kubrick sexpartyi: yes this was entirely my fault for sitting down in front of a “michael barrymore: what really happened” documentary…

ii: viz that i (and all viewers) have to endure jacques peretti constantly concluding that “no one can possibly know what really happened” ftb HE THE GREAT JACQUES PERETTI cannot get someone to confess all on-camera after a rigorous interrogation of duration 23 seconds

iii: to be fair the depth of JP’s bad faith is by no means of broomfieldian dimension, and he spent a fair part of the show angst-ing at the awfulness of it all: which if yr generous you can interpret as “i JP am ashamed of myself for plunging this low”

iiia: but basic rule — jacques if yr ashamed of yrself DON’T DO IT

iv: i tht JP’s “investigative” docs on michael jackson and heather mills were more or less on the right side of OK; in the sense that, denied access by MJ and HM, he nonetheless took care to weave a convincing motivational drive for the vilified objects of investigation that wasn’t the patented broomfieldian manipulative bumble-gotcha: what MB does is orchestrate a deliberately clumsy request for interview or access, and then present its being turned down as evidence of Sinister Goings-On; NB’s faux ineptness — cast as an ordinary-bloke innocence of the “working of the system” — is subtly managed so as produce faux-guilty responses —> eg the target, on the spot on camera, tries to slam the door on the doorstepping foot, looking shifty or worse; by contrast JP was willing to allow that MJ and HM might have very good reason indeed to want to keep unscheduled confrontation at bay, reason that fell a long way short of circumstantial proof of guilt

v: in the barrymore doc — possibly bcz someone actually died, greatly upping the stakes — and possibly bcz he was unable to imagine what drives barrymore, no such atttempted fairness emerged, which leaves the entire manipulative broomfieldian machinery

va: the conceit of this type of doc is that 1: (a given) the proper authorities have screwed up or are covering up, 2: so call in the doughty untrained amateur! cz only his up-until-yesterday utter disinterest can possibly ensures he is not invested in a particular outcome; 3: all prior knowledge of case or demonstration of professional journalistic expertise (nay competence) merely goes to invested interests, hence 4: new (or “new”) information must appear to arrive in real-time, with the doc structured as a sequence of cliffhangers (this last also of course a response to remote-control short-attention-span culture); 5: these pseudo-cliffhangers can often only be presented as baffling mysteries IF you pre-assume something stupid and/or reactionary abt “what ppl are like”; 6: which if you are ACTUALLY reactionary or stupid you will probably present upfront, no harm no foul (or anyway less harm, less foul); 7: but if you are posing as an everyman innocent, disinterested sekker-after-truth, you will almost certainly have to slip in disguised

vi: anyway the gap in the MB doc was between the actual revelation of interest (and to his credit JP spotted it and clearly WAS interested, see vii) and the pseudo-revelation-as-final-GASPO!-cliffhanger, which was that “OMG the police may not have closed this case after all — stayed tuned for exciting documentary sequels”

vii: “the actual revelation of interest” — that an MB drug-and-sex party was not at all the vast sinister eyes-wide-shut power-perviness ritual of overheated tabloid hopes, but a depressively awful little bottle-and-bong back to mine w.local essex estate lads and ladettes randomly picked up at the nearest crappy club: not out of predatory intent, but rather “my kind of people” (MB’s showbiz motto) invited into this massively unhappy and self-isolated man’s home in the hope that they — as per ideology? (that sounds far too glibly zizek-ish BUT barrymore’s misery is nevertheless obviously locked into a species of idealistic quasi-political co-dependency) — magically deliver him back to heartsease, as the life-and-soul-of-the-anti-metropolitan-anti-light-etertainment-establishment party

viii: the follow-on insight — also apparent in jon ronson’s also-flawed doc on jonathan king some years back — is that the essex lads and ladettes in question, far from being at unbiddable bulldog-breed salt-of-the-earth distant from pervy luvvie shenanigans are A: as chuckleheadedly star-struck as any of the rest of us (where “i’ve met [legend X]” morphs in our ambition-centre into “i’m ON MY WAY to legendhood myself”); B: at the same time by contrast as pruriently fascinated by us (the doc viewers) in the lame and ordinary off-camera behaviour of the rick and famous; C: quite possibly up to test their own experimental polymorphous limits when these present themselves apparently uncomplicatedly, as part-and-parcel of a kind of surreal jumpdoor out of the quotidian smalltownboy prison of essex het humdrum (translation: “i’m not gay no but YES OF COURSE I’D FUCK [legend x] IF THEY SOUGHT ME OUT ON MY OWN PATCH AND OFFERED ME A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME-ADVENTURE”)

ix: point of above being not that any of it should be counter-assumed as non-stupid non-reactionary fact, but that this story provides a tag to explore such pregnant no-one’s-as-straight-as-that material: not least bcz a gay barrymore as-is is SUCH a weird and interesting problem for GAY CULTURE AS-IS, and the meeting point of these two apparently far-flung milieus (essex heartland; camp central) crackles with unsettling possibility… (haha situationist cliffhanger: “nothing is as pat as it seems — stayed tuned for exciting overthrow-of-everything sequels”)

x: actual JP follow-up — AMY WINEHOUSE — XO
JP: “i am absolutely mystified why she fell over after she came out of that pub… SEE AFTER BREAK FOR CLUE TO BAFFLING FELL-OVER-OUTSIDE-PUB SHOCKER”