Why does everyone want to be a Celebrity?

04/23/12 Posted by: Martin Day
no fans - no celebrity
Unless you manage to avoid the TV, radio and the press you canít escape it: Our society is obsessed with the cult of celebrity. Has it always been this way? I think that it probably has. But with rolling news and the internet, we experience news, as it happens, like never before, including celebrity news.. Significantly, the modern celebrity doesn't need to have done anything noteworthy to require celebrating. In particular, reality TV throws up 'stars' who have, as yet, shown no noteworthy skill or achievement. It's now well know that in surveys children no longer want to grow up to be teachers and doctors, like they used to, but to be sports stars and pop stars. On talent shows you can regularly hear the same words tumble from the lips of gifted and dreadful singers alike: "Itís my dream", "Singingís my life", "I really, really want this". Is there really such a fine line between genius and delusion, or is there something more going on here?
Read More »
Add comment

Why a small boy loved the beach

09/11/11 Posted by: Martin Day
Was there ever a child, like me, so happy?
The beach is one of my favourite places to be - it's the sounds of a breaking wave followed by pebbles tumbling back under the next one, or the distant roar of bigger surf carrying over a long flat sandy beach; it's the sun on my face and the soft, warm sand between my toes; it's the distant intensity of the horizon that stretches each way into my peripheral vision; it's the way the sounds of children playing and people talking seem close, yet distant at the same time, but somehow they don't intrude as the sun shines red through my closed eyelids.

Whilst reflecting on what makes the beach such a special place for me, the thought occurred that the best of the beach is not what it is, but what it isn't ... Picture this :

The sand is criss-crossed by ropes that form an orderly grid. Some of the plots have 'Reserved' signs in them - these are for the season ticket holders. Visitors are queuing back into the dunes waiting for the next 'day-plot' to become available, each one clutching a credit card ready to pay (family discounts are available). An official patrols
Read More »

10cc and a charming transgression

08/16/11 Posted by: Martin Day
10cc - I'm not in Love - Single cover
I remember when I first heard the song in the 70's. Like many others I was mesmerised by the swirling, velvety instrumentation and backing vocals. Back then was impossibly new. But for me there was something else even. I once heard the song playing on the radio and as it started to fade the DJ came in with the words, "That's 10cc with 'I'm not in Love' - A love song if ever I heard one". The words seemed to crash the moment and break the secret. Yes, it was true, but it felt like it should not have been spoken. I had recognised that the genius of that song was that the listener saw, more clearly, the heart and desire of the singer than he did himself. So, as odd as it seems, it felt to me that this DJ was being insensitive. I don't think I consciously recognised all this at the time but, as a writer of children's stories, it's an approach that I have instinctively taken up myself, where the reader understands what is going on before the central character does himself.

Sometimes I see things before they arrive but other times it can take a while before the important point dawns on me. To make the point another, more recent, memory comes to
Read More »