Thursday, 18 August 2005

Thick and Thin

Surprising no-one Posh Spice admitted this week that she has never read a book. Slighty more surprisingly, this was national news. The nation shrugged and moved on. The Guardian, however, decided to get someone in to defend her honour, which is more than she ever did (thanks Groucho).
Since when did a regular quota of suitably serious reading matter become obligatory? And who decides what's worthy anyway? If Victoria Beckham swallowed a regular dose of sugary chick lit or violent slasher chillers, for example (well, they're books too), would it somehow make her reading habits more acceptable than the fact that she happens to "love fashion magazines"?

The article continues much in this vein and concludes:
Reading must be about the only pastime that is pretty much universally seen as "good" and virtuous - so to say openly that you don't like books puts you beyond the pale. For someone to say they don't care for reading labels them as some kind of thickie pariah, fair game for any insult. To decide any such thing on the basis of one single trait seems both sweeping and snobbish.

See what they've done there? They've taken Mrs Beckham, who we probably know more about than is good for us, and the slight scorn she's received for revealing something we'd have guessed at anyway and treated her as if she was some random chav who we'd heretofore never heard of.

But that's it. We are not labelling Posh as "some kind of thickie pariah" because she doesn't read books. We are labelling Posh as a thickie because, well, she certainly seems to be one.

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