Recently went to watch the The Rocky Horror Show at Richmond. I’m not entirely convinced that Nick Bateman was a good choice for narrator (it’s traditional to reply ‘Sale of the Century!’ when Nicholas Parsons gets to the ‘what worse fate could befall Brad and Janet’ line, so that was suitably changed to a cry of ‘Big Brother!’). On the plus side, it could so easily
have been the Hamiltons. Then there was the actor playing Frank N Furter, who looked rather disturbingly like Margaret Thatcher.
More seriously, I’ve been reading Feeding Frenzy by Will Self. It’s a somewhat odd tome, covering such subjects as the royal family, politics, William Burroughs, Oasis, BritArt and restaurants. This demotic mix of high and low culture is what might be expected of someone with strongly egalitarian views and who has always opposed elitism, but this nonetheless leaves the problem that Self’s attitude to most of popular culture can essentially be characterised as the elitism that dare not speak its name.The most telling phrase is this; "I’ve no axe of elitism to hone on the dull whetstone of the masses." a somewhat elitist image in its own right, before following this with a ‘it’s just that’ which always conveniently finds a non-elitist means of reaching the same destination. Elsewhere, he records that "it’s absurd to castigate an elitist institution for aiming to produce elites," constraining himself as one of those elites.
Elsewhere, the collection includes a wonderful piece comparing the Queen Mother to Lenin’s embalmed corpse; in retrospect, the tourist industry really missed out by failing to have the Queen Mother stuffed and exhibited.
I was also delighted to find out from Self that there is a Swedish restaurant in London that serves reindeer. So, I shall be spending this festive season eating Rudolph with a variety of sauces. I say this since as the dread hand of Christmas approaches, I become more and more misanthropic by the day. I think it’s the emotional correctness of the enforced jollity, based as it is on the twee sentimentality of carols repeated ad nauseam. That, or the meat market that shops become, packed as they are with so many people that claustrophobic quickly sets in. There is nothing quite like Christmas shopping to crush any vestigial traces of individuality in favour of the herd.