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Tony Grist

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Ross And Brand [Nov. 2nd, 2008|10:58 am]
Tony Grist
One reason we're all having so much fun with the Brand/Ross affair is that it's a good deal more interesting than the gripes about the economy that were entertaining us in the weeks before the scandal broke. It's a distraction from the serious business of the day.

Only it's not. This is the serious business of the day. It raises serious and fiercely contested issues about public morality, misogyny, generational politics, celebrity culture. It's given us an excuse to discuss the way we live now.

It's our "Profumo" moment. It shows us who we are, what we think, how our society works, where the power resides. The fascinating revelations keep on coming.

For instance, we've found out that Brand's own production company had control of his show. Blame the producers, the editors? But how can you when they're hirelings of "the talent"- and can't cross him for fear of losing their jobs? Brand was the one with the power. Curious, eh, how the scourge of the establishment  turns out to be the establishment? We're learning things here. Fascinating things.

I can't get enough of it.

[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2008-11-02 02:49 pm (UTC)
I am a bit sick of it, to be honest, but it does say something about society, I agree. There was the general taunting of the 78 year old Andrew Sachs, and in the same week, a luridly unfunny joke about the Queen's genitalia on Mock the Week, I think.

The depressing thing about these incidents is the complete lack of respect given to elderly people. It is actually beyond lack of respect, it is open contempt. I wish Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross as well as Frankie Boyle realise that what separates them from their victims is largely the passage of time, and if they are lucky enough to live so long, they will become their own victims.

As they are trying hard to appeal to younger viewers (although neither of them are spring chickens themselves) it does seem that they are fostering inter-generational hatred. There actions seem to suggest that older people should be considered as "other" and "different" and "not like us"; an ageist apartheid.

In contrast, I'm told, by a social worker I know, of a centre in South London that is deliberately being used for both pre-school day care and a lunch club for senior citizens, because the two groups benefit so much from mixing with each other. Long may that trend flourish.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-11-02 03:48 pm (UTC)
Ours is a society in which everybody wants to stay young forever- which is silly. Ross' laddishness is unbecoming in a man of 47. And actually, it looks as though the worm is turning- and the joke (the cruel joke) is increasingly on him.

Growing old gracefully- without bitterness or envy or bad-temper- is one of the trickiest things we'll ever have to do. Those who manage it- and there aren't so very many of them- deserve our respect. Andrew Sachs- whose measured and generous response to the abuse he received has been an example to us all- appears to be one of them.

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