Large Hadron Collider
Saturday, 2 January 2010
A year or so ago, I wrote a column about Peaches Geldof’s surprise Vegas marriage. I argued in favour. This was (1) because I could think of an argument in favour, (2) because everyone else seemed to be against, and (3) because I’d just finished reading David Niven’s autobiography (one of the books I’ve enjoyed most, ever) and wanted an excuse to write about him. He’d had a quick marriage too.
Point (2) is probably the key when it comes to writing columns. Everyone knows columnists like to write whatever other people aren’t saying. I get annoyed when I read columnists being nasty about something just because everyone else is nice about it (as when the Fleet Street ghouls had to go right round the houses to find a negative line on Joanna Lumley’s fight for the Gurkhas, that kind of thing) but I LOVE being nice about something when everyone else is nasty. The most counter-intuitive thing of all, for a newspaper hack, is to make a really big effort to think positive; I, for one, get a warm thrill out of it. Or possibly a smug thrill, depending on your point of view. Anyway, I decided to be pro Peaches Geldof because she gets such a hard time from the press in general. How bad can she be, I thought? She’s just a kid. She’s probably perfectly bright and perfectly nice, because most people are. She just gets a kicking for her youthful high spirits and for having a famous father; nothing wrong with that.
Last night, for the first time, I actually saw Peaches Geldof. Not live - I saw her in Fearne Cotton Meets…
She’s something else.
I wanted to find the show on YouTube, as a treat for any of you who didn’t see it. But either it isn’t there or I’m too many centuries older than Peaches Geldof to find my way around a website properly. All I can find is a section of the programme, pre-filtered through the brilliant eye of Charlie Brooker. But it’ll do as a little late Christmas present for anyone who missed the original. The clip doesn’t quite bring out the rudeness of Miss G - her cold, spoiled, lazy, dismissive tone towards Fearne Cotton (who gets a bit too hard a time from Charlie and the editors here; I think she did a fair job of letting her subject’s character come out) - my main regret was that Cotton didn’t ask, at any point during this, “Why have you agreed to do this programme at all?”
BUT it does bring out her amazing pretensions. I don’t care if someone’s dim. I myself have areas of extreme dimness - trying to figure out YouTube, for example, or remembering books I read more than a week ago, or knowing my left and right. In many ways I am a genuine moron (by the old medical definition, “a mental age of between 7 and 12 years”). What is astonishing about Peaches is the combination of slender intellect, weak logical grasp, almost complete absence of knowledge, and determination to come across like Bamber Gascoigne. I think, perhaps, I might have to salute her for that after all.
Go here, watch from 6 minutes in, and I defy you not to laugh when you hear the words “large hadron collider.”