Saturday, February 02, 2013

The problem of being "Giles Fraser"

F Scott Fitzgerald wrote a long-forgotten short story called Bernice Bobs Her Hair.  It is about a dull pedestrian young woman in the 1920s who does something outrageous - she has her hair bobbed.  She immediately becomes the centre of attention, popular with her "friends" and admired for her daring.

However, after a little time the outrageousness fades, and she is then left with the problem of what to do next to maintain her outrageous daring reputation.

This I suspect is the quandary the Reverend Giles Fraser now finds himself in.

"They are not going to like what I have to say" he boasts on Twitter.  As if someone as morally bankrupt as Martin Sorrell is going to care two hoots about what Giles Fraser thinks.  Summit for UK Advertising indeed - what self-important twaddle.

"I played the pantomime villain" he says in his column today in the Guardian.  Of course he did.  It is the only role he can play.

And here we have the problem of being "Giles Fraser" (I am talking about the public persona).

There are a finite number of issues he can be "outrageous" about without becoming a caricature and losing his dignity.  And he surely must know that his calling as a priest does not really allow him to indulge in showbiz shallowness.  Occasionally he trys a toned-down serious column in the Guardian, but the result is so anodyne it resembles those women's magazines from the post-war era where a vicar's musings are alongside a poem by Patience Strong and a feature about a village baking competition.

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