Monday, June 11, 2012

Paloma Faith's "chav" accent

Above:  complaints about the BBC's coverage of the Diamond Jubilee event last Sunday are reported to be influencing the choice of the next Director General of the media organisation.  Different parts of the BBC are reported to be briefing against each other.  It is possible that the political outlook of the future Director General (whether left-leaning or right-leaning) will depend on his/her attitude to spoof "sick bags".

Above:  the main focus of the complaints seems to have been the Ferne Cotton interview of singer Paloma Faith.  Ferne Cotton and Paloma Faith are seen examining various odd-ball items of kitsch, including what appear to be some stuff-the-Jubilee "sick bags".  It is a relatively harmless piece, especially as demonstrators against the Jubilee only amounted to "dozens" (report in the left-wing Guardian newspaper) and the anti-Jubilee satire in this little sequence is extremely mild.

It seems particularly unfair on Paloma Faith as presumably she is a royalist and appears to have dressed-up to feature as a guest on the BBC's Diamond Jubilee broadcast.  Is it possible that prejudice against the "sick-bag" item is in part generated by hatred of Paloma Faith's "chav" Hackney accent (this is not to denigrate the accent - I spoke with a Kentish Town accent myself until I went to university and realised I would get nowhere in life until I changed).  Criticism of the BBC's Diamond Jubilee coverage has been led by fruity-voiced Oxbridge-educated inverted snob Stephen Fry (there is nothing lefties hate so much as working-class support for the monarchy).

You can see the sick-bag interview:

Above:  you might ask who is Paloma Faith?  Although she has had modest success since her debut in 2009 she has only really begun to have an impact on popular consciousness since the release of her single Picking Up the Pieces on 18th May (last month).  The video for the song was directed by Emil Nava and is already regarded as a significant art work.

Above:  the video, which was filmed at West Wycombe Park, is wonderfully subtle and crammed with references, influences and counter-points (Twin Peaks, 2046, The Shining, David Lynch etc).  These two maids for instance.  They could have come out of the 1968 BBC ghost drama Whistle and I'll Come to You or the photography of Bill Brandt.

Above:  Whistle and I'll Come to You is an adaption of a MR James ghost story.  The film is notable for the sense of menace conveyed through the tiny details and routines of an old-fashioned hotel in the country.  Although nothing is ever portrayed explicitly, the terror is both real and convincing.

Above:  the photography of Bill Brandt is internationally acclaimed, and although born in Germany he is perhaps the most accomplished British photographer of the 20th century.  His status as an outsider probably allowed him to see British society in ways not ordinarily perceived.  His social realist images are remarkable.

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