Nothing to Declare but Genius

Why do I feel excluded from so many jokes these days? There is a post on the Guardian’s Comment is Free from Mike Read on his Oscar Wilde musical.

In 2005 we had a hit when a song from Oscar, Grief Never Grows Old, went to No 4, so it’s not all bad news. Sadly there is too much bandwagon criticism and less encouragement for people trying to do something positive. It’s not new, though; The Times tore Charles Dickens apart for his “mass-market” books and Oscar himself got a pretty rough ride (all right, all right) while he was alive. You have to wait for the eulogies until you’re dead; the iconoclasts appear a decade or two later and finally after a century the pendulum stops swinging violently and comes to rest in about a century. It’s a hell of a wait.

One time around 1997-98 I fell asleep in a room full of people watching TV, and awoke to see a Wales – Germany match being shown. Jesus, says I, I didn’t realise Rudi Voller was back in the German squad! And what team is Kevin Ratcliffe playing for these days? Turns out I was watching a video from 1991 (I often find alcohol makes me gullible).

It is with a similar sense of existing asynchronously, for want of a better adverb, that I read the above from Mike Read. I remember him from Radio 1 donkeys ago. He produced an Oscar Wilde musical? Mike Read????!!!!???? (Normally averse to multiple punctuation marks, I think they are appropriate in this instance)

Reading the post just makes me feel paranoid. I mean, there’s this

You have to wait for the eulogies until you’re dead; the iconoclasts appear a decade or two later and finally after a century the pendulum stops swinging violently and comes to rest in about a century.

Is someone trying to mess with my head here? It would appear to be some sort of cross-site conspiracy:

Read has also written more than 40 books, including several volumes of poetry and a biography of his friend Sir Cliff Richard, as well as writing 10 musicals. His stage tribute to Sir Cliff, entitled Cliff: The Musical, was well received along with a production based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, called Oh Puck.

On further examination, it would appear that this is all true. The man is a creative genius, much hated and laughed at. Is it any wonder that he chooses Oscar Wilde and Cliff as his subjects?

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