Posts Tagged Larry David

Is this news?

Is this news?

Is it just me, or does anybody else find Stephen Fry rather annoying? Not content to serve us with a barrage of what can best be described as his self-indulgent tales of woe and misery, he now makes the news (though, I ask, is it actually news?) after getting into a hissy fit with some faceless critic on the Internet.

“Think I may have to give up on Twitter. Too much aggression and unkindness around.” Hmm. He’s lucky he doesn’t have me following him then, doesn’t he?

As much as I enjoyed his performance as Melchett in Blackadder, I have never understood what Fry has actually done to be elevated – in some minds, at least – to the status of “national treasure”. As far as I can see the man is no better or worse than any other comedian, the occasional florid witticism notwithstanding. He is hoisted up as some sort of intellectual heavyweight for no other reason than he appears to have an opinion on almost everything, though this opinion is delivered in what is admittedly a rich and soothing baritone.

If anything, Fry has shown a rather uncanny ability to make the most out of being a victim; from his admission of having bipolar disorder and his homosexuality through to his almost comedic breakdown on Who Do You Think You Are? where he revealed previously unknown Jewish roots, there is a clear pattern there. He is, in a sense, the almost perfect victim; it reminds me of a hilarious exchange on Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry David, on being told that his manager Jeff had a gay cousin that escaped Nazi Germany, merely splutters “talk me about being ostracized. Gay Jew in Nazi Germany? He must’ve had a hard time. What a combo!”

When you throw in bipolar as well, you can arguably claim to have the full house. In terms of victim status, Stephen Fry is the undoubted market leader – unless of course you wish to include someone like Jordan, who has recently played her latest victim card in claiming that she was raped before she became famous. I can see no reason why we need to be told about this – or what we can possibly gain from acquiring this knowledge – but someone, somewhere, is lapping it all up.

OK, so Stephen Fry suffers from bipolar disorder. Yes, I feel sorry for the guy – but just don’t get why his fawning followers in the media feel the need to keep telling the entire world about it in the vain hope of expecting them to be nice to him on the Internet. It’s like a new discussion exit strategy – you can’t criticise me/him/her – I/he/she has bipolar disorder. It’s right up there with invoking Adolf Hitler or the Nazis (or both) when an argument isn’t quite going your way.

In a sense, Fry is the living embodiment of the spirit of post-Blair Britain, a Britain that is obsessed with the personal foibles of so-called celebrities and with it the mythologising of victimhood. It is the genesis of all of those rather cloying tributes to dead reality TV personalities; the Urquelle of those morbidly nauseating childhood biographies that one can find in abundance on supermarket shelves. Stephen Fry and the likes of Jordan, Kerry Katona and Jade Goody may be poles apart in terms of background and intellectual ability, but they are two sides of the same coin in that they have all profited from what I would consider a bizarre wave of manufactured public sympathy.

I just find all of this curious in the extreme, but then I suppose you need to be a victim – at least to some degree – in order to understand it. What this actually says about the British public, I couldn’t begin to imagine.

, , , , , , , ,