Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A terrible beauty is born

I was on a tube last night and heard someone say that Michael Jackson was dead. At the time I assumed that they were making a kind of incredibly astute art-joke about the power of rumour in an age of mass media and modern culture's pathological denial of death.

It is a unique piece of news that, like finding out that John Prescott was bulimic or that Trevor McDonald wasn't really black, changes the way the world feels this morning.

It's also probably the first thing that has ever happened about which you can safely say that everything that there is to be said will be said, and probably within the next couple of hours. This effect is measurable in the overwhelming sense of failure and futility that I got before I even started to write this post. But then, that's not altogether unusual.

And, A-level students take note, it also makes this press conference into a really precise definition of proleptic irony.

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