December 22, 2013
December 21, 2013
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former oil tycoon pardoned by Russian president Vladimir Putin, perhaps with the Sochi Games in mind, was released from jail having served 10 years for ‘tax evasion and fraud’, and interviewed in Berlin by Christiane Amanpour for CNN.
Half a century later and she still looks like Jackie K. Same length hair (no flick-ups, they’re too Mad Men nowadays). Lips thickly drawn, firmly penciled eyebrows and heavily painted nails – especially nails because there are plenty of florid hand movements. And she isn’t wearing an Alice band but she could because it would go well with her tailoring (royal blue).
After JFK was shot dead, the New York Times reporter wrote that Mrs Kennedy’s ‘stockings were saturated with her husband’s blood.’ Now Amanpour wants Khodorkovsky to spill.
What was it like in that jail? And weren’t you attacked, stabbed? You missed seeing your family grow up…..
As she is animated, Khodorkovsky is subdued. So much for the coarsening effect of prison: he is fine; he has finesse. Frameless glasses and close-cropped hair combining Prison House and Designer. His words are finely chosen; his lips more finely drawn than hers.
Fifty to a hundred inmates in a barrack-like room: he merely says there is nothing good to say.
Food? Comes the answer: ‘bread’. The translator gives us to understand this was his one and only word on the subject.
The stabbing? He went for my eye but the blow glanced onto my nose; and the prison dentist was also a plastic surgeon, so now there’s not even a trace of it.
No trace of Khodorkovsky playing the scene for personal gain. But perhaps this is his play – the persuasive power of underwhelming. Except he is surely not acting when Amanpour asks about his family, and his performance is just the same.
Her upper lip plumped up. Permanently puckering. Ever-ready for sex or stimulated by food or bruised, or – most likely – fluffed and buffed by the collagen of publicity.
Nigella Lawson: buffeted by the break-up of her marriage to Charles Saatchi; embarrassed by salacious evidence given during the trial of the Grillo sisters (former personal assistants whose successful defence against fraud charges rested on discrediting Nigella as a prosecution witness).
Not Grotto or anything like it, but the Grillos are dunnos when it comes to inflating themselves; whereas Nigella must always have known (with a name like ‘Nigella’, perhaps she always had to). In the tilt of her chin and the set of her mouth as she is seen going into court, the domestic goddess keeps faith with self-promotion (requiring tireless dedication to the sacred cause).
Motto: manifesto ergo sum; manifesto ergo ego.
Meanwhile on the BBC Radio Four Today programme, with pencil-thin lips (drawn on like a second moustache in the midst of his clerical beard) Anjem Choudary will not condemn the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby, butchered on a London street in May. Choudary will not enter into the personal domain where normal persons are seen to have acceptable feelings, because he is there to promote the Not-I, the annihilation of self. How I feel is not the most important thing, he insists. Compared to Islam, he seems to be saying, we are nothing. And for saying this, he is pleased to receive plenty of attention.
Manifesto ergo non sum; manifesto ergo non ego.
The negatives cancel each other out. Nigella and Anjem are mirror images of each other: posing and deposing the supremacy of self; in their opposite ways, both equally selfish.