This post is a rant dug up and brushed up out of an email. It was prompted by reading the Monthly, but I didn’t want to hijack Sophie’s more serious review of it and it is not really in response to it. One point of disagreement with her is that while I like to read Helen Garner, I thought HG was off her game in this edition.
But I really hated the review of Denton. I do like many of his interviews, and I think he’s been a courageous innovator in Australian TV. But his interview with the Danish Royals was pure Pukesville, and the reviewer spent about a third of the review making excuses for it. It was pure, downtown pukesville in every respect. It was empty, simpering, respectful for Christsakes. Why do they deserve to be interviewed more respectfully than others? Denton could hardly help himself, saying ‘your royal highness’ to Mary at every possible opportunity. So why didn’t the reviewer just forget that unfortunate episode and move onto other good things about Denton.
Denton is also sentimental and ‘culturally correct’ about fatherhood, and I find that fairly pukesome too. But these are quibbles. He’s put together a good program and good on him.
Denton’s interview with his and her Highness left me wondering what gets into people. I’ll probably never write it up properly, but if I do, I’ll connect Dennis Glover’s excellent essay on Gallipoli language like ‘supreme sacrifice’ (email me for a copy), Stalin having Lenin stuffed and Denton saying ‘your royal Highness’ a few thousand times to some non-entity from Tassie who seems way too fixated on her ‘role’ for my liking. She needs to lighten up – badly.
As they say, human beings can’t stand too much reality. What better way to really take things into your own hands than with reality lift offs like ‘your highness’ to some jumped up Tasmanian, talking about the ‘supreme sacrifice’ while you pay the war widows of those who’ve made it a pittance, or what is admittedly on a different level altogether – having Lenin the father of the revolution stuffed, so you can continue your reality free romp through the populace also known as dictatorship of the proletariat. But I digress . . .