THINGS I have learned this week:
1) Good hair does not equal good judgement.
If you were watching the phone-hacking scandal unfold purely in picture form, you might be forgiven for thinking Rebekah Brooks was the wronged party. That is because she has the wild, flowing auburn tresses of a pre-Raphaelite goddess. It is simply such Good Hair. It is hair that wants to lie in a meadow like a Flake advert, not cower in a taxi above a face of thunder, in front of a nation’s angry media. Like the follicle form of the hypnotic snake in A Jungle Book, a mere swish and we’re rendered slack-jawed and confused. As my friend Hannah put it: “I wish she’d show a bit of respect and put it in a ponytail, just to help us keep focus.” From this we have had to learn: good hair does not a good person necessarily maketh.
Exhibit B: Cheryl Cole. A woman whose hair, not so long ago, had the nation’s collected womenfolk sighing as though over a nest of cupcake-eating kittens. Before it recently, as so many national treasures do, went too far and entered the realms of needing planning permission, Cole’s hair was the eighth wonder of the world. It was like a millionaire shortbread woven into locks – creamy, sheeny and caramelly with the tiniest hint of crunch. But following the news that she has moved back in with philandering husband, we must conclude that all that lustrous head foliage can only be compressing the part of her brain responsible for thinking, “hang on, maybe he is not a nice man”.
2) I am very lucky
I am very lucky, to work for a company whose politics and moral code I agree with. Not every journalist has this luxury. For it is one thing to be hacking into the phones of a dead girl, and quite another to be innocently writing about shoes on the magazine that comes with the paper where people are hacking the phone of a dead girl. In an ideal world, journalism jobs would be so plentiful that everyone could pick and choose their company according to a strict code of values, like eHarmony. But for now, we should have a little sympathy for the hundreds of newly unemployed hacks who never hacked anything.
3) People have absolutely no tolerance of people who spell their names in unusual ways
When the News International excrement storm really got rolling, those wanting something quick and cutting to contribute to the debate largely went for: “yeah, and she spells her name like an idiot.”
I kept schtum on pointing out that Rebekah is actually the biblical version, and thus not really idiotic but sort of holy (I suspect that were she called Moses and turning water into endless piles of free Chianti, people’s feelings would still lean towards the lynching sort).