Saturday, August 30, 2008

Guy Ritchie: RocknRolla is a triumph

Saw Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla the other day. A great return to form. Actually it's his best movie to date, better even than Lock, Stock - swaggeringly stylish, cynical, sharp, subversive in subtle ways. Even movie sex gets sent-up in one short comic sequence. Gangland again, the gorillas, the Russians, London; but queers, too - Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone says Ritchie is homophobic, but not on the strength of this film: I was taken by the macho camp of the straight thugs - everyone's girls - and the relaxed knowingness towards the one gay gorilla, the so-what? of the criminal mercenaries. I'm seeing Ritchie on Monday so I'll tell you about his aura.

David Duchovny and his sex addiction

Why did David Duchovny announce exclusively to People that he was going into rehab for sex addiction? Why not just let the world know via a news agency? This normally happens when a publication has something on the star. I want to believe, but the truth will out.

Meantime, Murdoch's Sun is doing sterling work promoting Murdoch's so-so-movie X-Files: I Want To Believe with a sudden flurry of tales about Brit sightings of UFOs. Not long now Rebekah ...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Princess Diana sends an email to Victor

I suppose it’s possible that the late Princess Diana can send emails and reel off website addresses to interested correspondents. Despite death she has been in contact with Victor Zammit in Australia (BA, MA, LL.B, Ph.D, a retired attorney of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia) and she appears to be entirely au fait with dot.coms and the like.

Diana supposedly talks and writes through a medium called Andrew Russell-Davis and there are podcasts galore to listen to. The voice is testicularly deeper than Diana’s but Andrew has cultivated the slight lah-de-dah whiny lilt that is faintly redolent of Di’s speech: and a few Diana-ish “albeits” are shrewdly sprinkled about. Apparently she babbles on for hours about landmines and her sons. But when she made a rare prediction about Charles and Camilla – the public would hate them together – she got it wrong and had the grace to admit it: even in the next life, forecasts cannot be relied on.

Victor is quite persuaded by Andrew and even adopts legalese, claiming that a prima facie case has been made that Diana really is talking and writing via Andrew. Alas, not. There is not one detail in these communications that could not be culled from the archives, and it is entirely possible for someone to immerse himself in the Di literature – I mean, isn’t that what Tina Brown did for her "revelations"? To establish a prima facie case, Victor, you’d have to show that “Diana” said something unknown to the world that was subsequently proven correct by someone in-the-know. Or a correct prediction would do. What kind of lawyer are you, dearie?

For instance, could Diana probe the mysteries of Madame Arcati beyond the urban fictions on Google? Go on, Victor. Do it. I dare you. Get Diana to say something about this entity Madame Arcati. Something that will mean something to the inner me.

To read Diana's emails to Victor click here
To hear Diana's post-death podcasts from the hereafter click here
A Rose Campbell introduces the voice of Diana

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mark Frith calls Arcati a 'complete fantasist'. I'm sooooooo hurt

Some time back I reported that the then editor of Heat, Mark Frith, was off to edit Mojo. He wasn't as it turned out but he did leave Heat not long afterwards - so I was right to think he was on the move. I got the story via an eavesdropper on two company suits who were discussing Frith's future. I am now reading Frith's highly enjoyable The Celeb Diaries, and since he has gone to the bother of name-checking Madame Arcati apropos this tale - calling me a "fantasist" - I'll quote him a bit:

“Utterly wrong … As well as being nonsense the story is unfair on Phil [Alexander] – he’s an excellent editor and the last thing he needs is some story undermining his leadership… After the nightmare of the past few weeks [the “Harvey wants to eat me” sticker] it’s nice to know that someone thinks I’m in demand. Even if they are – on this occasion – a complete fantasist."

I do recommend his book - Mark's not just a handsome hunk with a sharp sense of editorial, er, biodiversity, I really do think he can become the TV star he wishes to be. Click here to order a copy of The Celeb Diaries: The Sensational Inside Story of the Celebrity Decade. It'll make you cream.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Madame Arcati observes bulges at The Parkin Lot

Well, I went to The Parkin Lot at The Green Carnation in Greek Street last night and was not entirely impressed. And I say that as an adoring fan of the DJs Molly and Sophie Parkin. The music is horrible screeching 60s stuff - I met Kathy Kirby once, crazy cow - and two old bags had a dance (I wasn't one of them) - ie they swayed about like wind chimes. The few Hitler Youth lookalikes (cropped heads, muscles, attitude - the cast of Bent crossed with Anna cunting Wintour) sat about in pairs against the walls snogging and nuzzling and stroking each other's testicles: artfully positioned wall mirrors enabled me to observe growing erection bulges while seeming to admire the Victorian wallpaper Oscar might have selected before his unfortunate explosion on his death bed in Paris. Or so I read. He left quite a mess.

Molly herself - whom I did not introduce myself to because I wanted to see what would happen - was fabulously turned-out and turbaned: frankly, I would quite like to have sex with her: I think we could give each one with a sequel. She stood about appearing to be giving advice to the pretty young girl at the reception desk: perhaps the girl was talking about her boyfriend's monster cock and how it's so difficult to accommodate. That sort of thing. Or the feminine equivalent if she's a lesbo. I've noticed a lot of big cock problems addressed by the nation's agony aunts lately. It must be the effects of nuclear power and GM food.

No one appeared to appreciate the legendary, the Empress Molly Parkin - but then what do you expect of a bunch of narcissists who think life started in the mid-80s? Still, it wasn't an entirely uninteresting way to part with £10 for two scotches and water (bottled, none of your Thames tap rubbish) and no ice.

My advice to the Parkins is update the music - something of the Noughties would better suit the petting patrons. That might bump up the crowd.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Robert Tewdwr Moss - 12 years on

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the murder of writer Robert Tewdwr Moss - his Syria travel book Cleopatra's Wedding Present is just out again; check Amazon. Follow labels for my pieces on him. It's a pity the new edition of the book is minus an essay on him: I am sure people would want to know something of his life and death. And whatever happened to the literary prize that was to have been set up in his name? I am writing to his estate to find out - money was given by many after his memorial service. What's to stop me setting up the prize?

Duncan Fallowell is Esmé Smirk. And the Kiwis are Wiki

I am amused to see that Private Eye has lampooned Duncan Fallowell's NZ travel book Going As Far As I Can as Alan Hollinghurst's summer reading choice. They call Duncan Esmé Smirk. Once upon a time the mag called Duncan Creepy - I don't know why.

It has also been drawn to my attention that Amazon has stopped listing his book on their New Zealand list. It only comes up on the Australian one. I wonder if Kiwis vandalised the site - they have twice vandalised his Wikipedia entry.

And I learn that Duncan has completed his ghost story. I'm intrigued as to what he means by a ghost story ....

Friday, August 22, 2008

Andy Warhol and his posthumous typist!

One of Warhol's favourite actors, Joe Dallesandro - for relevance see below*

I’m soooooo excited I can barely speak. I have discovered the woman who typed the Andy Warhol Diaries. Actually she self-discovered herself to me but don’t get pedantic, bitches. The other day I made the revelation that this huge, important book is my favourite loo read. It’s a bit heavy on the legs it must be said and sciatica sufferers should read it elsewhere (bed perhaps with the book on top: a missionary with Andy) but this person is the famous Arcatiste Lee Randall, Assistant Editor (Magazines & Arts) Of The Scotsman. Fate brought her to me. I clasp her to my bosom (such as it is). Her life will be forever altered by association.

She has now sent me a Scotsman article she wrote about the Warhol 18-month assignment. Even before she started typing (what a lovely archaic word that is: now it would be inputting) she had an indirect connection with the woman who plucked off Andy’s wig at a New York book signing on 30 October 1985. She started the project with the notion he was a “manipulative jerk” but slowly realised he was complex and acute, never missing a trick. He had the great gift of being right on just about everything – socially, artistically, politically, personally, even medically.

I still picture him, a world famous artist, scurrying about NY streets giving away copies of his Interview. Could you imagine anyone today of comparable stardom doing that? Then again I can’t think of many magazines I could be induced to accept gratis let alone buy. Monocle? Put it away you dirty beast.

Warhol dictated his diary over the phone almost every day to his factotum Pat Hackett. Lee doesn’t say that one of the reasons why he kept such a diary – so full of celeb goss and insight – was to keep an account of expenses. The IRS had persecuted him at the behest of the Nixon admin (I think) because he was seen as a pinko commie fag or something so his diary was a gift to history as well as a shield.

Lee Randall (nee Seifman, her original name] recalls: “As [Hackett] waded through thousands of pages editing them down to single-volume size, I'd type them into coherent chapters. We did it twice, start to finish, a bit like painting the Forth Bridge.”

A flavour of the Diary: “Truman Capote stumbles through. Baryshnikov materialises on Liza Minnelli's arm and Warhol wails that he can't go to dinner with the new ballet boy because he's already dining with Nureyev at the Iranian embassy. Jackie Curtis dies and Sean Lennon celebrates a single-digit birthday. Warhol discovers Jean Michel Basquiat. The fun never ends.”

I know Warholites like Victor Bockris and Ultra Violet quite well and they confirm the Diary is a wonderful facsimile of the Warhol character and life. So thank you Lee for your great piece. As Warhol might have said, you’re so up there.

I can't find the article at so read Lee's Duncan Fallowell interview instead, click here. (He's writing his ghost novel, yknow)

*One of Warhol's favourite actors, Joe Dallesandro, star of Flesh, The Loves of Ondine, Trash and other Warhol/Paul Morrissey movies. This naked pic has been gratuitously added for no good reason and has nothing to do with the words above, a practice newspapers should follow, the literal cunters

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dylan's Cameron has more plugs than B&Q

The Etonian look. Note the hair

GQ editor Dylan Jones must have a lot of admirers on the Eton-Boris Johnson-loving London Evening Standard. Yesterday’s edition had at least five plugs for Dylan's new book Cameron On Cameron in different parts of the paper. And today, its Londoner’s Diary tittle-tattle page gives the book another mention: apparently David Cameron will continue to ride his bike should he become PM. Alas, the report doesn’t say where he would continue to ride his bike – through a Center Parcs perhaps? - along Hyde Park’s Rotten Row walkway with HM’s horses? Details, dahlings, details.

The video on Amazon pushing the book is interesting, too. Of Cameron’s private education – a democratic curse or privilege of about 7% of the British population – Dylan Jones says: “Eton has many connotations, both good and bad and I think Cameron has surpassed that.” Really? He still has upper class hair. He needs to do something about his hair. Dylan expresses the hope we’re beyond class consciousness now. Indeed, but that’s a bit difficult when nearly 60% of Tory MPs are the spawn of private schools: I love the way we must buy the lie just because Cameron looks like a winner as I write. Incidentally, Dylan’s boss is the pompous Nicholas Coleridge, the noted Etonian and the World’s Worst Novelist, who most certainly does not wish to surpass Eton's invaluable connotations.

On related matters I have been reading Old Moore’s Almanack, an Arcati annual astrological favourite. Moore predicts no election in 2009. So onwards to 2010 for the New Etonianism!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Facebook - Naomi Campbell is my new friend

Facebook is a bit of a mystery to me - Naomi Campbell has just invited me to be her friend after all the insults I've piled on her. Can this be the Naomi? Among my other friends are Jon Snow, Sophie Parkin and, um, Martin Bormann. Then again there are two Madame Arcatis and they both appear to be me. Naomi has 76 friends; I'm sure she can do better than that. Nicholas Coleridge has 232 friends - mmm, but I wonder whether he knows them all. Apparently Nick and I have one mutual friend, the publisher Gary Pulsifer of Arcadia Books, who has 1,592 friends and claims to have recruited somone called Carl T Davies to fight deforestation in Greece. Gary is a Capricorn, that I can well believe.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rebekah Wade - You vill vear definable collars!

Someone at the Sun has forwarded me an email from editor Rebekah Wade upbraiding her scurvy staff for their lack of sartorial style. "You vill not vear jeans, boots or T-shirts," she screams. "You vill vear shirts with definable collars, nice frocks - see a Top Shop window display for inspiration." (It is true I have just embellished the detail here but I have captured the spirit of her message: I know how literal some of you are) Rebekah likes to use grown-up words like "monetise" because she's going up to management soon and then Dominic can take over properly and get the editor's salary he richly deserves.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Richard O'Brien - No Rocky Horror royalties

No wonder Richard O'Brien is not giving his blessing to Sky Movies' planned remake of his Rocky Horror Picture Show. At a party he tells me he's never earned a penny in royalties from the 1975 film even though in the US alone it has made about $113m on its $1.2m budget. I watched him in the wonderfully weird Dark City the other night - the aliens' long black coats are the campest thing.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Roland White of Atticus writes ...

Dear Madame A
I plead not guilty to theft. A Sunday Times colleague tipped me off about the "browner" line after seeing it on Miliband's website.
Sorry to disappoint.
All the best
Roland White
(Atticus, Sunday Times)

Dear Roland
Thank you for setting the record straight and of course I believe you. Now, who is this colleague? Perhaps he or she spotted my little joke first? You can't get the staff these days, y'know. Send me his or her horoscope: I'll soon get to the truth.

Warhol, Georgia and we really can't talk

My favourite Lou Reed - I mean loo read - is The Andy Warhol Diaries, a book without start or end, just a monster middle bit. Today it opened randomly at Monday, January 7, 1980: "Got the newspapers. The Russians are invading Afghanistan." Ah, yes. This stirs me to say something about the Antichrist Putin and his Georgian adventure but then I remember Guantánamo - here's an interesting blog - and so I'll shut up.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lady Colin Campbell decides to be merciful

Thank goodness Lady Colin Campbell has accepted ES Mag's apology for wrongly calling her a transsexual about a fortnight ago - see labels. My public appeal to Georgie - as we friends of Lady Colin call her - probably helped prevent litigation that could have proven to be costly for the supplement dedicated to the eugenics of wealth and status.

Molly Parkin: 'Are you OK, Madame?'

Molly and Sophie Parkin

Dear Madame
Mother dear wants to enquire after your health, how are you? She says you must have been ill not to have made it down to The Parkin Lot so far on a Tuesday. Hope our new sex talks might whet your appetite ... see our Daily Mail interview. All love health and joy to you, Sophie [Parkin] X

Dear Sophie
Thank you for your message which I'll put up on the site. I am very well but busy - I simply haven't found time to visit The Parkin Lot at the Green Carnation [in Greek St] yet though I have popped in at other times. How is it going? What are the clubbers like? - last time I visited I had my bottom pinched and on another occasion I watched Carole Malone laughing at a gay author describing porn that features disabled people. It's on my mobile phone, her cackling.
Love and kisses to Molly and you. MAx
PS -Click The Green Carnation

Granta's New Nature Writing: Read and discuss

Jason Cowley's Granta devotes its Summer 2008 issue to nature writing - not your Laurie Lee lyrical burbling, but a new kind that interests me. The only fiction featured in the edition, Phantom Pain, is by someone called Lydia Peelle. She sets out her literary green philosophy which in brief ... well, actually, she puts it rather well and doesn't need paraphrasing, and I'm lifting her words from Cowley's editor's letter:

'The new nature writing,’ she told me, ‘rather than being pastoral or descriptive or simply a natural history essay, has got to be couched in stories – whether fiction or non-fiction – where we as humans are present. Not only as observers, but as intrinsic elements. I feel this is important, because we’ve got to reconnect ourselves to our environment and fellow species in every way we can, every chance we have. In my thinking, it is the tradition of the false notion of separation that has caused us so many problems and led to so much environmental degradation. I believe that it is our great challenge in the twenty-first century to remake the connection. I think our lives depend on it.’
Granta's New Nature Writing

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

American Vogue not as fat as it was shock-horror

How pleasing it is to learn that the big fat waste of space called American Vogue has suffered a 7% decline in ad pages for its September issue – traditionally the fattest issue of the year. It boasts a mere 674 pages thanks to the so-called credit crunch. Surely it is time to sack Anna Wintour on the grounds of her age – nearly 60 now – and should you remind me I’m supposed to be anti-ageist may I remind you of her merciless pursuit of youth and of young staffers over the decades. She has lived by fashion long enough.

The deification of Wintour – the “glacial fashionista” – by idiotic hacks (usually female) never ceases to amaze me. She was caught recently wearing the same dress on two separate occasions in public. This was taken as a sign that the credit crunch had finally got a hold on the consumer zeitgeist. I suppose if she suddenly drops dead that will mean the Russians are coming. Fashion, after all, is the cardiograph of the international soul (quote made up for satirical purposes).

The thought of mortality (“Dear God, send me a nice thin coffin”) takes my mind to the excellent work of Scott King (alias CRASH), an ex-creative director of Sleazenation among other things. I loved his How I’d Sink American Vogue exhibition at New York gallery PS1. The cover shown here is one of his assassination attempts on the monstrous bible of fashion. The link takes you to others. Click here

by Scott King

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Allison Pearson sued over '$700k Miramax deal'

Oh my God! A source points out to me that Miramax is suing the Mail's Glenda, Allison Pearson, for alleged breach of contract over an undelivered novel and it wants its $700,000 back. Leave my Allison alone. Whip round! Whip round! Click here

Theft! Atticus steals Arcati joke!

An Arcatiste points out that the Sunday Times' Atticus goss column stole my joke about David Miliband and his hope of returning from his hols B(b)rowner. Fancy pinching material from a humble blog without credit - I'm sending links to Murdoch and others for maximum humiliation purposes. Perhaps I should send a bill too. £1,000 should do it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Press Gazette: What will the liars, chancers and buffoons read now?

I’m not too fussed that Press Gazette has gone monthly after 43 years as a weekly trade mag for hacks, though one is always sorry to hear of redundancies. It had bored me for years aside from Rob McGibbon’s excellent news-setting interviews when Piers Morgan co-owned it. And the Grey Cardigan was slightly amusing (only) on Liz fucking Jones.

Though PG dutifully covered the various categories of journalism waywardly, it was clearly too enamoured of national newspapers and their ghastly, pompous, prematurely aged staffers. Did you ever read much about the personalities on Sky Text, Psychic News, Woman & Home or Reader’s Digest? Are there any? Whole areas of journalism were virtually ignored while the publication cheekily sought subscriptions from them. Its British Press Awards excluded most of its catchment readership from nomination: so I have to laugh when one of its former editors, Ian Reeves, whinges in the Guardian today about how the papers let his mag down. The only reason why PG obsessed about the nationals was because most of its reporters were hoping to win the attention of a Fleet St editor for career purposes. Oh yes you were.

This didn’t stop the mag though from boring us with its regional press coverage (cue bad haircuts, bad skin, bad teeth, abnormal scrotal bulges), its media commentariat reviews (inclusive of four old bitter farts so far as I could see) and an interminable how-to section for aspiring journalists – like, who gives a diddlysquat anyway? Everyone knows journalism is for chancers, liars and buffoons.

But I do think Morgan should pay the Grey Cardigan the £2k he’s owed.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

AA Gill - in need of a squirt

Someone said I should have a look at the new, "re-designed", Sunday Times. So I have done. No difference much. The throw-aways (ie the specialist section sheets) have a bit more title blocky colour and white space and for that the Guardian has clearly been a part-inspiration. The print's a bit different, but so what? Nip 'n' tuck, dearie. Nip 'n' tuck. Most of all, the same tired writers lead the way, potpourris long over-due a reinvigorating squirt of fresh oils as they stale in their salaried cellophane.

Ah, AA Gill. Last week he reviewed The Tudors but rather wasted his wit on Sam Neill (eg "His presence makes this Tudorassic Park") by failing to notice that he's not actually in the new series. Hence Gill's pre-emptive excuse-making this week to cover himself - "Last week, I thought he was acting; apparently, he was already dead," he jests for the sofa'd chucklers (pause for fart-in-sofa sound). He didn't realise that the catch-up sequences were not teasers, suggesting that Gill's eye was everywhere but on the story, the history, what's in front of his nose. It's just that he's a lazy, veteran Sunday Times TV critic - let's say a living heritage writer - who gets to watch his TV on DVD, and why not have a go at innocuous Neill for some blind critiquing? The late Victor Lewis-Smith did something similar with Denis Norden once, but with very funny results.

Oddly, Gill's editor didn't notice, nor the subs, nor anyone much. Makes you wonder whether anyone is reading Gill's sparkling shit apart from me.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Nicky Haslam: Queen says No; his horoscope's a surprise

Sadly the Queen declined Nicky Haslam's invitation to attend his unofficial 69th birthday party on October 16 at Parkstead House - he tells my unpaid agent Fish (portrait below) that he has had HM's polite kiss-off framed. This is a coda to his current Vanity Fair interview in which he wonders aloud about having her over along with the 800 on his guest list. But perhaps he was unwise to add: "The trouble is, if Charles and Camilla come, you've got to have the sniffing dogs, and the security. That's a bore. But it would be fun, wouldn't it? I think she likes a jolly, the Queen." Far too familiar and revealing of HM's inner drives.

Parkstead House, on the edge of Richmond Park

Let's have a glimpse at Nicky's horoscope. Nicky was born on September 27, 1939, in Buckinghamshire: I don't have his clock time of birth so I can't calculate his ascendant. He's a very interesting Libran in that his Moon's in Pisces: improbable as it may seem this will tend to make him deeper than he appears. This combo always promises an advanced creativity; very occasionally, delusion. You never have an easy life with this Moon.

Libra draws him to aesthetics, to ideas of beauty; the Moon in such a philosophical or spiritual sign will make him fundamentally indifferent to what others think even though paradoxically he gives the impression of snobbishness and preoccupation with status. I should have thought that in his personal relationships separating the dream from reality was his life-long challenge.

The Sun in his 4th house (Cancer dominated) emphasises the importance of his family name - Cancer is associated with ideas of what is "home" - and this placement usually brings late maturity recognition. It's as well to bear in mind that only recently has he been treated a little more seriously as a writer and public figure: go back a bit and you just have a airy-fairy party pseud name-dropping his fellow guests and decor clients.

Venus in his 4th house (Cancer again) tells me - even if I didn't know this is Haslam's chart - of a life dedicated to socialising. Country interests are pronounced. His Saturn in the 11th house adds to the paradox: he may call 10,000 people "friends" but in reality he has very few. His basic nature is quite serious and selective. His Moon in the 9th house opens him up to spiritual ideas so that his few actual friends see and hear a very different Haslam. His face in repose is not a happy one.

Goodness. The things one learns through the irrational arts. His prejudice against cuff-links worn during daylight hours, however, remains utterly ridiculous.

The artist Fish

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Robert Tewdwr Moss. Book 'reissued'. And a séance

Regular Arcatistes will know of Robert Tewdwr Moss - see labels if you don't. I now learn that his classic travel book about Syria, Cleopatra's Wedding Present, has just been reissued by Duckworth. Amazon says it's out of stock.

A spokesperson for Duckworth tells me: "Yes, we have recently reissued Cleopatra's Wedding Present. It was published at the end of July and there are plenty of copies available to order through bookshops or directly through our distributor, Grantham Book Services. are out of stock at the moment. From my database I can see that they have ordered copies recently (on Tuesday) and it will no doubt be shortly available to order through them."

Incidentally, in mid-May of this year, I had a remarkable séance with a clairvoyante medium called Lealah Kay, at the Spiritualist Association of Great Britain in Belgrave Square, in which she purportedly brought through the spirit of Robert (described, not named). Kay did not know me and I booked her only 90 minutes before the sitting. I asked her no questions about Robert; indeed I asked her only one question at the end of the session, on another topic. Nonetheless she communicated information supposedly from Robert to me that I find highly evidential of survival. I may run the transcript. I'll see how I feel.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Douglas Murray, Bosie, Oscar and those horses

In all probability you haven't a clue who Douglas Murray is. Never mind. Eight years ago, at the age of 20, this then undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, wrote a book called Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas (Hodder & Stoughton). The cock-cockers of the literary world got all excited because they couldn't get enough of this handsome debutant, this faintly immature precocity, nor of his subjects - in any case there's nothing quite so delicious as fresh flesh gleaming on the slab. As Julie Burchill says in her new unread book, ageism is rampant among the cock-cockers, though not exclusively.

The work was not without a certain competence. But Murray did himself no favours in comically rushing to Bosie's defence whenever yet another Wilde indictment of his aristocratic suckee was (re-)dug up from De Profundis or wherever - not unlike David Walliams' aide de camp Sebastian Love who sinks his teeth into anyone who rivals him for the affections of his Prime Minister. Among the people who helped young Murray were Tatler editor Geordie Grieg (he's all heart) and the actor Sir Donald Sinden who knew Bosie.

I am not at all persuaded that Murray has yet fulfilled his early promise. He has now turned into a ghastly notice-me apologist for rightwing neocons (wrong side of history, alas) and holds questionable views on Moslems. It's all so unglamorous and literal. Murray's website doesn't even mention Bosie.

But I remain grateful to Murray for one (but not uniquely) thoughtless sentence in Bosie that always makes me laugh - it follows Oscar's death in 1900: "With Wilde gone, Douglas tried to concentrate on his horses." As you would.
Murray's website

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

David Miliband: His blog requires attention

While our twinky foreign secretary and aspiring PM David Miliband goes off on his hols via Gatwick perhaps someone could do something about his blogroll which is in need of repair. The "Robert Preston" listed is Robert Peston (the screeching, Caligula-voiced BBC business editor); Adam Boulton's blog has a new address (since July 1); and "Omar's blog" is inaccessible. Milly's last posting for Aug 2 promises: "Blog resumes in three weeks or so. Hopefully browner and fresher." But not Browner, presumably.

Milly's super dull blog.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Julie Burchill's pal Chas Newkey-Burden, king of listerature

"It is a great and glorious tradition the world over - to vehemently state one thing and then do the exact opposite," begins the Amazon synopsis of Julie Burchill's latest book Not in My Name: A Compendium of Modern Hypocrisy. In the light of my announcement of my death and now resurrection within a week, I know exactly what she means. She gives a splendid interview to the Guardian today, here we go. She only got £2k for the book serialisation in the Mail. I blame Gordon Bown and his four planets in the secretive, furtive 12th (Piscean) house. His baleful influence turns everyone into a skinflint. Forget about David Miliband. Too prissy.

However it is Julie's co-writer, a male hack called Chas Newkey-Burden, who on this occasion interests me more. He appears to be the Carol Vorderman of the stocking-filler tome, an auto-churner of disposable literature, or listerature. To take 2007 as an example, he produced: Arsenal: Premiership Player Profiles; The Reduced History of Dogs; Paris Hilton: Life on the Edge; Great Email Disasters; and The All-New Official Arsenal Miscellany.

I marvel at such industry. And he must be quite savvy to be a pal of La Burch. Earlier this year he became the instant biographer of Amy Winehouse. Ahead of us are Help! I'm Turning into My Dad and The Dog Directory: Facts, Figures and Profiles of Over 100 Breeds.

His name - Chas Newkey-Burden - seems marvellously throw-away, too. "Here lies Chas Newkey-Burden" - no, it doesn't sound right, does it? It's not a name for a tombstone etch. Chas suggests impatience to me, an irritation with anything long-winded; so he adopted a nice fleeting sound for a first name. Nothing too formal, like. I think I may have to interview this will-o'-the-wisp of modern publishing. I am fascinated by industrial dervishes. I must examine his horoscope if not his oeuvre.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Madame Arcati. Lady Colin Campbell to sue? Nicky Haslam snogged by a paedo?

Yes, I am back. My announcement last week of this blog's cessation was a rehearsal of death: I think it most important sometimes to live through an experience for a better understanding of oneself and others, don't you think? I now have a better sense of what it will be like when I am no longer here: I felt your pain, your loss; while I felt utterly free. It's a kind of Method living. Immersing oneself in the alternative visceral as a preparation for the real thing: for the imagination is no substitute. Thank you for taking part in my experiment. You did not disappoint me. Bitches. Now I have things to report ....

Lady Colin Campbell

I do hope Lady Colin Campbell - she allows me to call her Georgie - is not about to sue the estimable ES Magazine, the supplement to the London Evening Standard. In its briefing report on the mega-rich Lily Safra - who effectively injuncted Georgie's marvellous novel Empress Bianca on the grounds of possible libel - it describes Lady Colin as the "transsexual novelist". Oh dear, dear. No! Georgie is not a transsexual and over the years has collected quite a tidy sum in court pay-outs and other settlements. Georgie was merely born with some tiny biological anomaly now sorted out: she's all woman I can tell you.

But I beg Georgie not to sue ES. It is generally peopled by immature, inexperienced know-nothings who have rich daddies and mummies and they're employed just for their contacts and for their aura which the commoners hope is contagious. Show pity on these pathetic specimens who think only of dosh and what's posh. Settle for an apology and show how big you can be, Georgie. See, I have a heart.

Nicky Haslam

Now to Nicky Haslam. In the September edition of Vanity Fair, in which he grants a lengthy, deeply comic interview about his life, it is claimed that his memoirs, Redeeming Features, will be published by Knopf in October 2009. Is this really true? There's nothing to this effect on Weidenfeld still claims on Amazon to be publishing Writing On The Wall in October (as a US import from the UK). I am very confused. Perhaps a know-all could advise. But Redeeming Features must exist because the VF writer appears to have read it.

In the interview Nicky portrays himself as a post-War Dorian Gray, a "devastatingly beautiful" young man who seduced, or was seduced by, Lord Henry Woottons all over the place. Early photos do not entirely bear out his self-appraisal: to be frank, the arrangement of his jaw, in particular, puts in mind more a fresh-faced Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall - the mouth area seemingly paralysed by a million strangulated vowels.

Perhaps his most troubling anecdote has to do with a certain tutor he had as a child who used to "gently" snog him. No age is given for this initiation but he must have been pre-pubertal. "The physical nature never went beyond kissing" claims Nicky. Yet is it too much to conjecture that the tutor might have experienced an erection while kissing the little boy and walked out of Nicky's house with a tent in his crotch before a bout of furious wanking? I think Rebekah Wade may need to take a retrospective interest in this abuse. But among the upper classes such an aberration is plainly tolerated while the tabloids strike poses of horror.

Nicky has never much cared for sex: he is I think a romantic. But do read the interview. It's far superior to that embarrassing Madonna interview VF ran earlier in the year. The writer of that must have thought he was in the running for the Pulitzer now that Norman's dead. There's too much big literary cockedness about.

The Future
I shall not be updating as regularly as before; I may opt for occasional longer reports such as this if only to piss off internet surfers looking for nugget prose. Such busy loafers annoy me.