Monday, 2 November 2009

Stephen Fry, an apology

As you may be aware I was mildly critical of Stephen Fry the other week. Do I then hold some responsibility for his upset? Just in case you missed this, Mr Fry announced he would twitter no more after another twitterer said he was a bit boring. This became international news and he’s changed his mind.

I have to be honest, my initial reaction was not overly sympathetic. Mutterings about kitchens and the advisability of staying within one if one is heat intolerant may have been heard issuing from my sneering hate-filled lips.

And yet, and yet.

I have suffered attacks of severe depression in the past. Not manic depression which is what Stephen Fry has but just depression, a sort of alternative for lazy people I suppose. And the thing that you won’t know if you’ve never had an attack of what Winston Churchill called his ‘black dogs’ is how trivial the immediate cause can be. The cliché of the straw and the camel’s back is absolutely spot on here. So, when you’re already vulnerable for whatever psychological or medical reasons then the actual cause can be remarkably trivial. Breaking a plate, missing a bus or being mildly criticised can do it. My last bout was triggered by someone taking forever at a supermarket check out for example. Of course, my depression was not caused by being stuck behind someone for whom the concept of paying for goods received seemed both new and bewildering but the illness is a magnifying glass and you never know what it’s going to light upon. This is why, incidentally, it’s often not a good idea to ask someone what set their depression off because you’ll either be unsympathetic or mystified. Most sufferers in my experience don’t know themselves and, because the depression gods are cruel and capricious, the smallness of the depression’s trigger can become a further cause of it. Still, as they say in the army, if you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t have joined.

I’m still don’t quite get this twitter thing. If I’m that desperate to know the day-to-day activities of someone I’ll stalk them. And on consideration I do think Stephen Fry’s critic was a bit unfair. What did he expect? Deathless wit or profound profundity in every message? Beautifully fashioned haikus four times a day? You don’t even have to pay for this, do you? Ah me.

Still, I will risk saying that I thought Kingdom was not very good.

Oh, and AA Gill is a twat. And if that upsets him then he shouldn’t have shot that poor bloody baboon in the first place.

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