Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Extreme Holmes Makeover

In two days' time, mainstream baby boomer New Zealand will bury its short dark knight, Paul Holmes. NZ hasn't poured out this much undeserved maudlin treacle since Elvis Presley died.

Amidst all the crocodile tears, only three brave essayists have been more accurate in appraising the ego-driven gnome. The first comes from an unexpected source, Boomer Karl du Fresne, who explains the Holmesathon as TV doing what is does best; onanising itself.

The second was the raw obit by former Q+A producer Tim Watkin, who channels Prima Donna without saying it. Russell Brown ties the Holmes schtick into a larger news and current affairs narrative, including this elegant observation:
He was attracted to people he saw as like himself – battlers against the bureaucracy. And more even than most men of his generation, he believed that if he felt something, it must be right.

Yes, that lobotomised certainty abounds in men of a certain age. I put the blame on Compulsory Military Training.

Holmes is dead and so is the egocentric format he introduced. Say what you will about Seven Sharp, they don't exploit their subjects and re-edit their stories to fit with a producer's preconceived prejudices.

It's the difference between reporting the news and inventing it.