Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Newspapers, doncha just love em?

On Monday The Times runs a piece in its My Edinburgh column, apparently by Rose Heiney, 'actress and (in theory) novelist', who with two others is performing the show, Bite Me. Chattily she takes us through her accommodation experiences and her prior show nerves, and The Bitch mildly enjoys her somewhat transparent self-deprecating style. Until she hits this paragraph:
My parents [the Times columnist Libby Purves and Paul Heiney] are in broadcasting. Does that make things any easier? Only in the sense that it gives you a little comfort in leading a freelance life.
The Bitch drops the paper. Is she kidding? Only in the sense that it gets you a two-thirds-page column with a colour photo (all that free publicity) in Mummy's paper!

And those brackets have alerted The Bitch to what she should have realised all along: that this is one of those dishonest supposedly first-person accounts a journalist has concocted out of an interview (in this case Dominic Maxwell). The Bitch now imagines the scenario:

Dominic (down phone): Rose, both your parents are in broadcasting. Does that make things any easier?

Rose (thinking, Oh god he would come up with that one! Now no one will think I have any real talent! Defensively, with heart sinking and imagining the reaction of readers like The Bitch): Only in the sense that it gives you a little comfort in leading a freelance life.

You can imagine the conversation which led to this airily smug little paragraph, which even while she understood what was going on made The Bitch sneer:

During the day I'm actually writing a novel... I've got an agent for it and we're hoping to sell it at the start of September.

It gets worse, though, much worse:

It's a difficult situation for me and my parents at the moment [Heiney's brother Nick committed suicide in June after suffering from depression for years] but I don't mind talking about it, it's such an elephant in the room. I didn't consider cancelling the show.

At which point The Bitch was no longer sneering at Rose Heiney's apparent self-serving glibness but ready to bop Dominic Maxwell on the nose.
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