Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Where Did They Hide the Bodies?


A new party game emerged this week after a futile search of my local bookshop. Susie (Fat is a Feminist Issue) Orbach’s ‘Bodies’ came out on Monday; which section had they put it in? The assistant had no idea, and so began a bizarre guessing game.

Was it Psychology, perhaps, or Popular Psychology? Nope. Mind Body and Spirit? Wrong again! Women's studies? Sociology? Health? Popular Culture? The assistant finally found a copy in the window, so we’re still none the wiser.

Since then the regulars at Peachum’s Tavern have been considering a category name for books of this kind, designed to be read with a certain smugness by those who are aware of the issues and ready to enjoy a bit of righteous indignation while feeling reassuringly intellectual.

After much deliberation, it was the Artful Dodger who came up with the best solution; here in Newgate, Ms Orbach’s opus will join those of Eric Schlosser, Naomi Klein and Mark Lynas on a shelf clearly labelled ‘Mummy’s Moral High Ground’.

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