December 30, 2005


One of my sisters scored top trumps in her choice of presents this Christmas by giving me Louis Theroux's latest book. As soon as I heard Abu Abdullah shouting about George Bush sacrificing children to Owl gods I thought I was onto a "Theroux" type of story. I do actually own a pair of those "British cooky documentary maker" style glasses, but mine were made in Delhi and I can't see through them that well.

I suppose the main diference between Theroux's approach and mine would be that it always looks like he is on a "piss-take" mission, although in the book you can see that actually he isn't at all, its just what he can "sell". I can see this "piss-take" element is quite entertaining but in this situation I'd rather try something which had an eye on some sort of solution to this "War on Terr-r" as NOONE ELSE SEEMS TO BE DOING THIS WITH FILM. I've always had high hopes, but then I thought the Make Poverty History campaign was going to Make Poverty History too didn't I?

The contrast of his warm human qualities combined with the hatefulness of his beliefs set a kind of gold standard for the kind of journalism I was doing, which followed my attempts to form something more than the usual journalistic relationships with members of strange groups

Another big diference is that all of Theroux's "subjects" were sideline figures and as such it didn't matter what he or they said whereas Hamza and his people- if you believe the British and US government are slap bang in the middle of all this "War on Terr-r". People in this country fucking hate Hamza, would never believe that he could just be someone who says things people don't like and would probably consider someone who calmly talked to those who believe he is innocent to be a subversive, or "in with them".

Theroux is also very honest about questioning his own role in these peoples lives which is very healthy. Maybe I should get the "big specs" out myself.


boudica of suburbia said...

Theroux is wonderful, I think its his facial expressions which prompt the "piss-take mission" look of the whole thing. He has a very condescending-looking face which doesn't help his journalism much but makes great tv.


DAVE BONES said...

I've just finnished his book. I never knew that Michael Moore gave him his big TV break.

I.:.S.:. said...

Dave lend me that book, please!! Next time you drop by, to pick up your fuzzboxes from Mr T. I'd really appreciate it, I'm looking for good reading all the time.