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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

File with venom under "Who gives a shit" ... and something for the holidays

I just read that a choreographer called Freidman, "fears X-factor winner Joe Elderberry's debut single The Climb could lose the Christmas number 1 spot to the re-released Killing in the Name by Rage against the Machine. "It could happen," he warned.

How d'you vote, folks? If this tragic event occurs you can choose between a National Day of Mourning and a bucket of cold tripe poured over Simon Cowell.

Meanwhile, for those of you who read books, here are two that gave me great joy in the last week.

"Then We Came to the End" by Joshua Ferris is the story of a Chicago ad agency going broke in 2001. Sounds depressing, but is actually hilarious, and a far, far better picture of the real world of advertising than Madmen. You get a very good understanding of why so much advertising is crap, too.

What really surprised me was that nothing seems to have changed since 1966, when I was one of the creative group heads at an agency called PKL. I got my job because Charles Saatchi wanted more money than me. Other rather more talented people than me there were Alan Parker and Peter Mayle.

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" by Paul Torday is equally good. It's funny, touching - and contains a wonderful description of a government that is quite clearly based on the Bliar's. There is an odious press secretary, and the end is most uplifting when the character in that role gets killed as a result of a lunatic photo-opportunity. If only ...

The other reading that is giving me great pleasure is quite different: it's the relaunched, free Evening Standard. I freely admit I got that one wrong. I thought it would go down the pan, but it really is excellent; better than I can ever remember. It's a heartening reminder that even in the tawdry age of Big Brother and the X-Factor a superior product can find an audience.

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