Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Piers Morgan - a bull in life's tiresome china shop

Piers Morgan does persist in drawing attention to his own fallibility. It's an admirable quality in itself, to stand on a high altitude ledge and invite fate to push. A casting director would approach Heath Ledger to play Piers in the biopic, but for the tiresome limits of mortality. Ah, There He Goes. RIP. It's a winning proposed title.

A similar thought occurred only last Sunday when my eye (just the one) glanced on Piers' Mail on Sunday column in the paper's rather good supplement Event. I find that Craig Brown's Event book reviews are an able guide to what he's likely to spoof in Private Eye a few weeks on. Chris Evans' natterings on motors is in there too - of no interest whatsoever. Camilla's son parades his foodie weltanschauung. I don't read him either. But in an uncertain world it's reassuring to be reminded of celebrity constants driven by nothing more than nominal recognition.

Last Sunday, Piers teetered to the edge of the ledge and shared his thoughts on Rebekah and Andy. Both have something in common with an awful lot of other people who enjoy mere nominal recognition - they're close personal friends (CPFs) of Piers. His loyalty is a thing of wonder. Were I a Piers CPF, I'd feel duveted against the world's harsh consequences. Piers rightly revelled in Rebekah's release from Old Bailey trauma, already compensated for loss of office to the tune of a measly £16m. As for Andy, Piers played the safer game of not intruding on legal grief. But he told a telling tale instead. It was a parable with multiple angles.

He recalled a stag do in Spain. A cock-cunter friend of his and Andy's invited them and other cock-cunters to a bullring wherein male bonding required play with a livin'-snortin' bull. Apparently a number of the world's finest were gored in the name of friendship (I relate this as a summary of Piers' faultless memory). Then it was Piers' turn in the sandy arena. The bull, in common with Ian Hislop and other exemplars of masculine wisdom, took against the former CNN talking head and proceeded to try to kill him. But fate had other ideas. Step forward Andy Coulson who bravely and selflessly clasped his huge hands on bovine horns, steering them away from Piers' swaying, Moby Dick tum. This was cited as an example of Andy's courage, fidelity and honour. It did not occur to Andy, now Hotspur of Wapping, that the bull may have viewed Piers as one of many tortures in its brief and afflicted life and worthy of extinction.

I have no problem in finding every word of Piers credible on this encounter. Andy Coulson is a strapping chap of inordinate height (rather like too many in Murdoch's employ, past and present) and all the boldness of a hitherto unobstructed process. What's revealing is the sheer primordial and unreconstructed machismo set as expectation among peers of shared delusion. Was it this instinct - this drive to test life and parameters without regard for outcome - which lay behind the whole hacking saga? If so, you can keep it, poppet. It serves no useful purpose, here, there or in a Spanish bullring.

Piers, devoid of any reflective trait, cannot see this. Instead, he recalls a moment of high glamour touched by fear of death or injury. A thing to reminisce about in the bigging-up biz of CPFs. The reward of survival is continuation of the dream of masculine assertion - and ignoring its nightmare aftermath.

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