the baggy trousered misanthropist

missives issued from the lair

Andrew Stone. Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘virtual reality’. Image: Tim Whitby/Getty Images.

For people of a certain age, the sight of a hapless individual wrestling with a ludicrously unwieldy plastic prototype of a future piece of ‘everyday’ technology was staple of Thursday evening  TV.

The BBC’s flagship science show ‘Tomorrow’s World’ spent almost forty years predicting the advent of the mobile phone, the home computer, astro turf and many other things we can’t live without now, although at the time, I seem to recall spending most of the show hoping someone would set themselves on fire while testing a flame retardant suit.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The future of rock or a massive (if relatively harmless) burk. You decide. Images: Tim Whitby/Getty Images, thesun.co.uk.

Of course, they weren’t right about everything. Paper pants never really caught on and despite my best efforts, I’ve never located a robotic sheep shearer in my local branch of Robert Dyas. But while I was watching the new series of Celebrity Big Brother last night, it occurred to me that another apparently impracticable, yet heavily predicted, invention has sneaked it’s way into existence, without me really noticing.

Not the sinister, slithery CCTV sensation that someone, somewhere (possibly Richard Burton, left) is watching your every move. That came when Big Brother’s first round of wannabe celebs were hurled into the hothouse and we all realised how boring human beings are. I mean the notion that one day, all of us would be able to live life in an entirely different frame of consciousness, in a a fantasy world where nothing is impossible and constraints don’t apply.

I’m talking about virtual reality.

If you don’t know who Andrew Stone is, be grateful, but please know that your time is running out. He first stumbled into my unguarded psyche as the sidekick of the unfeasibly camp Louis Spence in Sky One’s ‘Pineapple Dance Studios’ show, and over time I began to look forward to his segments, simply because I couldn’t quite believe he was for real.

Dance teacher, star of the West End, lead singer and creative inspiration behind Next Big Thing In Music™ ‘Starman’, and one time auditionee on the X-Factor, Stone’s path to global fame and fortune seems inevitable – but for the fact that he is  a huge buffoon with no concept of exactly how irritating/hilarious his continual name dropping and penchant for lycra-legged calisthenics (l)while chatting is perceived by others.

His bouncy entry into the CBB house the other night has been followed up with two things; stilted, awkwardly desperate conversations with other housemates that have made everyone else feel so uncomfortable they all nominated him for eviction, and latterly, long bouts of standing around looking moody and distant. Except when he’s telling everyone he doesn’t care about being evicted.

He does. Deeply.

Andrew? While I respect the fact that you may have your reasons to disassociate yourself from reality completely, and the persona you’ve created for yourself is great fun, you’re living in a world that doesn’t exist. I wouldn’t bother to tell you this if I genuinely believed you were the giant tool you present to the world, but I don’t think you are. I think beneath all the fake tan, veneers, bleached blond hair and gender confusion there might be a nice guy in there.

Let him out, will you? I think he’s getting short of oxygen.

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