Apart from the use of "cunt", the point of the story was that there was a story in a newspaper about Moore and Niven. Moore saw it and sent it to Niven, only to find that Niven had also seen it and sent it to him. Not exactly hilarious, but there you are.
I was told never to say bad things about myself, because...you know...I'm always quoted as the one-eye-browed actor...ehh... which is not true; I've got two. (interviewer laughs) And you know, because, I...It was I who said that.
And so my agent says "Stop saying these things about yourself! You've got to start saying...[good things about yourself.]" Uhm, well I tried saying I was good, and unfortunately I wasn't very good at saying I was good. So I thought it was much better to go take the piss (interview mumblingly interrupts "You're much too humble..") ...take the piss out of yourself is much better.
David Niven...ahh..was a great chum, as you know from the book. We were...he was in France; I was in Hollywood. I was doing a film called...ummm...Sherlock Holmes in New York. Packelhem(?) came in one day with a copy of the Daily Mail, and an article by Linda Lee Potter, in which she's reporting on, apparently...something.... Olivier and Brando not signing autographs or not having to pose for pictures, and Binkie Beaumont - Hugh Beaumont - who was the head of H.M. Tennent said, you know, that "These are artists who give their all in the theatre. Why should they do anything offstage?"
And Linda Lee Potter wrote "The only two actors who make the profession at all bearable, because of their self-deprecating humour, are David Niven and Roger Moore."
So, I said "Christ! I'm going to send this to Niven!"
Uhh. And the same day, in the post, when I got home from the studio, there was the clipping from Niven; he'd sent it to me, and across the top he wrote 'It pays to be a cunt.' So there you are."
Though much of this may be obvious to you, I've treated it as an exercise to see if I can analyse all the key points in their entirety.
The one-eyebrow thing was a reference to Moore's limited ability to convey complex emotion on screen, simply raising a brow for surprise or contempt or amourous interest, etc. Whether or not he was stung by the criticism, he repeated it and acknowledged it as part of his persona, and this became part of a larger cultural phenomenon referenced in other media:
In the interview, in protesting that he did have two eyebrows, he may have been dismissing the critics, implying that his emotional range on screen was at least double the number of emotions ascribed to him as with the number of eyebrows. This in itself partly acknowledging the limits of his range, or at least trying to protest without protesting too much.The satirical British TV show Spitting Image once had a sketch in which their latex likeness of Moore, when asked to display emotions by an offscreen director, does nothing but raise an eyebrow. Moore himself has stated that he thought the sketch was funny, and took it in good humour. Indeed, he had always embraced the 'eyebrows' gag wholeheartedly, slyly claiming that he "only had three expressions as Bond: right eyebrow raised, left eyebrow raised and eyebrows crossed when grabbed by Jaws." Spitting Image continued the joke, featuring a Bond movie spoof, The Man with the Wooden Delivery, with Moore's puppet receiving orders from Margaret Thatcher to kill Mikhail Gorbachev. Many other comedy shows at that time ridiculed Moore's acting, Rory Bremner once claiming to have had a death threat from an irate fan of Moore's, following one such routine.
There is an expression in English, "damned by faint praise," where someone offers an insult in the form of a half-hearted compliment that only emphasises the flaws of the subject. So, "Mugabe should be congratulated for reducing corruption of the Presidency by 3% compared to the year previous." Whilst in the form of a compliment, it is clearly intended to be a withering attack. Moore seems to reverse that formula, offering a half-hearted defence of his acting ability.
Moore differs with his agent, who would prefer that Moore take a self-congratulatory tone in the media. He claims to have tried and failed to speak his own praises. The interviewer interjects that Moore is "too humble," implying Moore is actually quite skilful at self-promotion and is understating his own skill at it. Of course this implies in turn that Moore is not at all humble in any essential way. I think this kind of quip is very English. I'm not sure an American interviewer would have been as likely to make the same kind of remark. To call it an insult is too strong. It is not even a rebuke. It is more like teasing Moore about his thin veneer of humility in a way intended to be light-hearted and amusing, not serious.
"Taking the piss" is just an idiomatic expression that I hear mostly in British or, especially, Australian English, meaning to deflate the ego. There is no connotation of actually catheterising someone's bladder and making off with the contents.
The rest of the story is more straightforward: We learn that Moore earns praise from a media hack for his humility. It is implied that the argument with the agent is now settled in Moore's favour, and that Moore was right all along to be humble in public. All of this again plays on the contrast between the appearance of humility and its substance. Then he sends the article by way of mutual self-congratulation on their great humility to Niven, only to find that Niven has done exactly the same thing. At this point it is like a tennis match between allegories of hubris and humility. Finally, Niven's remark is revealed as the punchline and apex of the tale, that "It pays to be a cunt."
I take this to be a rejection of the Daily Mail's credibility as a source of opinion; Niven saying in essence that their humility has only won them the praise of a useless twit and the useless Daily Mail, and this fate would better have been avoided.
Moore, the interviewer, and Niven all establish elements of tension in their remarks between proper and improper behaviour, arrogance and humility, superiority and the commonplace, pecking order and class. I think British writing and speech are preoccupied with all of these themes and tensions, and this is a delicious example of it.
Last edited by bankside; January 25th, 2014 at 02:14 PM.
The cunt thing that had been commented on under the YouTube clip, I could not locate until I watched the video and not just listened to it...
Re: taking the piss out...
I suppose it relates to another expression, "Full of piss and vinegar" or "pissed off," used to describe someone not just angry or disappointed, but with a certain kind of self-righeous confidence and bluster in their own anger. To take the piss out is thus to deflate someone's self-importance or self-assuredness. To take the piss out of oneself is to keep one's own ego in check.
Which province does this guy come from?
^ That's from Wales.
He was the son of a wool merchant in Huddersfield in Yorkshire but where did he get that voice?
Do other Yorkshiremen talk like him?
Maybe the secret of the recipe was a gay touch....
^ His 'secret' was that he was an over-sensitive, aesthetic man. He was an architect, he refused to sign up for the British war time "killing machine".
Yet he was foolish. He was used by a grasping Jewish female clever bitch who bled him dry in a protracted divorce which forced him to waste his talent in secondary roles over in La-La Land in the USA.
JeussChrist, unload, what's that , a cancer or a post count?!!
You're just noticing the prolific ability of our Lord York?
Speaking of our Good Lord - I figured if they were Princes of Wales, and descendants of same for many many years, they qualified.
Even if they have Scot's blood and German - once a Celt, always a Celt.
And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .
Tom Daley interviews Dan Osborne (naked under his robe, as he informs Tom): we all know Dan has an Essex accent, but what about Tom? And what word are they discussing starting at 3:08?
"To get to the essence of [William] Kent is tougher. His rangy ebullience reminds me of an aphorism of Yorkshire folk that they 'say what they like and like what they bloody well say'. "
--FT Weekend, on the William Kent show at the V & A
People always refer to the late Queen Mother as Scottish, but that isn't really true either. The Queen Mother was born in England and I believe that only one of her eight great grandparents was Scottish.
^Why are you so concerned with England?
They sound, respectively, as disgusting and as cute as they look.
Can somebody explain this? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/SAuLT
- - - Updated - - -
^^Your commentary is irrelevant...
^You are concerned with this thread? Why? What for? What does it get you?
(the weird lamps in the ground and the stupid purple paint...it was simply grey and white before...wythggty must be silent.
How about zip code 98112...which you will never ever set foot on. The information is in situ and not on the internet ....come get it in person HERE.
The answer is buried at 244.090.077 degrees and 14.609614 feet from the water tower at a depth of 3.8604 feet. Can't get that on a screen.
Last edited by cgymike; March 23rd, 2014 at 01:44 AM.
I started promoted was Am The Creator of this thread.
1620? The year the Novum Organum came out I think... oh, you mean the Mayflower thing
https://www.google.com.hk/#q=98112&safe=strict Too risky: earthquakes, volcanoes, North Korean missiles...
Last edited by belamo; March 23rd, 2014 at 01:46 AM.
franco gizon gaiztoak izan zen eta lokarri Madrilen dago Espainia urrun da nahitaezko ... Espainiako coerce batetik inperialismoaren eta indarkeriaren nahi dutenek bertan ezin da inoiz bukaera izan arte ...
Last edited by cgymike; March 23rd, 2014 at 01:53 AM.
About the word... whatever that actually is... they are discussing, people, English-speaking or not, would then have the nerve to talk about Chinese or Thai silly-crazy pronunciation and spelling... English-speaking people trying to use Latin alphabet to represent the way they speak
Whereof you cannot speak THEREOF you must be silent.
The information is not available on the internet for 1620 of which I speak.
Last edited by cgymike; March 23rd, 2014 at 02:26 AM.
Purcell is like Shakespeare. Purcell can take twelve words of text and weave up a 5 minute song around them.
Shakespeare can take an idea and pun up and elaborate a 5 minute speech around them
- - - Updated - - -
Nope ...he was in 018** many years ago...
Annoying invective....but touches nothing actually...
Nope not about me this time.