Monday, January 15, 2007

The Show Must Go On

It isn’t often that I think about Leo Sayer. I wouldn’t be now had I not decided to take a very quick peek at Celebrity Big Brother, and this because I felt moved to check out the phenomenon that is Jade Goody by reading about it in that’s so pants. BB still has the power to make my jaw literally drop. I am gob-smacked by ghastliness. After two seconds I feel as though I am there with them picking my toenails on the sofa, after thirty (in which at least three celebs broke down and wept because of nomination syndrome) I have served ten years, am waiting for parole and have turned hyperbolic. I stayed long enough to take in Leo irritating a couple of “mates” by banging on about his erstwhile successes, then I switched off.

His songs came back to me, though – The Show Must Go On, One Man Band and a haunting one called The Dancer about a girl trapeze artist who loved a singer, (especially the refrain: “and it rains all down the avenue just for you, boy”). I had a look at YouTube to see what I could find and discovered that L.S. had walked out of The House because they wouldn’t provide him with clean underpants. I watched the clip of him bashing at the door to get outside, telling the security people who kept grabbing him to fuck off, that he wanted to go back to Australia and that being in the BB house was demeaning. He was upset.

I haven’t looked, but the tabloids must be full of it now – how he was too much up his own arse to wash his own underwear and ha ha it serves him right, who does he think he is, we can probably write it ourselves without bothering to look. Publicity is obviously the point of the whole thing: ratings. In order for these to remain buoyant one has to up the ante and apparently what keeps us turned on and tuned in is seeing people demeaned, especially the up-their-arses celebs. The very first BB ever, which I did watch, seems almost like the Garden of Eden.

But nothing lost, one could say, and if the story hangs around Leo like a bad smell why should we care? Off he goes, diminished, as they all will be, must be, if the show is to succeed, which it will if we read the glitter in Davina McColl’s eye. We watch, get hooked and are diminished. And it rains all down the avenue.


nmj said...

I must confess, I am a bit of a BB addict, I get kind of hooked, despising myself the whole time. Thank God, I only have Channel 4 & none of those stations that stream it live. . . I was away last week and missed the launch of this year's celeb event, haven't been tempted to peek yet, I think you need to be there from the beginning. Does Leo not still live next door to his ex-wife or sth bizarre like that, or is she still his manager . . .? I saw a documentary on him a few yrs ago & he seemed quite fragile & needy, if I recall correctly.

Reading the Signs said...

Well I've been hooked and could still be (the holier-than-thou tone of my post notwithstanding). The last time I watched was when Germaine Greer was in it. I could hardly believe it. Three years before that she had said that watching Big Brother was "about as dignified as looking through the keyhole in your teenage child's bedroom door" but the people she really slated were the makers of it, not the watchers or the participants.
I would guess that L.S. may well be fragile and needy - vulnerable, as humans are, and perhaps thinking to do himself a bit of good by doing this. Oh well.
Down with Big Brother.

Ms Melancholy said...

Like you, nmj, I get hooked and then get irritated with myself. I can't quite understand what the fascination is, and i don't want to believe that I only watch it to see how screwed up celebrities are. LS was indeed fragile and needy, but layered over with so much narcissism it was hard to feel compassion for him. I loved it when he said 'fuck off' and then gave the cameras an inadvertent thumbs up, like he wasn't really sure how to do it. Suggested to me he was playing a bit of a part. My favourite ever was Galloway. I had always had a sneaking respect for him, but he came across as a typical school bully and pitiful arse licker. Oh dear, I really should have better things to do with my time...

Reading the Signs said...

Hi ms m - I think it's to do with the looking through the keyhole idea, that perhaps we feel driven to know what people are really like.