Alice Jones: A case of never knowingly under rock'n'rolled

IMHO...

Share
Related Topics

What does John Lewis have that other shops don’t?

Apart from beeswax furniture polish, arcane haberdashery and the world’s largest selection of fascinators, that is? Middle England’s favourite department store has somehow persuaded the Smiths, and their lead singer Morrissey, to lend one of their songs to its Christmas campaign. It would be wonderful to report that the song in question was “Shoplifters of the World, Unite!” but it’s not. Rather “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” plays over the charming sight of a little boy rushing to give his presents to his parents. Not a jot of Mancunian miserabilism or a sulkily tossed gladioli in sight.

It’s another musical coup for the department store. Elton John and Billy Joel have both approved the use of their songs – enjoying royalty-boosting chart success in the process – while the 2008 campaign was the first time that the Beatles put their music to a UK advertisement. One can only assume all rock-stars eventually reach the point where a lifetime’s supply of Egyptian cotton towels and Le Creuset outstrips the need to be credible.

The Smiths aren’t the first to sell out – and they won’t be the last. Iggy Pop’s lust for life has mellowed into an enthusiasm for life insurance and women’s perfume. Johnny Rotten has chosen Country Life over anarchy in the UK. And Bob Dylan, well, it’s hard to keep up, but Starbucks, Cadillac and Victoria’s Secret have all kept him in red wine of late.

Perhaps this latest example is nothing more than Morrissey and his band-mates looking to their pensions. Besides, Morrissey is about to take the NME to court over an unflattering interview – and, unlike John Lewis Clearance pillowcases, barristers don’t come cheap.

***

There’s a moment in the recent thriller The Adjustment Bureau where the bright young Presidential hopeful, played by Matt Damon goes calamitously off-script. Instead of promoting policy, he starts to talk about how his tie was selected by a focus group and a specialist in New Jersey was paid $7,300 (£4,600) to scuff his shoes. “Shiny shoes we associate with high-priced lawyers and bankers. If you want to get a working man’s vote, you need to scuff up your shoes a little bit, but you can’t scuff ’em so much that you alienate the lawyers and the bankers, ’cause you need them to pay for the specialist back in New Jersey.”

It’s not too far from reality. Most politicians today are more heavily stage-managed than Britney Spears. The bigger the politician, the more attention to micro-details – hence we know far more than is necessary about Barack Obama’s suits, Vladimir Putin’s martial arts prowess and David Cameron’s DVD collection.

The one detail that can’t be preplanned, though, is live conversation, which leads to slip-ups like Obama’s on-mic bitching to Nicolas Sarkozy about Benjamin Netanyahu – “you’re fed up, but I have to deal with him every day!” – and Rick Perry’s car-crash policy amnesia at the Republican debate. They’re fun to watch, of course, but they’re important too. These eavesdropped gaffes afford us an all-too-rare glimpse of the truth behind the tasteful tie and not-too-shiny shoes.

***

David Cameron proffered helpful advice on the best way to protest this week. “Protesting you should do on two feet rather than lying down, in some cases in a fairly comatose state”, he said. So he’d probably approve of the dissidents in 13 at the National Theatre. Mike Bartlett’s state-of-the-nation epic, which opened just over a fortnight ago, is impressively up to the minute. There are iPads and student protests, Rihanna and a Twitter-orchestrated anti-war rally, but its protesters already look so last summer. They’re of the air-punching, marching, shopping trolley-hurling type when, as Dave tells us, the modish way to fight the power is “comatose” camping. Bartlett should update his script immediately. I’m sure that Millets would be happy to help out with the necessary props.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Our representatives must represent us

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
MP David Lammy would become the capital’s first black mayor if he won the 2016 Mayoral election  

Crime, punishment and morals: we’re entering a maze with no clear exit

Simon Kelner
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot