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Friday, August 29, 2008

Civilisation is crumbling

Jade Goody naked here.

'Civilisation is crumbling,' said Bill the Butcher (right) in 'Gangs of New York.'

Bill was correct, of course. Just a century or so premature in his diagnosis.

But two news items today indicate that Bill's prescient prediction is now coming true.

Firstly, a book written by a chimp has been nominated for a best first book award.

Now, I'm going out on a limb here, but I reckon that the monkey didn't write the book. No matter how many years he was chained to a typewriter. I'm guessing it was written by a bunch of marketing scum, seeking to 'create some buzz' around nothing by billing their verbal silage as being the product of a monkey.

Every year, tens of thousands of debut novels emerge onto the market to a resounding silence from the media, the review pages, the awards lists. This is how it must be, when there is so much output and so little space for promotion or endorsement.

But could you blame each and every one of those dedicated writers for feeling outraged that some piss-poor marketing fluff, advertised as being written by a chimp, gets shortlisted for a prestigious award while they struggle on, creating art in a vacuum (or freezing garret)?

For added irony, the book has been listed even though it hasn't been published yet. That's right, this book which no one has read, which was allegedly written by a chimp, is so brilliant that it has been shortlisted for an award.

In case you're still not convinced that the end of the world is nigh, let me refer you to Marina Hyde, who is in her own little way despairing about the fate of humanity.

The reason for her concern is the opening this week of a finishing school for reality TV show contestants.

I'm afraid that's not a typo. There really is now a college in New York dedicated to teaching people how to become the next Jade Goody.

If anyone's looking for me, I'm spending the rest of the day in my nuclear bunker.

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