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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tall Poppies

An Australian author (I think it was Colleen McCullough) gave name to a phenomenon called "the tall poppies syndrome".
This refers to individual Australians who have great success and do very well (usually overseas) and are then slaughtered by the public for becoming to popular (when poppies get too tall you whip off their heads).
I don't think this is something much seen in Australia anymore.
If anything we've become a bit pathetic about it and whenever one of our own has some success overseas we all shout, "Look at us! We're a proper country! Watch what we can do".
As I said, I don't think it's around much anymore in Australia, but it seems to be a way of life in the UK.
The moment anyone has any success of any kind, people feel they need to be knocked down a peg or two.
Not sure why.
The one person who seems to be immune to this is Stephen Fry, who everyone seems to love endlessly and without question.
This has a lot to do with the fact that he's very clever and funny and also has a lot to do with the fact that he went a bit silly a few years ago, had a bit of breakdown and got better.
Oh - and he's a poove as well, which punters love.
He's a foppy, Oscar Wildesque kind of poove, which is the acceptable kind.
The other acceptable kind is Paul O'Grady, who is outrageously camp but doesn't talk about bottoms and kissing lads (except when he has his dress on).
Stephen Fry seems untouchable.
I read in the paper that he has three other completed projects yet to be broadcast, one of which is called Stephen Sits, which is a half hour show consisting of Stephen balanced on a fancy porcelain toilet, having a plop.
I'll possibly draw him tomorrow, but not doing plops, so this post has some art to accompany it.

Thanks to Rachel for the idea.


Oscar Grillo said...

What's wrong with pooves?

Elliot Cowan said...


Boris Hiestand said...

same thing in Holland: as soon as someone becomes successful, they are trampled on. After all, they're successful, so SURELY they have now become arrogant, self loving assholes! RIGHT? There's a Dutch saying which literally translated means: "just be normal, 'cos you're already crazy enough as is." Meaning you shouldn't even TRY to do anything extraordinary.
Dutch prats.

Bentos said...

I once heard a guy ranting on his phone on a bus about how much he hated Davina Mccalls' failed chat show. For all the world you would have thought she'd just raped his Gran.

Elliot Cowan said...

Boz - Then I'm glad you escaped, you Dutch prat.

Bentos - Hey, that was me! And she did rape my Gran, the filthy sow!

Oscar Grillo said...

I am a great fan of the artistry and presence of Graham Norton.

Elliot Cowan said...

And he is awed by your mighty record sleeve had.

Oscar Grillo said...

My "had" indeed.........How do they see in the outback the mighty figure of Julian Cleary?

Elliot Cowan said...


Julian Cleary is well likes in Oz although he's been absent from the television many years.

Michael said...

and here in the States they build them up them whack them down a whole bushels of pegs.

Anonymous said...

I've always hated Stephen Fry.

That still makes him immune, I guess.



limbolo said...

Perhaps noone envies Steven Fry...Especially not when he's taking a plop.

Elliot Cowan said...

Anonymous - get yourself a name.

Neilbolo - Perhaps not...

Matt Jones said...

Stephen Fry is 'IMMUNE'?!!

Oscar Grillo said...

And Franklin Pangborn?

limbolo said...

I had to google Franklin Pangborn...

Anyone for Clifton Webb?

The British passion for queenie telly presenters goes back at least as far as Kenneth Williams. But was he the original? Is it just a local thing or do other countries like their saturday night variety shows hosted screaming.

Franklin Panghorn was once in a movie called TORCHY TURNS A TRICK.

Matt said...

Seems your ambivelence toward "tall poppies" doesn't extend to people who are successful getting grants?

Still haven't seen a correction or apology in your grant rant....


Elliot Cowan said...

Neil - I think you should start a new blog about the subject.

Matt - Here's a thing. I'm not going to apologise or correct my post, because I have nothing to apologise for and certainly nothing to correct.
My blog is read by a handful of people who are mildly enthusiastic about my blog.
You will note that with few exceptions every comment made by viewers on that post was a congratulations about my film.
Hardly anyone shared their views on the film funding process in Tasmania because nobody gives a shit it.
My words will influence nobody, and be of no interest to anyone except me.
I am more than happy to correspond with you on films and film making, in fact I'd be delighted to, but I'm not going to change my blog because you are misinterpreting my intentions.
Have a good weekend.
Elliot Andrew Cowan.

Matt said...

The point is Elliot, while it's a "private little blog" I still managed to find it doing a random search.

Your intention is pretty clear, discredit the system by belittling the people who actually make it through the process. You portray anyone who got funding as shonks and parasites, without knowing a thing about the projects!

Your intentions are pretty poorly expressed when take the time to publicly accuse people of "screwing their way across Africa" on public money etc. Even if it is for "comic effect".

It's clear *you* give a shit about the Tasmanian funding process, but you've got a pretty scattershot way of expressing it.

You seem like someone who likes to stir the pot, that's fine, but remember there are sometimes people getting hit by the spoon, and they might not like it.

Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but would you really be thrilled to see someone smearing something of yours without even having seen it?

I will offer my apologies for "trolling" an only vaguely related topic.


Elliot Cowan said...

No need to apologise, you are welcome to say whatever you like!

Oscar Grillo said...

How funny, I can clearly see that the Rupert Murdoch dictum of "Make sure they write what I like and nothing else" has pervaded from Australia to the universal blogging system...Someone asking FOR APOLOGIES FOR COMMENTS ON A BLOG???!!!!....Jesus!!!Bring back Doktor Goebbels that we need him badly to show us what censorship is all about!

Elliot Cowan said...

Oscar - I demand an apology for your comment regarding a man demanding an apology!

Oscar Grillo said...

Come and get it!!! (And bring some cold tubes and spare ribs)

Oscar Grillo said...

I am terribly sorry for having said this last thing. I apologise unreservedly and hope you will grant me your pardon and blessings. Tomorrow first thing I'll return the money I've got from the Tasmanian authorities and misspent on whoring and barbacueing koalas!!!!!


Oscar Grillo said...

Dod preserve John Howard!!

Oscar Grillo said...

I meant GOD....Not Ken Dodd!!!!


Patricia said...

Elliot, have you apologised to Rachel for the howling monkey link?

Elliot Cowan said...

Oscar - NOT GOOD ENOUGH! You will pay dearly for your insolence!

Patricia - I haven't apologised one little tiny bit, and will continue to refer to Rachel as a monkey.

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