Life Is Life

So, in last week’s post I had a little laugh at the expense of Sir Bradley Marc Wiggins, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

"That's quite lovely!"
“Dude! We’re in charge of naming British titles!”

Then I learned some new stuff. It’s good to learn new stuff. So, why not read on?

[And “Learn” “New” “Stuff” at the Apoplexy Newsletter!]

On Sunday, BBC Radio 4’s Profile programme ran a thirteen-minute, er, profile on Wiggo. It was reasonably interesting stuff. I mean, it was a life distilled into thirteen minutes. Of course it was interesting.

Not Ralph Ellison
This genuinely sounds like a boring story.

Maybe the show was cunningly planned and written by the ethical line-crossing pedal-pusher’s PR company. Who knows? The point is, by the time I got to the end of it, I didn’t think I’d heard the story of the latest in the honourable line of dishonoured knights who – in this case – had set out to be an alleged drugs cheat (“ADC“).

No. I thought I’d heard the story of a kid who had decided he wanted to be a cyclist like his deadbeat dad and then made a series of ensuing decisions – each one being a reasonably reasonable option in light of what had gone before and what was next – which led to him growing up to be an ADC.

Imagine Dinah Washington singing it
Lance Armstrong, another in the dishonourable line of ADCs. Tbf, it really *wasn’t*.

You know, kinda like a Choose You Own Adventure story where you chose Door 2 at the beginning of the quest and, well, your fate was kind of sealed.

Talking about the stories about lives, I stumbled across an interview this week with the poet, memoirist, and novelist Blake Morrison. As one of a growing number of university creative writing teachers, he was asked, do you believe writing can be taught?

'Cause what you did, you know, was wrong / And all the nasty things you've done
“You must write a memoir as if you’re writing a novel; you have to give it a shape,” he replied

OK. I may have taken some liberties with what a Blake Morrison is there. But, y’know. That kind of depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is. And it does  fit into the shape of what this blog is.  Still, that would infuriate the Grauniad readers who commented on the Blake Morrison interview. They were furious with this kind of talk.

Their advice was, if you plan ever to write a memoir, make sure you transcribe every conversation you ever have. In fact, transcribe every conversation you ever have, regardless. Because who knows when something noteworthy might happen in your life that is worth writing a memoir about. Maybe that old conversation with Auntie Jessie will add a nice little bit of foreshadowing of the thing that was worth writing about.

"Take a note, Hanks. In case I become a two-time Best Actor Oscar winner."
“Just the facts, Auntie.”

It’ll enhance the sense of naturalistic dialogue. Did you get that, Hanks?

I wonder how furious the Comments People are about the claims and counterclaims being thrown around by the British and Russian governments and their spokespeople today. Hugely, I’ll bet. They certainly will be if they’ve been listening to BBC radio news cover the story of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. It sounds like Auntie Beeb’s representatives are ragin about RT, the Kremlin-backed TV station, presenting its employees as journalists. The sort of people who tell The Truth.

"And neither does your mum."
“You’re watching the BBC. And I have no trousers on.”

Anyway, the whole thing is terribly exciting. Theresa May has given Vladimir Putin until midnight tonight to explain the use of a Russian-made nerve agent in the Salisbury attack or face retaliation for a brazen attempt to murder innocent civilians [Gavin,check this Skripal chap is squeaky clean – TM] on our soil.

Meanwhile, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has told reporters: One [i.e., the UK] should not threaten a nuclear power [i.e., a big frickin bear]. I’m very excited to find out The Truth about this Skripal affair, and how everything pans out.

"I said, Are You Excited?!?! Hello...?"
“Are you excited, HMNB Faslane?!?!?!”
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