Monday, June 23, 2003

Cultural infantilism. A couple of years ago, loads of parents of my nippers mates started to rave about Harry Potter. If the nippers had spent time at our house the parents would pick them up and after the usual niceties; "has he been good?", "did he eat his tea?" , they would say they would get them home, and bathed and read Harry Potter to them. Inevitably they would tell us how brilliant the books were and how they read them for themselves, rather than the nippers.

I was sceptical. I had thought my nipper was too young for Harry Potter but these people convinced me, and I bought a book. Well, it may be good childrens literature but it isn't for adults, it is plainly kids work, and my Mrs agrees, so that's that. My nipper loves it, and I haven't a problem with that, but I hope that when he is an adult he likes adult books. He prefers Snicket, Morpugo and Zephania as it is.

The reason for this little diatribe is my dismay at the cant and cobblers spouted about this latest book. It no wonder publishers and marketing types take us all for chuffing idiots; we do very little to disprove the notion.
2 Potter related links from the Observer, one is a positive review, with something pertinent to say about adults who read it.
Two is a typically witty and slightly cynical piece from Euan Ferguson.

Bernard Manning is an old style northern club comic who has got rich by being offensive about, well, everybody. He is on in Cwmbran soon and I am toying with going simply so I can blog about it. The thought of several hundred lagered up valleys boyos pissing themselves at "paki" gags, though, will prevent me from doing so. Odious as Manning is, his audience represents a very scary mob mentality, which I don't think I can stomach. Anyway, there is a brilliant interview with him in todays Guardian, by Simon Hattenstone. Mannings attempt to explain a "coon" joke to Hattenstone had me cracking up.

I have a habit, when I have bought a load of books, of keeping them all by the bed. Even if I have a book on the go, I will have a little dip into my new purchases, reading and rereading the back jacket and the reviews, maybe a paragraph or two. This caused me to get a chuffing bollocking this morning. While Mrs Buddha was running around like a maniac trying to get the 3 nippers sorted out, I took a peek at Down On Ponce, and kept peeking until she gently pointed out that this was no time to be reading a fucking book, about 3 chapters later.
I got home from work, knocked up the quickest tuna, bacon and tomato sauce for pasta in history, for the nippers, banged it down and legged it up to the bath where I got a few more chapters in before anyone noticed. He kills coppers is going to have to wait, not for long though.

So enamoured have I become with the work of Fred Willard I e mailed the bugger to tell him, and he replied. It appears that this very morning he sent the first part of his new novel tohis publisher. I am not sure if this is a good thing, why wouldn't he send the whole thing? Perhaps he is blocked.
Talking of why, why is the sequel to the Ice Harvest taking so long to appear?
The Misanthrope has been moaning his head off again.

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