Friday, July 15, 2011

Rupert Murdoch sexes it up for gerontophiles: The elder as harried quarry

Rupert Murdoch
The still-potent elderly media villain is a rare creature of celebrity. Periodically, the grim mugshot of yet another suspected doddery octogenarian Nazi war criminal (or Hugh Hefner) graces our media pages and screens, but in the main we are simply not accustomed to the sight of an ancient elder being set upon by baying hacks and paps on our city streets for crimes allegedly committed in our lifetime.

For this is the lot of Rupert Murdoch, 80. As the phone hacking scandal mushrooms on various Bikini Atolls here and abroad, Rupert finds himself alone in the genre marked Media Harried Quarry. What stands him apart from, say, Lady Gaga, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Jonathan King and the many other magnets of media screaming hunting parties, is his sheer age. The deep facial furrows, the fried bacon eyelids, the tufted pate, the faintly rolling gait of the faintlier unsteady - I note the blonde personal trainer and concede he can jog upright - yes, all these mark him out as special, if not unique, in the iconography of... the Media Harried Quarry.

Part of the reason for this latest polish to his celebrity is his failure to die. By 80, apparently, few of us are fit for anything much. If a person dies aged 80 we say, 'Mmm, not a bad time to go.' Eighty is about 15 years since usual retirement age (for men in the UK); about 20 years if you're a UK female. If a sports journalist managed to reach 80 in post we would cast doubt on the competence of Human Resources at his/her publication. This is not how things should be, just how they are.

For Rupert to get to 80 while still running his multi-national, multi-media empire is in itself an extraordinary thing.

So for him to metamorphose into Public Enemy Number One and to have ghastly journalists a third of his age waving their notebooks and dictaphones under his nose, actually running after him when he has plainly waved them off en route to the gas-guzzling company four-wheel drive; bellowing questions and demanding answers (pause for breath, dearies) - well, this is an event worthy of memorialising.

Welcome to the still-potent elderly media villain on our bustling streets; on our TV screens. Ready yourself for the sight of other rogues of advanced vintage pursued by the hacks and paps. I sense a new fashion! Unwittingly and unwillingly, Rupert has broadened our view of what can be achieved at 80. Old age is now no barrier to the media persecution of non-Nazis (or of Rebekah's elderly sink estate paedos). Once again he has proved his pioneering spirit.

Thank you, Rupert.


Catherine de Bourgh said...

Darling Rupert will be with us for many moons yet. I blame the parents myself. The martinet Dame Elizabeth is 102 and still out almost every night, whizzed up from her country estate. Just as one appreciates Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden, I remain quite fond of her Fireside Reflections. But could it be the tiara? The glitter of diamonds is so absolutely critical after a certain age!

Madame Arcati said...

Poppetiest, I do love your observations; and I must read the link - I can't get enough of Dame Elisabeth though I've had quite enough of Rupert.

Onward with gerontophilia!

Will. I'm. Not said...

I too was appalled by the sight of Rupert, or Mr Murdoch to you, being treated as a fox by those blood-lusty thugs of the media. Rupert is a dxemi-god, villain or hero is beside the point. Such a man is not like others and we should abase ourselves before him.

Dr Goeballs said...

I followed the link Miss de Bourgh sent in and was fascinated to read this from Murdoch's old mum - "I had always been tremendously interested in genetics because having cattle I knew how important genetics was! David was a magnificent director in his time. He was outstanding in his focus on developing an independent institute as a centre of excellence in genetics."

What does she mean?

Lord Black Cell Block H # 166232 said...

Dame Elisabeth hated the Page 3 girlies in The Sun as did Rupes but both relented when they saw the cash rolling in. Such a lovely family.

Catherine de Bourgh said...

I myself was more intrigued by Dame Elizabeth's fireside reflection: "I am a great believer in loving discipline and that children should know what is expected of them and have clear boundaries set."

Unfortunately, that boundary appears not to have extended to the intimidation of parliamentarians by playgroups.

Please also inform Dr Goebbels: I am a Lady of the first rank, NOT a "Miss". That's a National Socialist outrage that makes the burning of the Reichstag seem a mouse's sneeze.

Lord 'of the dance' Mandy said...

Love your mischief, 'Madame'.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you're comparing Hefner with Nazi war criminals but watching what's happening in London is mind-blowing stuff. I hear Murdoch could have been sent to the Tower for failing to agree to turn up at the Parliamentary committee. I love Tudor history.