Media Musing #1
I love the British press. Really. There’s so damn much of it – and so much of it properly thought-provoking – that I seem to spend half my time back in the UK just struggling to keep up with the previous week’s papers. As was the case with the Guardian’s Film & Music section of last Friday, January 27th, which has given me endless enjoyment while serving as a mirror back to my own shifting perspective after so many years living abroad.
Take, for example, the the Gwyneth Paltrow cover story, best noted for interviewee Emma Brockes’ absolute astonishment that the American actress might choose to live in London (married to Chris Martin) without getting drunk all the time.
“I’m not really a drinker,”
says Paltrow in the key quote.
“Like the last time I got drunk was on holiday in Spain three years ago.”
To which Brockes writes,
Wow. That’s a long time sober. What’s that about?
Paltrow could and possibly should have replied, “It’s about the fact that I got pregnant soon after, I now have an 18-month old baby and I’m currently pregnant again. What do you think it’s about? The desire to poison my babies?” But instead, she heads down an equally acceptable alternative path, and states, for the record,
“I think it’s gross. I really don’t like drunk women. I think it’s very inappropriate…”
It’s a quote that would look perfectly appropriate in any number of cultures. But the Guardian’s Film and Music section is obviously not one of them. An openly amazed Brockes instead interrupts to ask, in third person…
“Doesn’t she feel boring at parties?”
…Making this one of those interviews that tells you much more about the journalist than it does about her subject.