Sunday, November 19, 2006

Private Eye writers at war

A regular glancer of this blog reminds Madame Arcati that both Craig Brown and Tom Bower are Private Eye contributors - all the more tragic then that the latter proposes to sue the former for libel (see Mr Veronica Wadley post below). Doubtless this irony will not be lost on the public schoolboys who write the MediaGuardian's Monkey catch-up media column.

I shall refrain from comment of any sort. However, this spat does remind me that Craig Brown is currently writing lookalike columns for both Private Eye and Vanity Fair, both exhibitions of celebrity parody. What I don't understand is why he's brilliant in the Eye yet hopeless in VF: his latest Bono diary in the latter is exceedingly obvious and therefore unfunny: Bono's buddy the Dalai Lama gets to be called "Lammy". Did editor Graydon Carter really fall about at this lark?

Now, Brown is a brilliant parodist. And never more so than when he is possessed by the spirits of his victim slebs and allowed to glide on the thermals of his egomaniacal inventions. While this works for a British audience of reductive pisstake lovers, with an ethnic contempt for celebrity delusion, I wonder if the joke gets lost in translation in a magazine currently dedicated to Kate Moss?

Is it possible that VF's Lancome-scented pages cause Brown to become giddy as he tries to understand a readership that pores over baby Suri pics while yet trying to reach the end of a multiple sub-claused Christopher Hitchens sentence?

I don't know the answer, but I thought I'd ask the question.

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