On clothes

I watch, like so many millions worldwide, in rapt fascination – possessed of Schadenfreude of the worst and most extreme kind – as the Murdoch empire implodes, astonished that this powerful organisation cannot seem to manage to stop its self-destruction, daring, meanwhile, to hope that the collapse will continue for long enough that our – or someone’s – politicians, after so long beneath its thumb, will stir and throw him off for once and for all.

The Guardian, the paper which, through nothing other than good quality journalism, has broken this story, was suggesting this morning in a leader that Britain use this opportunity to pass legislation to discourage the centralisation of media. The article went so far as to contend democracy would be better for it. That we’d get better laws, a more efficient state. For once the Guardian is not by itself.

In amongst all the comment, however, one of the most extraordinary things has surely been these photographs of Murdoch himself, taken in recent days. What is the man wearing? Who let him out in these clothes? Where did he get them? Does nobody own him? Does he have no shame? He resembles nothing so much as a 3pm punter at a suburban TAB; or someone lying spread-eagled on a couch with a beer in one hand and a ciggie in another watching the kind of daytime TV News Limited produces for the masses; an ageing Glaswegian soccer hooligan holidaying on the Costa del Sol. It’s not that he’s old. We know he’s old. He’s been old for a while, developing wonderful jowls over which his control is questionable. It’s the base-ball cap and the shorts combined with the black sweat suit with the white zip up the middle. The one with the white panels on the shoulders. On sale at Target for $9.95. If I were them I’d sue. While the man’s down. How do the mighty fall.

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