Friday, 6 March 2009

the ineffable Julie Myerson


A dread warning from history: before even my time the late mother of well-known jailbird Jeffrey 'Lord' Archer (apparently she was named Lola) used to write a column in the local paper about her dear son 'tuppence' setting out the endearing history of his - erm - formative years. And look what happened to him...
Julie Myerson appears incapable of learning the lessons of history. For the uninitiated, Julie Myerson is a British novelist and appears on Newsnight Review regularly where she equally regularly shows up her shallowness in contrast to the commentators on that august arts magazine who actually have something thoughtful and knowledgeable to say.
She is also a relentless self publicist for whom no detail of her family life seems to be beyond milking for her 'literary' ends. She has a son called Jake (pictured). I should declare a slight connection: when Jake was Jacob, he was in the same class as my younger son in primary school. He was the class 'boffin' and apparently a decent cricketer. I began to notice that articles began to appear in the Guardian from la Myerson concerning her family life. They grated for two reasons: their insufferably smug, narcissistic tone and the fact that she was milking matters which really belong in the private sphere to sell articles in the press. What child wants or needs their mother endlessly gushing about them in the popular prints? One particular piece that sticks in my mind was one concerning the joys of nappies (that's diapers for American readers) and the description of her son's penis as a 'tiny comma'.
Okay guys, hands up if you would like your mother to burst into print describing your penis as a 'tiny comma'.
Thought not...
So far so cloyingly awful. But along has come trouble. On her version, Jake who is now 20 has become a skunkhead and his erratic and violent behaviour was so bad and disruptive of family life that two years ago his parents changed the locks and threw him out. Since then he has apparently been living with friends' parents and in squats. He works in the music industry. He claims that he has not seen his mother in over a year.
Now this was just be sad and a private matter except for one thing...
She's written a bloody book about it! Is there any aspect of her family life that this woman considers too difficult, delicate or - if she has any concept of the word - private to be used a source material to advance her literary career and presumably bank balance?
Apparently not...
Jake has hit back. Our heroine claimed in an interview in a magazine appropriately enough named The Bookseller that her son read a manuscript and was 'generous enough' to understand her need to write about the trauma. Jake's response to this is to the effect of 'no I bloody wasn't' and that he didn't want the book published although she apparently paid him £1,000 to use some poetry he had written in the book. The temptation to speculate that the money went up in smoke is irresistible. I record without comment that he describes his mother as 'slightly insane'. He further complains 'my mother has been writing about me for the past 16 years'. I can see his point.
The media commentariat have seized gleefully on this story. La Myerson has not come out of the media barrage well. Nor does she deserve to. Maybe consider the lesson: whoever you may be your children are private individuals and not a source material to be milked for your literary career. In other words 'just shut it!'
The link is pretty contrived but it's as good an excuse as any - here's The Kinks with Lola...

12 comments:

Jimmy Bastard said...

"Okay guys, hands up if you would like your mother to burst into print describing your penis as a 'tiny comma'.
Thought not....
"


ahhh jay-sus, it's as though you've never been away.

Pure class.

Anonymous said...

Two full broadsheet pages in today's Daily Telegraph (no I didn't buy one) as well as a large picture of the dreadful woman on its front page. She really should read your blogg.

mikeb302000 said...

Hey Rabbit, Is this another one of those British things? Great story.

Welcome back.

Ron Knee said...

I have yet to discover the fascination which people have with these things called "pricks". Perhaps they may unconsciously be thinking of Gordon Braunschweiger.....

Charon QC said...

Excellent.... t'is good to have you back in the *union* Brother White Rabbit... Oh yes... there are signs that sensible law bloggers, actually talking about law, are increasing... we must stand firm to hold back this ravening horde and be law bloggers who don't blog about too much law!


Must have a few drinks soon when I return from my self imposed exile *Somewhre East of London*.

Mind you, I could get off my arse and get a train to the smoke and do some smoking and drinking with you... what say you to this plan?

Rui said...

interesting article by myerson about her son and her new novel at http://www.wbqonline.com

DaisyDeadhead said...

and the description of her son's penis as a 'tiny comma'.

I laughed so hard at this... was nearly derailed from reading the rest!

:D

I have long been fascinated by people writing no-holds-barred stuff about their kids (see my long-ass comments here)...I've done it myself a couple of times, but only with her permission. The name I use for my daughter on my blog (Delusional Precious) was actually once a screen name of her own. (Some people have thought I made the name up myself, and that I was being mean with it.) Even so, I made sure she didn't mind me using it, and I knew she found it humorous.

I think it is terribly selfish and disrespectful to divulge very personal (and possibly embarrassing) things about ANYONE we know IRL, but particularly one's children.

They are born trusting us implicitly, and that seems a good way to totally ruin it, huh?

Pete Moring. said...

I've no doubt your knowledge of the family gives you a certain insight. But have you ever had the experience of 'living' with a drug dependant child?
I saw the interview with Paxman last night and was appalled at his total lack of empathy with the situation. He just bumbled on in his dictatorial manner, often bullying at times.

I too wrote my view on the subject in my blog.
http://the-daily-whinge.blogspot.com/

See if you can find some empathy of your own there.

Pete.

Law Minx said...

I Couldn't even LOOK at the Sunday Times (Discerning Rag of Choice for the Putative PB) this w/e - it was full to BURSTING of this Odious Woman!

Can yer play us some more Kinks?! They are a Top sort of a Band!!

white rabbit said...

Thanks to all for contributions.

Pete Moring - welcome to my humble blog. I find it hard to imagine throwing any child out of the family home. Whatever else is happening, the home ought to be a safe haven. The only circumstances that could justify such a step is if the recalcitrant adolescent is making the home unsafe for everybody else, as is claimed here. I can't comment on the particular case as claims and counterclaims continue to hurtle around the media.

What I can comment on is this: whatever the rights and wrongs, it is wholly inappropriate to engage in very public grandstanding on the subject for career/commercial reasons. The publishers have brought forward the publication date to cash in on the ever higher profile family blood feud. Why am I not surprised...

Minx - 'putative PB'? Pommy Bastard?

No relation to Jimmy of that Ilk...

I'd like to bring more Kinks but apparently the Performing Rights Society have ground UK YouTube to a sickening halt musicwise.

Tossers!!!

Law Minx said...

*Twtiches* Er.. PROBABLY Pommie Barsteward, but er... in the Alternative, Y'know, a sort of Legalish WannaBe Thing in a sort of wig thing. Sort of.(* whispers conspiratorially* - can't say TOO much Dear Rabbit, CHAMBERS may be listening at this Time of Year!)

Waaaah! No more Musical Educative Experiences in Hippiedom!!! I Weep!!

Renegade Eye said...

Tragic, but a good read.