Ask Agatha #17 – They Call Me Old Hat Instead Of Cutting Edge


Dear Aunt Agatha,

I want to be the hero who exposes people as extremist nutters. I actually detest people, which is why I enjoy making fools of them and their bourgeois politeness. People say my humour is tired, repetitive, and not funny any more, but they didn’t always say that. When I mocked black people by pretending to be black myself while interviewing people, everyone loved the way I implied that black people were stupid, interested only in bling and drugs. Everyone roared with laughter. Then I ridiculed people from Central Asia, suggesting they were all ignorant peasants who practised bestiality. I find I can trade on people’s courtesy and politeness when I make ludicrously extreme utterances, because they are usually too well-mannered to reprove me. I think there’s too much manners and politeness in the world as it is, and if I can make bags of money by mocking people’s courtesy, why not?

It started to go wrong when I ridiculed gays by posing as an ultra-camp one myself. And when I made a movie about a fishing port fallen on hard times, presenting its inhabitants as idiot bumpkins, it totally bombed and cost me a packet. Now my new series is getting loads of flak because people say they’re fed up with watching me make fools of people by trading on their tolerance when I say ridiculous things. They call it old hat. I need to do something new to become a celebrity again. I want to be famous and popular again as well as rich, so what should I do?

(signed) “Algy.”

Dear “Algy,”

The clue is that word “celebrity.” Because people are bored seeing you yet making money by humiliating people through deception, you should do something that has you on the receiving end. You should sign up for “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.” People would love to see you eating worms and rat-droppings and walking through snake-infested huts through showers of urine. The hostility incurred by your sneering superiority would vanish as they watched you struggle to cope with adversity. You would almost certainly win, because people would vote to keep you in there doing it. It’s novel, and it would bring you the renewed fame and popularity you crave.

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Agatha Antigone is satirical. She has a weekly Wednesday column at the Continental Telegraph and was born in Central Europe in 1965. Her claims of descent from Romanian aristocracy cannot be authenticated because her papers were all destroyed in the Bosnian War. She holds a Diploma in Structural Studies from the Fritz Meyer Institute of the University of Bucharest, and is the author of several academic monographs. Her media career, launched in Pecob magazine, now features columns in over 30 publications. She found international fame with the celebrated letter-opener hand-stabbing incident with a US journalist live on CNN. Her best-selling book, “The Tobacco and Alcohol Diet,” was published in 17 languages, derided though it was by academic nutritionists. Her infamous public marriage to a Carpathian sheepdog was formally annulled by the Pope and Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church, though it further confirmed her international celebrity status. She took out Maltese citizenship in 2015, and now resides on the island of Gozo with her partner of 23 years and three teenage children. Agatha tweets at: