Don’t call me Dave

I hope I’m not the only one who doesn’t want this blog to be relentlessly serious. This is the first post in the “diversions” category which is intended to provide some light relief.
I was reminded of why this might be a good thing during my Simpsons and Philosophy talk at the Glasgow Aye Right! Festival, which I’ve mentioned before. It was a 90-minute presentation, but I soon realised I needed to take a trip to the bathroom. I told myself I’d be able to hold on, an hour in, the pressure on my bladder was interfering with my concentration. So, during one clip which I hoped was long enough, I exited round the back of the stage a went scouring the service stairwells in search of a toilet. Fortunately, I soon found one, and fortunately again, I did not repeat the possibly apocryphal experience of a the speaker who went to the toilet wearing a radio mic, only to have the whole audience hear him urinate.
I got back and the clip was still running. I’d got away with it. But then I decided I would actually tell everyone where I’d been. Too much information? Maybe, but one point of the talk was that cartoon comedy is the ideal medium for our time because it’s so well suited to showing us how daft we are. We know too much about human nature to kid ourselves we are disembodied intellects who just happen to be in bodies. We are weak, fleshy creatures, and what could illustrate that better than me having to interrupt a philosophical talk to empty my bladder?
So, a bit of frivolity brings us all down to earth, and here’s one example. At the festival I was introduced to the well-known British journalist, Michael Buerk, who said, “You look the spitting image of David Cameron.” Cameron, for those outside the UK, is the leader of the Conservative Party.
I didn’t particularly welcome the comparison, although compared to past claims of looky-likiness (Richard Littlejohn and Martin Jarvis), it could have been worse. But then I discovered that two friends of mine had had the same thought, independently, but not told me. The final insult came when the Herald newspaper, reviewing the talk, wrote that I appeared “bearing an uncanny resemblance to David Cameron.”
I’ve heard about people getting more conservative as they grow older, but this is ridiculous.
The trouble is, I’ve since looked at picture of Cameron, and although I’m no dead ringer, I can see what people are getting at. (This video was recorded at the festival and seems to be of me at my most Cameronseque) Another example of being brought down to earth, which in this context, despite my previous claims, no longer feels terribly good for me.
lookylikes
Me, Martin Jarvis, David Cameron and Richard Littlejohn. No resemblance. None.

  1. I think you need to update your picture. I would have never recognized you.

  2. the lookalike phenomenon is an interesting one. sometimes we’re flattered by who we’re supposed to resemble, sometimes not. whether for better or for worse, when we’re likened to someone else we seem to experience a sudden, partial loss of our own identity; as if someone else had momentarily invaded our space, muscled in our concept of who we think we are….

    i had an intriguing experience many moons ago when i was promoting jazz gigs at university, and studying philosophy for some of the rest of the time. i remember one occasion when i tried to book a gig with saxophonist Lol Coxhill and pianist Keith Tippett. Lol told me that Keith couldn’t make it that night so he arranged for a replacement, guitarist GF Fitzgerald. anyway, on the night of the gig, when i was wandering around checking to see that various things were set up, a bloke came up to me and said, “Hello, are you Keith Tippett?”

  3. From the ‘there may come a day’ department:

    I agree with a previous respondent; definitely need to update your picture.

    From my mid-30’s to mid-40’s, there were those who told me I looked ‘just like Reba McEntire’. We are of an age, and, at the time, I found it quite annoying. Now, at 50+, I no longer look like she does or I did. I don’t think I’d find it near as annoying these days…..

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