Newgate News

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

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Toast of the week - the Duke of Edinburgh

Oh dear - it's open season on the Duke of Edinburgh again.

The publicity juggernaut has been set in motion for a new book of the Duke's gaffes out in time for Christmas so the media  royal-watchers have been put on high alert to capture any fresh, headline-worthy lapse in word or deed.

And, sure enough, he's come up with the goods again:
Prince Philip spotted with finger in his ears during Royal Variety Performance
Quite understandable, really, given a line-up that includes the shrill, nasal tones of one Alicia Keys, presumably performing her latest single (here on youtube, if you must), a work of staggering monotony at a level of amplification designed to enhance the Bacchanalian frenzy of the short-skirts-and-stilettos Saturday night crowd.

And it gets worse:
She performed alongside British favourites Rod Stewart, Girls Aloud, One Direction and Britain’s Got Talent winners Pudsey and Ashleigh Butler.
In  the unlikely event of this assortment performing for the royals alone, Prince Philip's actions could have been seen as a slight, but as part of a huge audience, he should surely be allowed more leeway - after all, how many octogenarians would have chosen to sit through that lot?

What's more, I doubt that many of the performers or their agents were more thrilled at the prospect of Her Majesty's presence than at the TV exposure and column inches the event would give them.

I have to admit, I'm rather puzzled by the inclusion of the New York born-and-bred Ms Keys in any case; shouldn't the emphasis be on home-grown talent? Or is promoting the latest single in the hit machine the real purpose behind it all?

Frankly, the Royal Variety Performance is a bit of a mystery all round these days, given the diversity of entertainment on offer. What we are left with is a kind of national celebration of the convention that obliges grandparents to greet the antics of their infantile descendants with slightly baffled but indulgent and affectionate applause.

That being so, is it really a matter for comment when the nation's proxy grandfather finds the children just a bit too noisy for comfort? For goodness' sake, go and find some real news to report!

Here in the Tavern, we are raising our tankards to a man with a wicked sense of humour, a sharp tongue  and a thoroughly impressive dedication to duty.

12 comments:

A K Haart said...

"a kind of national celebration of the convention that obliges grandparents to greet the antics of their infantile descendants with slightly baffled but indulgent and affectionate applause."

Yes, that's exactly what it is. Too embarrassing.

Demetrius said...

Ageism? The Duke is elderly and at that age the hearing function and neural connections often become quite sensitive. Given the typical frequency range and decibel levels of amplification in auditoriums it is very likely for him to have discomfort or even physical pain. My vew is that he was not being rude nor making comment, but simply reacting in a way that was wise.

Macheath said...

AKH - I suspect it's only the interests of those with an album to sell at Christmas that keep it going.

Demetrius, an interesting thought. Having listened to the song in question by way of research, I can vouch for its ear-splitting qualities for anyone whose faculties are not blunted by regular exposure to the level of noise found in clubs and bars.

The song consists, more or less, of a single repeated phrase delivered in a kind of sustained nasal howl that becomes painful after even a short period of time, so you may well be right.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"how many octogenarians would have chosen to sit through that lot?"

Nonagenarians.

He's 91 or something like that.

Macheath said...

WY, you're quite right - he's a well-preserved 91.


Longrider said...

Unfortunately, unlike we mere mortals, HRH and Spouse are unable to ignore it. Frankly, having to attend such utter trite garbage would be purgatory for me.

So, here's to Phil the Greek - always good for a smile. A tactless man who says what the rest of us are thinking.

James Higham said...

When I was 16 I got a bad dose of psoriasis

Oh yes, absolutely - fingers in the ears.

James Higham said...

Oh dear - I think I copied Bucko's text, tghen when I came here to copy yours, it didn't copy and when I pasted and put my comment and ... oh, never mind.

Here's the intended thing:

Alicia Keys

Oh yes, absolutely - fingers in the ears.

Macheath said...

LR, purgatory indeed; one could, I suppose, regard it as the modern equivalent of those ancient kings who were required to sacrifice themselves for the people.

JH - we've all done it; luckily I'd read Bucko's OoL piece so I realised at once!

JuliaM said...

I did like his recent quote, when told by some foreign dignitary that his country had 200 MPs - 'Sounds about the right number, we have 600+ and most of 'em are useless!'

Macheath said...

Julia, I missed that one - brilliant!

Longrider said...

'Sounds about the right number, we have 600+ and most of 'em are useless!'

Only most?