be a case of pass the bloody opium and wait until everybody gets round to topping themselves.Nowadays, we can all friend Lily Allen on Myspace or poke Peaches Geldof (eh fellas?), but are now so mortally bored of their lives, that it holds all the enthusiasm of bumping into your mother in the toilet. We know everything about them in excruciatingly tedious detail.“What’s that Lily, you’ve broken up with your boyfriend, have you love, sorry, I actually need to get some work done, can you message me later”As Patrick Kavanagh remarked, through a chink too wide comes in no wonder...who knew a misanthropic poet from Monagahan would some up how most of us feel towards Paris Hilton so well. I’ve actually begun to begrudge the amount of useless celebrity trivia clogging up my brain. Can I swap my knowledge of Miley Cirus’s love life ( broken up with a Jonas brother, getting over the split with a former underwear model/ wannabee country singer) with something useful , like remembering to turn the cooker off every time I leave the house? I think my sister may be going out with someone but I know for a fact, Jamie Winston and Alfie Allen are arguing over a possible move to New York, how did that happen?You see I’m not too sure if Jaime and Alfie or even Miley actually exist. There’s a tired cliché, that if Dickens were alive today he’d be writing for “Eastenders”. Not so, I think he’d be writing for Heat magazine or maybe Grazia. Like his drawn out, convoluted periodicals, sold weekly to audiences desperate to hear the latest plot twist, they churn out the tangled love lives of wronged damsels (Tana Ramsey), dastardly villains (Darren Day) and cunning minxes (poor old Sienna Miller). Every week we follow their lives, tut as they lose/gain weight, break up/ reunite, convinced we know that the reason Jennifer Aniston can’t make a relationship work is because, she has never got over Brad, when in fact “Jennifer” is a character created by tabloid writers, PR gurus and Film studio focus groups and the real Ms. Aniston could well be a lesbian man-hater glad to be rid of him.We create our own celebrities anyway. Like at primary school when the boy who sat next to you played Joseph in the nativity play and for a wierd few moments after he sat down you couldn't make eye contact. Or the thrill on a class trip to somewhere stupidly near home when you bumped into one of your neighbours or your parents friend.How exhilarated and strangely proud you felt waving to them and saying smugly hello to a grown up in front of your friends and teachers. I once bumped into Will Young on the stairs at Soho House. Sorry can I just repeat that sentence again please?! I know. I won’t even insult you by feigning coyness about that little humdinger- it was bloody exciting. However, in a weird twist of events, it happened at the same moment, a new friend I had just met was giving me some brilliant big sister love life advice and I actually found myself turning away from Mr. Pop Idol himself, to listen to her properly. Even while I was doing it I thought this feels wrong, I could be looking at Will Young’s real face, his fleshy, real face, but, she was revealing such pearls of wisdom I simply could not turn away. Imagine. I’m still friends with her now. Will only communicates through secret signals on the television.