a number of readers have nudged me of late regarding my recent silence on celebrity death. The truth remains that i must remain authentic to personal reminiscence. The bare confession is that i have so little to add on the sad passings of Clarissa and of Peaches, both in their own ways tortured souls haunted by their respective demons. I could of course reference the private conversation with Lord Bob of Boomtown back in the late eighties when i counselled him on the advisability of arcane naming of offspring, with all of the attendant hostages to fortune that such appellation would attract, but typically he would have none of it: even when i arranged for him a chastening seance with the entire Zappa family, accompanied of course by John Cage who was a few minutes late.
During a later decade and for different reasons i felt the need to direct Clarrisa towards the Floydster to help her know better the dark tunnel she was entering. I understand their ensuing Skype conversation went viral, conducted as one half of it was from a sidecar (not named desire), while the other side swayed for different reasons. The recent deaths where i do feel qualified to add value would of course be those of Richard Hoggart and Sue Townshend. How these events come in pairs. I take minor credit for bringing together this erudite pairing to appear on a special edition of Laurie Taylor’s ‘Thinking Allowed’ in 2009, where between them they were able to delineate the seamless thread that was the pioneering of Cultural Studies 1955 – 1982.
The passage between Hoggart’s sympathetic but never indulgent portrayal of postwar working class warp and weft and Towshend’s anthemic construction of eighties middle class thatcherism never sagged as one generation absorbed Hoggart; while Jacobson who was propping up Cultural studies at Wolverhampton played John the Baptist (with a classically ironic jewish twist) while awaiting the arrival of the greater talent than he that was Townshend, before the wilderness years kicked in. After the show we retired to the Green Room where Laurie made an unfortunate grab for the post-Marxian popularisation of cultural studies. The Hogg was disdainful, while Sue suggested that Laurie acted his age (76 and a half)