Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Allison Pearson: Why is the conformist queen so depressed?

She's left the Daily Mail, as expected. So I read her piece on her depression, an implied reason for her departure. As you'd expect she sexes up her condition by locating it on a fashion wave band: she's one of the Blues Sisters. She's Sandwich Woman. More labels that may yet hook a gullible editor into a zeitgeist tsunami of publishing cash.

Because Allison is a newspaper columnist she has nothing useful to say about either depression or her inner life. A Thurderbirds puppet lulled into a Derren Brown hypnotic trance would reveal something at least as against Allison's spirit void. Newspapers by their nature, run in the main by male neurotic sexists, whose evolutionary tendencies have been stalled by workaholism and booze (if not medication and arrogance), are forums for mere borrowed theatrical soliloquy. Columnists gaze at the spotlight and just speak the lines encoded in the editor's head. It's a form of professional telepathy enhanced by hot monthly direct debits and a weekly picture byline. Columnist focus is on editor reaction as mediator for those whatstheirnames, the readers.

I'm no therapist, thank God. But a theme of Allison's life (as I understand it from her columns and novel) is a demented desire to conform. From an early age she sought the Right Way. She sought to tick the right boxes. Later, she tried to please everyone - men, parents, publishers, editors, generations, her reflection. To tick their boxes as she lay swaddled in precocious resentment. She donned her tutu, did a twirl, and then wondered why she ended up with a bruised arse. Allison is a woman of responsibility. She wanted to do well. She wanted to be loved by all.

Instead she became a Daily Mail columnist.

Her tragedy - if indeed she's not snickering in some post-modernist asylum as I write - is this demented idea that she must do anything or be anything. I see now why she hates someone like Fiona MacKeown, the hippy whose daughter was murdered in Goa and whom she abused in the Mail. MacKeown at least tried to make a life outside of mainstream expectation: she dared to advance herself on an adventure not supervised by accountants or style prefects. It ended badly. But she dared to try. Is Allison in a better place by her own account?

Darling Allison Pearson, Telegraph-bound I'm sure. More social tribes to make up there. More generational neuroses to mull over, like her spiritual sister Liz Jones. Readers will lap it up and recycle Allison's crafted lines as their excuses. That's their funeral.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wowee, uber-bitcheree

Anonymous said...

Who's replacing her? Eva Peron?

MauriceL said...

I agree that Pearson is odious, Madame, but I've not sure that you've quite read her correctly. La Pearson talks a lot about wanting to be all things to all people, but have you ever talked to someone who has worked with her? Let's just say that pleasing people isn't exactly her focus, or her forte. Pleasing herself (as loudly and aggressively as possible), and self-aggrandizing at every opportunity, are, on the other hand, real strengths. This "I so want to conform, and I'm just a poor downtrodden woman" guff is simply a lame way of manipulating her audience. All that stuff about rushing home from a parent's sickbed to pick up the kids from school? Last time I heard, she still had a full-time nanny/housekeeper, despite working from home and having two near-teenage kids who are at school all day. How many times has she written the same column about frazzled family 'hellidays' in, say, Torquay? But we know she jets off to five-star resorts (stuck in Oman, anyone?) I'd have thought you could see through her act, Madam.

Madame Arcati said...

Someone called Sandra Parsons. Poor cow.

Madame Arcati said...

Dear MauriceL, my reaction is to her editorial personality as I do not know personally. I can well believe nevertheless that there's a disconnect between how she sees herself (trying to slot into boxes) and the reality (whatever you know). Given the mess she comes across as - full of fury against free spirits - I suspect she has a shrewd idea of what ails her but has elected to remain ill for the money. And the editor love.

Anonymous said...

I have drawn this poison to Allison's attention. I just hope she sues.

Anonymous said...

A staggering piece of vitriol. It makes anything written by Pearson seem most bland. I'm tempted to suggest that the only person who needs therapy is you "Madame Arcati".

Anonymous said...

Maybe Allison and Princess Beatrice (thank god she slimmed down for the marathon, Allison might let her wear a bikini now!) could get together and talk about what it's like to have someone say incredibly nasty, personal things about you in public?...

Madame Arcati said...

Is it not my impression that Allison, like the baboon-killing twat AA Gill, plays the mysterioso reclusive card?

Anonymous said...

You're no better VO. The things I've heard about you. Screaming and shouting all over the place. Someone who works on a very prestigious title now still shakes at the mention of your name. Of course you won't put this up but I thought you should know someone out there knows.

Five-Centres said...

Shame, cos she used to be great on the Late Review. She knew her culture and was entertaining to boot. What on earth happened?

MissYolande said...

Good luck to Will Lewis, that's all I can say. If she's so sick, it's funny that she's had the will to get herself another job, and write a book (wasn't she getting sued or something, for having spent the advance but not delivered novel?) and write a much-read, much-commented-on confessional column just before said book is released... Odd.

Madame Arcati said...

Will Lewis doesn't edit the Telegraph anymore though he has some grand-sounding title. Oddly he's been buried away someplace.

Pearson articulates all her miseries in her final column - all of which, as you say, won't impede her next novel.

Another Arcatiste points out Potter, Pearson, Parsons. Does Dacre have a thing about pee?

Hieronymus Posh said...

"She was entertaining to boot"?? What a horrid thing to do to her, and without any sense of shame.

Louis Barfe said...

If she's genuinely suffering from depression, it reinforces my belief in karma. What's the betting, though, that she felt a bit glum one morning before realising that depression's might be a great subject for any number of pisspoor columns and books? I get the horrible feeling that she's 'repositioning' herself and that the only depressing thing about the whole affair is that people will fall for it.

Louis Barfe said...

"Someone who works on a very prestigious title now still shakes at the mention of your name."

I'd wear that as a badge of honour, Victor. The thought of some people having to reach for a steadying gin at the mere thought of my existence is part of what makes my life worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Allison could try the time honoured remedy for middle class, middle aged despair: the big penis of a chap from an ethnic minority. It worked for her 'spiritual sister' Liz Jones for a while.

I'd take one for the team and cock cunt her.

Madame Arcati said...

People will fall for it all right, such is the deep well of self-pity out there. Perfectly intelligent people have told me on Twitter that they enjoyed her first novel, whatever it was called. I'm sure her next will sell by the bucketloads come the summer. She's a fake in a very authentic sort of way.

Madame Arcati said...

Louis, I deny everything. It has been my fate to work with bitches.

Madame Arcati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madame Arcati said...

How big a penis are we talking about here, Anon? (as if I couldn't guess who you are!) I have to say that Liz looks stricken these days, as if pining for something. Something that not even Paul Dacre can give her for sure.

Anonymous said...

I'd say a few people are clued up enough not to fall for her schtick, Louis. The Press Gazette comments thread following their Pearson article shows considerable collective scepticism about AP and her conveniently-timed public 'confession'.

Press Gazette thied/Terry Collman said...

Having known Allison Pearson since before she WAS Allison Pearson, when she was a mere secretary on the FT, and watched the calculated fashion in which she has clawed her way up the profession ove r the past 20+ years, I'd certainly agree that there is nothing here which does not smack of carefully planned promotion of the AP brand, including the "I've had depression" revelations. I look forward to reading about how the whole household went into family therapy - including the nanny and the gardener …

Anonymous said...

You have 22 comments Madame and Press Gazette has 11.

SBT said...

Oh, wait, it gets even better! An Allison Pearson fan page, pushing her new book, went live on Facebook yesterday. Allison commented to one fan that it had been a 'very emotional' day. Incredible. The Indy and Guardian have both reported in the past two weeks that Pearson has allegedly been poached by the Tele, giving the lie to her to 'stepping down from the Mail due to depression' story. And then, on the SAME DAY her final Mail column ran, she has swung straight into promoting the book, even as a blaze of sympathetic coverage bursts out across the media. Now, how did that happen? I Think I Know Precisely How She Does It. She really does take 'her' public for a pack of idiots - but they do seem to be falling for it.

Anonymous said...

Can't you get rid of that Taliban guy on the right?

Madame Arcati said...

Thank you SBT, most enlightening. Allison's depression is a theatrical experience, and the actor must go on with the show.

Madame Arcati said...

Taliban guy? Don't you mean one of the world's leading astrologers? Honestly!

Anonymous said...

Right on cue, the Tele has confirmed Pearson's appointment as columnist and chief interviewer (see Press Gazette). I think you're busted, Allison.

Vincent Nice-Price said...

I bet she'll end up on Loose Women.

Gerontius said...

Telegraph confirms Allison Pearson move http://bit.ly/bZkrYm

Madame Arcati said...

How lovely. And do read AP's last column in the Mail and how she covers herself. The reality of course is Dacre had grown tired of her - she wasn't cuntish enough.

theundergroundrestaurant said...

Completely agree re the treatment of Fiona Mckeown. Appalling way to talk of a grieving mother who left her 15 year old with what she regarded as family friends.And yet the McCanns who left 3 kids under 4 alone every night are sainted.
Awful.

Madame Arcati said...

What you demonstrate with this comment is your lack of regard for either Mckeown or the McCanns and their children. You're one of those sad parasites who try to draw strength from other people's troubles - see a therapist fast.