Monday, 21 January 2008

THE RICHARD MADELEY MEMORANDUM

For the benefit of the uninformed, let me say that I first met Richard Madeley when he blew life into me, and that I remain grateful to him for taking my blog in hand and introducing the graphic designs which now define its temperament and disposition. In truth, without him this weblog would still be in my head, rather than in the public domain. And since energy is made of quanta and blogs are made of digits, I am I indebted to Richard for having donated an abundance of both.


Reading in part like the progress of a knight-errant and in part like a confession, Richard Madeley’s own blog is a well appointed and impressively made affair. The daily word-count functions with awesome efficiency. Balanced, effective and supreme. His private personality, on the other hand, can only be guessed at. As a matter of fact, a lot of writers can be false, arrogant, infuriating, or downright idealistic, which is why I look upon every one of them as either an impostor or a saint. And Richard, conceivably, has been called something a good deal worse than that, and kinder, presumably, if confidentially so, by his "Nemesis" at home.

One wonders!

Indeed, I am beginning to wonder how many of his formal critics and judges are secretly his stalkers. Why should this be? Not, I believe, because most enduringly successful blogs to date have been written by humorists of one ilk or another, but rather because humorists are, almost by definition, misunderstood. Written with a certain Wodehouse touch which seems to be a cunning complement to himself, Richard’s blog is ambiguous on facts, and injudicious, even reckless, in the “maltreatment” of his friends - fictitious, no doubt, but sharpened by the effects of satire.

All satire is a struggle between fact and falsehood.

His past achievements, on that score, were prodigious and in theory set up a literary and prospective network that might conceivably serve as the commercial foundation for literary success, rather than being his flagship philosophy used for bookish boastfulness. Indeed, one would presume that, because he has the attention of the media and literary world, the publishing industry would offer him all he required. That said, Richard Madeley‘s usefulness to the literary service industry has largely been as a totemic figure.

Nor was the gain all his.

Dismally ill-equipped for the business of riding rough over his celebrity peers, he’s not the swaggering, champagne-guzzling, self-serving type. In an environment that is teeming with poisonous snakes and swarms of shameless grovellers, he reveals an affability that would grace a suburban bank clerk. For all that, he’s a great media personality. A man whose tremendous asset it is to be a conciliator - handsome and perilous with the outward habit of a WWI flying ace and the phraseology and vocabulary of a teatime chat-show host.

He couldn’t possibly alienate anyone.

But for all his charm, he strikes me as the archetypal knight-errant, the type that everybody loves to deride, the man who has realized the element of tragedy - longing for a life of meaning and significance. Truth to tell, there is something curiously deprived about Richard Madeley. And one suspects that, like many media personalities, and the intellectual and emotional constraints that hold them in a gold-fish bowl, he is an essentially misunderstood, even tragic figure who has been emotionally dispossessed -almost as if he were in a state of dissociation, standing outside himself watching himself.

There is no better way to feel like an outcast than to be a celebrity.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my celebrity status,” he says, and I, for one, can admire and appreciate its merits. But Judy, no uncritical admirer of Richard’s gift, may see things in a different light. All we have to go on, apart from the eloquence of the blog itself, is the daily record of his domestic court-martial proceedings. Indeed, I feel sorry for Judy, and a little guilty. Richard was the first to kiss me. And female fans, especially - relishing the way that he has brought the celebrity status to life and projected it upon his blog - are prone to plead his vulnerability. This is deceptive, and perhaps the briefing's tone is deliberately disingenuous. His courteousness, undoubtedly, disguises an uncomplicated belief in his own powers to endure. This man’s motivation is a good deal deeper, one suspects, and rather more complex than the mere need for commercial remuneration and success. Nor are success and recognition synonyms. For even though each has proved a powerful stereotype, the chances in each for personal, individual self-expression are incomparably remote!


Doubtless, it is useless for me to tell you that the information on which I rely goes well beyond what I have seen in the public domain, and that this memorandum represents pure conjecture from beginning to end. I also find it absolutely indispensable to proclaim that it was motivated by an interest more passionate by far than the random curiosity of the mere spectator. And if you asked for my judgement on the way he sustains his blog, I will suppress my habitual reticence with strangers and plainly say that I found it full of affinities, surprises and revelations, not least of Richard’s own identity, integrity and dignity. In my opinion the man Madeley has brought something individual and unique to the imposing matter of internet blogs, which are usually received with a great deal of indifference, and almost always suffer from the lingering suspicion that, if anything, they are simply not outrageous enough...


One thing, above all, is beyond argument: The Richard Madeley Appreciation Society is a woman’s blog. And if I didn't say so to his face, I am perfectly happy to say now: interspersed with Mahler and Mozart, hilarity, mirth and champagne, he is the best dancing partner I’ve ever had...


Dreamy

8 comments:

Richard Madeley said...

Now you’ve made my make-up run! I’m due on set in a matter of minutes yet here I am, with more blubber like a Japanese whaling fleet. What more can I say, Selena, except that I am deeply touched? You know me so well. And that’s more than can be said about those rotten Stephen Fry fans who are even now plotting my downfall on their forums. However, I hope to maintain my dignity, my wordcount, and my readership in order to live up to such high praise. To have my name bracketed between the names Dreamy and Wodehouse is an honour higher than any other I could imagine. As soon as I’m back home, I shall print out this post and frame it on my wall next to my signed picture of Denzel Washington.

Selena Dreamy said...

I hope to maintain my dignity, my wordcount, and my readership in order to live up to such high praise...


...and I could fall into idolatry!

Neil Forsyth said...

Quite.

mutleythedog said...

Crikey!! You could not get much further up his arse could you?? I am prepared to admit that Mr Madeley is a better writer than me but that is not hard. Anyway - I am sure he has professional help. Mr Fry for example writes an opera a day and his friend Bill Oddie is the author of such masterpieces as "Little Black Bird Book" of which I have a first signed edition...

Richard Madeley said...

Leave us alone, you two. Can't you just see when two people have something special going on?

Selena Dreamy said...

Crikey!! You could not get much further up his arse could you??

Mutley, I’ve never claimed to be above anything. But, it is at times like these that I am glad that Mutleythedog is very high on my agenda of future Memoranda. Watch out!

First though, because you’ve been swearing on my blog, I think I publish something religious...

mutleythedog said...

Sorry Selena... I did not mean to offend. I have a bottle of Benedictine and some Garibaldi biscuits and could pop round to apologise whenever you give the nod...

Anonymous said...

Again, utterly compelling, but totally baffling; remember clarity first, brilliance second?.........you have them in reverse.





ps

I can let you have a copy of Robert McCrum's fantastic Wodehouse; A Life, if you want it; i'll just leave it at the place beside the thing close to the park that crosses the other highway.

I once left something redeeming in the Berlin Hotel Adlon that PG allegedly disgraced himself, but that's another story.............