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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Anon: the autobiography...

This is the working title for a novel. The idea is simple. It's set in the London of the not-too-distant future. Barring a handful of rebels and an increasingly dwindling pool of veil-wearing Somalian immigrants, *everybody* is a celebrity. Even the servants and hangers on of the fairly-well known have acquired a renown that would put today's reality TV stalwarts to shame. Anyone who is not a celebrity is such a novelty that they are treated with the same jaw-dropping, flash-bulb popping adoration as would previously only have been merited by huge stars of the silent era; Rudolph Valentino, Greta Garbo, perhaps. Invariably, with the help of modern technology, they don't remain unknown for long; there is, for instance, a separate youtube chart for 'Big Issue' sellers who can command huge performance fees for personal performances, some of the biggest stars of street corner begging having been replaced by 'virtual' spots outside Marks & Spencer and so on where people can watch looped performances of them shouting "'Gisshew" and then make online credit card payments to have the magazine downloaded onto their mobile phones. In such a world, anonymity becomes the most powerful condition it is possible to aspire to; hence the naming of the novel's eponymous heroine: Anon.

Anon. goes to great lengths to disguise her true obscurity - wearing expensive cast-offs; Jimmy Choos and designer snakeskin trousers purchased from the new breed of charity shops - Help the Wanted; War on Ageing; Sexfam etc. She flees the city where she joins a small band of rebels who make night raids on the city, smashing the ubiquitous flat screen TVs that show the sex-lives of the fairly well-known in all major public places, spraying out the names and slogans on advertising hoardings and so on. Anon. and her fellow rebels are eventually captured and after being tortured and villified by the Head of the State (a thinly veiled Simon Cowell - no, I didn't know he was a Muslim either...) they are publicly crucified. Ironically, in death the rebels achieve only the worst kind of martyrdom and become the most celebrated of all celebrities as their lives are revered and worshipped down through the centuries in a wicked travesty of the obscurantism for which they gave their lives.

I'm thinking Blanchett or Paltrow in the lead role. Bill Nighy as the O'Brien character, perhaps? Maybe Mel Gibson as Barabas. Kind of thing.

So, whaddaya reckon?

L.U.V. on ya,


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