Monday, 5 July 2004

DIANA: In Pursuit of Love

This is the title of yet another book on Diana churned out by Andrew Morton (his fourth, and another to come). It was reviewed in the Sunday Times this week by a writer I usually find rather dislikeable, but here he crisply described what the book seems to be about: “…an unedifying crew of flakes, clowns, bastards and outright nutters… the assorted flunkies, therapists, masseurs, astrologers and counsellors…”. The Spencer family "…seems uniformly swinish” and Diana herself “...appears as an unattractive cocktail of paranoia, whinging, infantilism and idiocy, and the less said about her parade of fabulously dumb boyfriends the better”.

Of course, that’s not how Morton sees them, but then he’s been making a very good living out of them all for some years now so it’s understandable that he takes an indulgent view.

But he deserves our gratitude for reminding us of the existence of the acupuncturist and former nun Oonagh Shanley-Toffolo; no need to read the book to enjoy knowing about her. Shelley Ackerman, former singing waitress and caster of Bill Clinton’s horoscope, wrote a piece about this “Royal Medicine Woman” in the New York Daily News in 2002. It seems that Oonagh has led a full life, having tended the Duke of Windsor and been present at his death, while Prince William aged 7 or 8 “requested of his mom” to meet her and impressed her by being psychic. Shelley apparently “personally levitated off the table after being ‘needled’ by her”.

This drivel is headed by a photo of Oonagh and Diana, identified as (l.) and (r.) in case we couldn’t tell which was which.


Anonymous said...

I think perhaps she should be re-christened as "Oonagghhhhhhh" Her name could then be sung in the spooky bit on "War of The Worlds".


Astolath said...

I've never understood the fascination for Diana, surely we're bordering on necrophilia now with the public's unabating fawning over her memory...

I'm also at a loss to understand why people line the pockets of second-rate authors like Morton. I'm sure it's those bored housewives again. They've got a lot to answer for!

Loved the review though, especially his summation on celebrity: "What is now clear is that royalty, before Diana, was the institutionalisation of the people’s desire for celebrity. It controlled and calmed the popular need for special people, set apart from the trials of ordinary life. Diana, in the name of a vapid, egocentric honesty, destroyed that institution. Now uncontrolled celebrity wanders the streets, attaching itself to any passing half-wit, bimbo or hoodlum."

Tony said...

Yes. And that is a very perceptive comment on celebrity which I should have posted.