Germaine Greer Not a Happy Vegemite

In a "Guardian" weblog entry Germaine Greer takes a wild swing at Richard Neville, his memoir Hippie Hippie Shake, and the upcoming film adaptation of it.

It's getting harder and harder to be a real person. You used to have to die before assorted hacks started munching your remains and modelling a new version of you out of their own excreta. There was a good reason for this: the person is always more than the text, or even the text with pictures, or even a moving picture in cinemascope with quadrophonic stereo sound. Reducing the person to excremental artefact before she is dead is worse than cannibalism.

Okay, I can understand that: who would want to see a fictionalised version of yourself presented to the general public as wholesale truth? Not a lot of us I would suspect.

If Greer had stayed on this line the rest of the essay might have been understandable - it's comparable to public figures not wanting biographies written of them while they're still alive. And then she just takes it a bit too far: "I don't, won't read any book in which I am a character because I know, from reading my husband's book, that trying to comprehend someone else's version of your life can drive you mad. When you accept somebody else's truth in lieu of your own, you have been successfully brainwashed. It makes no difference whether the version you have accepted is flattering or otherwise; either way your integrity is undermined. You're a little bit phonier."

Who says you have to "accept somebody else's truth in lieu of your own"? You can accept someone's truth as a companion to your own, but in "lieu of"? Ask anyone who's married, or in a long-term relationship. You're continually confronted by a different intrepretation of your life and actions on a daily basis. Doesn't mean that you have to discard your own and replace it with your partner's, you just have to accept that other people see your life differently. Be a dull old place if they saw it in exactly the same way I'd reckon. Quieter, but dull.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 23, 2007 10:19 AM.

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