Friday, September 28, 2007

A Call Girl Responds

Staggering in to the flat after three hours of Patrick Stewart being old and hysterical in Macbeth, I grabbed the remnants of some Diet Coke and collapsed onto the sofa for the first episode of Secret Diary of a Call Girl, or Billie Piper's Agent Provocateur ad as it should probably be known - infinitely less annoying than that mealy-mouthed tabland Kate Moss. Even though it was barely half an hour long it was great fun. While not as bitingly funny or intelligent as the original blog ("because it's on the telly darling," says one cultural friend dismissively), and later book, by Belle De Jour, was exactly what I needed after a week of Culture with a capital twat.

Now, I don't trust writers who only use one name. It's ridiculous and egotistical, and I know enough writers with two names who fit that bill. Actors just about get away with it (viz Portia currently wowing the West End and Fantasia in The Color Purple on Broadway) but writers aren't covered in stardust and just come across as a bit po-faced and ridiculous.

Which, handily for this sweeping stereotype, is exactly how Bidisha, an Independent columnist, came across on Monday's Front Row. She'd been roped in by Mark Lawson to give a "woman's perspective" (this went unsaid, in much the same way that the Wonderbra ads in the 90s went unsaid) of the new TV show. The poor girl has a voice that would send a speed freak to sleep, and spoke with such grating lack of knowledge that by the end I just felt slightly embarrassed.

"She says she wasn't abused," she says earnestly (paraphrase) "but in the book she describes what is very clearly an abusive relationship with her first boyfriend that she talks about in an almost dismissive manner."

That's not abuse, that's S&M you silly girl. Read the book. I can feel another 300 argument approaching.

Read the amusing and acidic email from Belle De Jour to Radio 4. I wonder if they'll be reading that out on Pick of the Week.


Anonymous said...

It's rather irresponsible to lump S&M into the same category as abuse. Not to mention woefully, laughably naive...

phaeton said...

Which is just what I've said, isn't it?