Monday, September 19, 2011

Private Eye: The First 50 Years - a non-review

Just after the Madame Arcati blog arrived on this planet in 2006, Private Eye was sweetly among the first of the media to notice. A contributor to its pages even invited me to one of the magazine's regular Soho pub get-togethers - naturally I declined, politely alluding to my osteoporotic fragility in city street breezes. This was one butterfly that had no intention of being pinned in someone's collection cabinet. Let's just say I know how journalists' minds work, dearies. Oh, yes.

(It has occurred to me since that I should turn up one day with fiancee Molly Parkin. That could be amusing)

Private Eye: The First 50 Years is out now and I have absolutely no intention of buying a copy. I say this in full confidence that a relative or ex-lover will read this and pick up on the hint. I could hassle for a review copy but I have no intention of reviewing it as it is unreviewable and can only serve as prompt for a dreary magazine history lesson or analysis of British satire or slagging of priggish editor Ian Hislop. Not that the book is expensive. On Amazon it's only £17; and I notice that you can buy this book, and the Private Eye Annual AND The Best of Matt 2011 for a knockdown all-in £27.32.

If you like your satire small c conservative (hello, Matt), then this is a must.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

The launch party for this book tomorrow (Tuesday) clashes with the launch party for Duncan Fallowell's. I know which one I'm going to crash.

Madame Arcati said...

Alas, I won't be able to make either though only one has invited me. I'm sure a good time will be had by all.

Anonymous said...

I was expecting a right slagging of the Eye.

The late Christopher Booker said...

You were very canny not to attend the Eye's regular lunches at the Coach & Horses. You have to sing for your, er, supper.

Anonymous said...

The Eye does a good job - don't knock it. But Fallowell has sexier parties.

Anonymous said...

I just read the back end.

Ena B Maxwell said...

Shouldn't Madame scrutinise Private Eye a little more? I'm sure many would appreciate an outsider's voice as accomplished as yours.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean - there is indeed something 'Outraged of Hetero Middle England!' about Private Eye

Anonymous said...

How daring can tweed ever be?

Madame Arcati said...

Thank you Ena and others - I do think Private Eye would ascend to another level if Mr Hislop found himself a lovely boyfriend - but I don't think that's going to happen. I believe there were more practising homosexuals on Richard Ingrams' watch than Hislop's - but nonetheless I still read the Eye because it's very good. The English are middleclass and rather narrow-minded (even now), so the Eye is bound to reflect these grave defects.

Sim Tatchell said...

Ian Hislop earns about £500K a year from his various jobs, including highly paid speaker. I don't think someone on that kind of money can be regartded as a satirist. A joker perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Where would we be without the Eye? They are very brave and always being sued

Madame Arcati said...

The shareholders (eg Jane Asher, the Chelsea cake maker) of Private Eye are indeed brave; and we would be even more stupid without the mag. It's sued a lot less these days thanks to editorial caution and the avoidance of cretinous c-listers (the most litigious).

The Duchess Bienvenida said...

I'd love to have sex with Francis Wheen. He could whisper 'I hate mumbo-jumbo cunties' in my ear as he humped away. Yummy.

Another Ena said...

I just LOVE you Madame and I love this site. I can never guess what you're going to write next. Didn't Germaine Greer once write for P Eye? It needs Germaine, it needs personality.

Adam Macqueen said...

Thanks for the, er, non-review. I can guarantee one thing since it seems to bother your readers - mine will definitely be the least heterosexual history of Private Eye ever written.
Yours practisingly
Adam

Madame Arcati said...

Oh I may review it then after all, Madame is nothing if not capricious. x

Who's Ena said...

I've found a copy that's under £17 but I'm not telling

a little queer said...

I once rang Private Eye and asked their advice on which lawyer to hire to sue a scurrilous gay magazine that had said very naughty things about me-all untrue!

Needless to say, they put me onto Peter Carter Fuck as they said he was the one who had won the most cases against them.

However after my first meeting with the pompous sod I was quite put off the whole idea even though he promised me eye catching headlines in the tabloids.

Instead I invited the offending hack around for champagne and we settled the matter after two bottles.

Things are so complicated these days.

Madame Arcati said...

Heavens! 'Private Eye gives Carter Fuck business' shock horror. I hope the mag doesn't sue to protect its good name. But thank you for sharing.

Derren Skidmark said...

Do Private Eye's horoscope.