The glamour of the media

The following was being passed around in the office a while back – this morning I’ve rediscovered my copy:

“You have never seen inside a film studio before?”
“Only once. Years ago.”
“It will interest you, as a phenomenon. You see, the film studio of today is really the palace of the sixteenth century. There one sees what Shakespeare saw: the absolute power of the tyrant, the courtiers, the flatterers, the jesters, the cunningly ambitious intriguers. There are fantastically beautiful women, there are incompetent favourites. There are great men who are suddenly disgraced. There is an insane extravagance, which is a sham; and horrible squalor behind the scenery. There are vast schemes, abandoned because of some caprice. There are secrets which everybody knows and no-one speaks of. There are even one or two honest advisors. These are the court fools, who speak the deepest wisdom in puns, lest they should be taken seriously. They grimace, tear their hair privately and weep.”

Prater Violet. Christopher Isherwood, 1945.

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