Go listen to Stephen Fry’s “Compliance Defiance”, his latest podgram. It’s an absolutely wonderful rant, the perfect Mr. Angry, the classic exploding English toff. The subject’s perfect, the expression’s perfect, and the preceding piece carefully destroys any possible criticism by making it first; indeed, it gives good advice on how to keep a column, blog or podcast relevant.
And you know what makes it for me? I have absolutely no idea if Fry was acting, or being genuine, or even both. How can someone get so upset on something so irrelevant? Yet the concern is his profession, his lifetime passion; the rant is such a middle England way of dealing with a very English thing; and, best of all, there’s a serious point underneath.
If I ever write a play, which I won’t, I’ll steal this episode. If I ever teach media, which I won’t, this would be my perfect podcast. If anyone ever asks me how to play the irate Englishman, which would be like asking Mr. Creosote how to diet, this would be my example.