I’ve been toying with the idea of paying for a personalized and unique video message from Christopher Biggins. It only costs 25 pounds, but something about my requested words coming out of the mouth of Christopher Biggins makes me feel that a better world is hiding somewhere behind the veil.
I’d get him to say something that would warm hearts: something along the lines of “Only 3 more getty-uppies” or “Better out than in”.
Do you remember when the KLF set light to one million pounds? Do you remember Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty sat, dumbfounded in the aftermath of ash-filled emptiness? There’s something about the senseless and the unreasoned that appeals to me strongly in this age of justification and consequence.
Christopher Biggins saying something that I said he should say, for 25 pounds, seems so sublimely senseless that I’d probably be best asking him to say something impenetrable: a quote from Twin Peaks or the sub-title of an undergraduate humanities assignment. That said, I worry that I may be giving up on meaning and entering into an absurdist escapism: a convenient linguistic trap that allows me to smirk and make vague allusions without committing to the aforementioned consequence I seem to abhor. I might be best to get him to fix the lense of his Youtube camera with his wry eye and say “Think of this as a digital hug”.
I could get him to say something political; something about hung parliaments, austerity, Brexit, extremism or burning towers. But I don’t think that would be a good use of Christopher Biggins – not for 25 pounds. It’s not – don’t get me wrong – that I’m looking for some kind of cosmic return on investment, but to turn Christopher Biggins into a kind of living placard just doesn’t seem right.
I was sat at a small table usually used as a classroom desk but here used for Parents Evening and I heard myself saying this, I said “I just don’t feel like I’ve made a connection with your daughter”. I said nothing about conjunctions, Shakespeare or inference. I simply said that, despite my efforts, I had no connection.
It has taken me years to reach this point, where I have the courage and stillness to summarise the heart of the matter with such blank simplicity. Jeremy Corbyn hugged a surviving tenant of Grenfell Tower. A hug. Nothing magical about that; nothing transactional or cloaked in sophistication. A girl sat in an exam hall the day after losing her home; sat, staring at a piece of paper, the trauma not having yet settled about her. The going-on of life in a silent way.
Christopher Biggins: silent and smiling. Derek Jarman, Rentaghost, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Widow Twanky and Big Brother: we all meet in the everpresent glint of his young eyes.
I could get him to say “50 pounds”, but what would it profit a man?