I think of this as my first real show as I spent the first one in a complete panic over the mixing desk, the second one in a partial panic over the mixing desk, and my third guest left in the middle of the episode to pick his son up from school. So Alan, the founder of Creation Records, the man who discovered and managed Oasis and who was, in effect, responsible for determining the sound of a generation, was really my first relaxed experience of a radio interview. Thing is, when he and I get together we can talk forever. Creation Stories, the movie of his life (written by Irvine Welsh and directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle), is out next year.
A man’s face appeared all over pavements in Manhattan. I don’t know who he is, but the image made me think about those of us whose fathers are ghosts or never the fathers you read about in heartwarming stories. I have friends who are the most beautiful daddies. I also have friends who were sexually and physically abused by their fathers, and friends whose children were sexually abused by their fathers in turn. I have known such men, although I didn’t know they were abusing their children at the time. It makes me sick to think I once shook their hands.
One in particular, on being banned from the family home by the courts, launched into damage control against his hardworking, embattled ex-wife. On being told of the abuse, she had thrown him out and called the police. A man of immense charm – they have to be – he persuaded all his friends and family that she was lying. His family was, of course, deeply invested in preserving the illusion, not wanting the social stigma of having a paedophile in their ranks, and his friends had no idea of the truth as they had never spoken to her or to the child about the abuse.
My poor friend was thus vilified and unable to talk publicly about the abuses that had taken place as, for reasons I cannot share here, the rules of evidence were not completely satisfied, meaning that he escaped imprisonment. But all her friends knew what had really happened, as did the judge, which is why this reptile was deprived of all access to his child. I dedicate this post to all those who have endured or who continue to endure absent or abusive fathers, children for whom Father’s Day is a mockery of their family experience, and to all those brave enough to escape such brutal men. You are my heroes 👊👊👊 #fathersday
“The British literary scholar Steven Connor depicts the modern body as simultaneously inhabiting and seeking ethereality. This trajectory, Forth writes, ‘is evident in the gradual elevation of the concept of ‘taste’, which shifted during the seventeenth century from a grossly material and bestial sense to the sign of an almost spiritual form of discernment worthy of cultured elites.’” – from my review in The Weekend Australian
If you’re interested in a fevered debate about sex, literature, Morrissey, The Cure, domestic violence, pornography, the 1980s and a thousand other brilliantly mad topics, listen to Creation Records founder and Oasis manager Alan McGee, writer Mat Snow and me here:
That devastating moment when you are confronted by the fact that someone you believed to be good at heart is, in fact, weak and contemptible, a liar willing to do and say anything to disguise their lies, and you realise how utterly stupid you were to ever help and believe in them. That single moment of recognition when the wrongs done you by this person come at you in a great wave and there is no longer any escaping their nature: you, who have been making excuses for them forever, to friends and family, wanting to believe in them, justifying their cruelty, can no longer avoid the reality of being failed by this person in the most profound of ways. That terrible moment when you have no option to address the fact that they are, and always were, ruined.
Sunday, May 12 All Saints Vicarage Gardens & Hall Whitstable
I’m being interviewed by the very wonderful Francesca Richards, whose interests include medieval and modern women, about love, sex and motherhood, so book through whitlit.co.uk/?p=2780 and bring friends, elderflower lemonade and marshmallows x
“The issue of identity, whether living or posthumous, remains pivotal to any discussion of memory. With death, rebirth. Through extinction, individual identity metamorphoses from a singular material form to the plural – as Moore writes, “social immortality is bestowed in and through our collective commemoration.” The real question is this: does death strip the spirit of its humanity? Can a spirit be human, or is humanity a quality kilned and housed in the body? Could humanity in itself be a thing independent of and accessed by the body?”