Donald MacInnes: Read on to see just how far from 'great' we've sunk

Donald's view

Share

Before you commit to reading any more of this, I should warn you that I most certainly do not have my finger on the pulse of this Kingdom, so if you were expecting to feel the warmth of collusion – an edgy togetherness – you might want to stop before venturing too far in.

And although I really don't aim to please, I'd hate you get to the end and have any regrets. You may even want to leave a trail of Smarties behind you, in case you get halfway through and realise that, actually, I'm talking out of my backside. At least then you can follow the sweeties to the exit.

Anyway, if you're still there, I'm assuming you agree that, just because a few million people think one thing, it doesn't follow that everyone must. Or even does. As an example, yesterday a professor of Iranian studies at St Andrews University announced that Alexander the Great was only "Great" depending on who you ask.

To the Greek-educated West (and thus our history books), he was an all-conquering genius; a youthful dancer across borders, who brought the light of knowledge and a self-confident, glittering understanding to a cold, static world. Like Gary Barlow.

However, to those whom he conquered, Alexander was a sinister, culture-sapping monster who laid waste to ornate, long-developed societies, imposing his uniform blandness and sickening more people than he ever elevated. Like… well, you see where I'm going with this.

I wish I could say it was just Gary's toadying ubiquity during the jubilee "celebrations" that made me want to chew my hand off, but in truth, even if we didn't have a Queen or any of her silly princes, he would still bother me, this purveyor of soaring ballads; Britain's sleepy-eyed laureate of mediocrity. And while I don't care if I am, surely I can't be alone in this? Have we sunk so low?

I suspect we have and it depresses the hell out of me. Why did we let it happen? There's even a clue in the name, for goodness sake. Barlow. Bar. Low. As in "setting the…" What happened to showbiz names that hinted at a higher being? Something… exciting. What happened to blokes called Freddie Mercury or Alvin Stardust?

Sadly, Gary's name doesn't seem to matter to Britain. Three years ago, OnePoll announced that the public regarded our friend as Britain's Greatest Ever Songwriter. Seriously? Did I miss a meeting?

But then again, as I said, it's all about who you ask. Had history taken a slightly different turn, Alexander the Great might have ended up Alexander the Dick. And you can't imagine that he would have inspired many statues …

 

Follow @DonaldAMacInnes

React Now

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

Investigo: Group Financial Controller

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

Ashdown Group: HR Generalist - 2 week contract - £200pd - Immediate start

£200 per day: Ashdown Group: Working within a business that has a high number ...

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Recruitment Genius: Business / Operations Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well-established and growi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Douglas Carswell (L) and Mark Reckless (R) - two new fresh and exciting faces in Parliament...?  

The depressing reality of white male supremacy in the UK has just been mapped out

Mollie Goodfellow
 

Daily catch-up: Old London Bridge; how to fight UKIP; and wolves

John Rentoul
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible