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.