My mother always taught me that reading books would help me to get on in life*. You only have to look at my dazzling career to see how right she was. (Funnily enough, people in my old job looked at me like I was stupid because I refused to cite a source without actually plodding along to the library to read it.) My mother’s career is illuminating too, given that in Britain the majority of PAs are better educated than their vastly better paid bosses, and that blacks are paid significantly less than whites with matched qualifications and experience. It is interesting that her boss’s name is the same as his father’s which in turn is identical to that of the firm the latter founded**.

Today’s Economist discusses Britain’s celebrity aristocracy and notes that, in our newly meritocratic society, the people are no longer interested in the “private” affairs of lazy, talentless, and ignorant dukes and duchesses, but those of lazy, talentless, and ignorant commoners. It is illustrated with a photograph of Jordan and Peter Andre. Their skin is the colour of a Space Hopper. In fact Jordan appears to have had two small Space Hoppers surgically attached to her ribcage.

Adult sized UK Space Hopper a Space Hopper
A Space Hopper
© TST 2004.

The piece discusses the [whimper] synergistic relationship between the media and the giftless, the overseas expansion of the UK fame industry, and examines coolly how, even for sports stars, actual performance has become detached from earning potential. [Surely not?]

This caught my eye:

“The pop singer and the topless model, better known as Jordan, met when their careers were flagging, on a reality TV show—that essential new cog in the celebrity machine. They have sold rights to the wedding, built around a Cinderella theme, as an exclusive to OK! for a small fortune (a price, the gossip press says, that has irked Victoria Beckham, whose marriage to her footballer husband was covered by a million-pound contract).”

The explanation is simple: the supposedly posh Victoria Beckham has, famously, never read a book; Jordan has at least finished the story of the Yorkshire Ripper. Although both stars’ breasts are thought to contain inorganic polymers, OK! is paying a premium for Jordan’s infinitely greater erudition.

[*I should point out that my mum also taught me to read. This is one of the most wonderful and precious of many wonderful and precious things she has done for me. She taught me to read good English; my dad taught me to write good English. I will be grateful to them until I die.]

[**Enjoy this line now: my mum’ll be on the phone later to tell me to remove it. ]