Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why the hate?

Many years ago I recall hearing about Jason Priestley — and this may be the first and last time Jason Priestley is mentioned on this blog — being in Perth to compete in a car rally. He finished middle-of-the-pack and some dullard, petty, namby-pamby, whinging, creativity-free, pathetic fuck of a journalist pulled out the feeble, hackneyed, miserable line that as a rally driver he makes a good actor.

Whether or not he makes a good actor is still debatable but if he didn't come dead last after mistakenly turning on the air conditioning instead of pressing the accelerator at the start line what the hell made the journalist feel so superior? On that occasion, Priestley finished ahead of a good half of the field competing in that particular race — people who are no doubt just as passionate about their rally driving as Priestley, perhaps more so — so what was this lazy, carping, humourless cretin of a journalist complaining about?

This old episode came to my mind when I was surfing through news programs on telly recently, looking for footage of Usain Bolt's win in the 200, and sat through a story of Paul Keating getting on stage and dancing along with Mike McLeish at the end of a performance of Keating! The Musical. “As a dancer,” the journalist doing the overdub said: setting up his oh-so-witty gag to punctuate the end of the piece, “he makes a great politician.” Keating wasn't moving too badly for an old guy in an expensive suit, I thought. What did this TV news guy want? Some energetic rhumba? Riverdance? Breakdance? What a pillock.

But it seems so easy for some brainless prat to sneer at, say, Stan Grant's guitar playing, or Pat Cash's, or Brett Lee's. None of these are Jimi Hendrix but at last count there were well over 6 billion people who aren't Hendrix. These three all play the guitar quite well and I have not the smallest doubt that all three play better than any of these sap-headed, superficial, fatuous journalists putting down their skill at the guitar.

Just because a person famous for one thing is caught on camera doing something entirely different and doesn't happen to be the very best in the world at this second thing doesn't mean you should immediately put them down for it. Being no better than the rest of us is not the wonderfully exciting source of derision some of these journalists appear to believe it is.

I guess I am sensitive to this lazy kind of criticism because, beyond the bass playing in this band that has brought me all my world-conquering fame, I too am a man with hobbies. I, for example, like to play cricket. I will never make the national side — only eleven guys in the whole country get to do that — but I do perfectly OK: there are members of the club who fail to match even my pedestrian record at the crease. The game brings me pleasure so I would not at all like some lonely, hate-filled journalist to catch himself on a bad day finishing some lazy colour piece with something like “but as a cricketer Paddy makes a great bass player”



Blogger Fluffy said...

Hear hear. Possibly it is true that "as a journalist, that voice over guy makes a good asshole", or, "as a lover, he makes a good news presenter". It's an uncharitable turn of phrase as you so deftly point out. I thought Keating did alright up there too, shaking his ex PM booty with a big smile on his face was a treasure to behold.

24/8/08 15:56  
Blogger silky-D said...

Priestly played Brandon Walsh, the Mustang driving car nut and rebellious speed merchant who just lived to drive. If, as you've pointed out, he actually is an amateur rally driver and car enthusiast, then it turns out he wassn't acting at all in 90210, which, I guess means he's not such a great actor after all. Perhaps as an actor he akes a good rally driver?

Gotta go now and pillage wikipedia for my ten minute wrap of the Jamaican dominance of the olympic sprinting events.

p.s - I am seeing Jimmy Page tonight. Much more exciting than Usain Bolt.

24/8/08 17:25  
Blogger Unrelenting Tedium said...

Firstly, it is great that someone has broken the drought, which I think is our longest. Secondly, I am behind fluffy in being behind you on this one...the good lady wife and I were moved to comment to each other that PJK was quite a good dancer when we saw the footage the other night, and, warming to fluffy's theme, perhaps considering the way he misread the eletoral mood in the lead up to the election he lost (and Bob Hawke had a point, during his miserable bitter rant, that Keating would have lost the previous election had the other choice been anyone but Hewson and a GST) that as a politician he made a very good dancer (please note only Gerard Henderson would agree with such nonsense...his acheivements were considerable and there is a recent treasurer who could have learned a thing or two about how to displace a sitting PM). Thirdly, I see 90210 lives again with a pissweak tie-in of having Jennie Garth do a walk on. Also it is a bit dull how much better looking the new cast is...the originals were an admirably motley crew (Jason Priestly, for it is he!, though no doubt handsome was a runty little man who got very stocky as the show progressed...I might say as a tall svelte bloke he made a good actor). Fourthly, fuck you for gloating about having a better batting average than mine (no doubt bowling also). Fifthly, congrats all around for getting Jimi and Jimmy into the same thread. I wish I was seeing Jimmy Page tonight. The rest of the Squids will be taking in the Hoodoo Gurus at the Prince next friday. I'm not sure Brad Shepherd would make it into the Gulag, I think he would probably be released after being roughed up in the interogation.

24/8/08 20:20  
Blogger Fluffy said...

I'm sure I meant to say Keating's booty shake was a Treasurer to behold. Damn this early onset dementia! Better to pun late than never I guess.

The new 90210 (they've dramatically modernised by scrapping the "Beverley Hills" part of the title) also features Shann-Doh in order to get some off camera sparks a flyin' for publicity purposes (Shann-Doh being notoriously prima donnaish). I certainly hope some nasty catfight eventuates for those poor hard working guys and gals down at the Spelling Memorial lot. Semi famous rally driver Jason Priestly has also signed on. Very exciting.

25/8/08 09:43  
Blogger Paddy said...

Your batting average in the season just gone was higher than mine, my run-scoring friend.

25/8/08 09:44  
Blogger Unrelenting Tedium said...

Well whilst we are doing this cricketing limbo dance I might point out that a season's average is rarely taken as an indicator superior batsmanship. Your career average surely towers over mine. And when Roland Perry writes your biography he will no doubt take into account the Nawab of Patuadi-like re-adjustment of your occular arrangement. Gideon Haigh will review it and point out that the season contained some doughty innings that should not be overlooked when evaluating your canon.

25/8/08 09:56  
Anonymous mrazzy said...

In the spirit of positivity, I'd like to congratulate UT for signing up the youngest squid as a Triple R subscriber, which I learned whilst driving to work this morning. Nice one.

27/8/08 17:32  

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