Posted by: docdenbow | November 1, 2012

Just A Mortal Man With Feet Of Clay

Once upon a time, there was a teacher, preacher, politician, parent, celebrity (you choose whichever one you wish) who was highly esteemed. His virtues far surpassed those of others. We thought he could do no wrong. Then, events occurred in which this highly esteemed person behaved in ways inconceivable to us, contrary to the image we held of him. Indeed, we’ve set ourselves up for this several times in life. I guess that this has happened to you as well as to me.

“As the dust of dismay and disillusionment cleared from my eyes, I saw this person for who he really was–just a mortal man with feet of clay.”

Well here I’m not specifically talking about Jimmy Savile, although as they say “if the caps fits,” I think you can apply the above statement to many of our heroes. We grow up or even “move on” and we come to the realization that they were nothing special – their talent is/was. There are people out there have just one talent, a talent that they have honed to such an extent it is all they are. An ability to act, kick a ball, race a car, play an instrument, sing a song – the list is endless. Although their talents in one area may be spectacular it can leave them wanting in all other aspects of life.

Ordinary folk like you and me probably have no special gifts, no talents, we can do lots of things quite well. We don’t look as good as some of the more esteemed members of our society because we have to work, get our hands dirty rather than living an indulgent lifestyle. We have to buy our clothes from Primark, or Next if we feel like splashing out, and our furniture comes from DFS. Not for us botox and £20,000 dental treatment. Somehow that makes us worse than them in our own eyes. But does it really?

We are living in an age of celebrity where many nonentities end up getting red carpet treatment, and many “stars” who have earned the red carpet treatment forget where they came from. Some of these people went to ordinary schools, grew up in ordinary houses, some went to University others didn’t. Yet many of these people will leave their fans and admirers out in the cold by ignoring them or being so aloof that the merest acknowledgement is beneath them. They seem to forget who it was who put them there in the first place.

That being said I feel sympathy with those in the public eye who are pursued by the lenses of the gutter press. Women especially who are vilified for “looking rough” when all they have done is nipped out to the corner shop to get 10 Woodbines and a bottle of milk. Who are these self appointed guardians of taste and style? More to the point do I give a sh*t if Billie Piper smokes, or Stephen Fry like watching football and darts? I’m interested in them as “performers” but that’s about that. If they wish to share some of their lives out of the glare of publicity with us then great, but if they don’t, then also great.

That being said, if I was outside the BBC TV after a recording of QI and on his way out I asked Stephen Fry for an autograph and he told me to “feck off” then I would merely say See You Next Tuesday, because when he is working he is public property. I just hope Stephen Fry is insightful enough to know that.

I am using Stephen Fry here as an example because I am sure he knows better than that, but in thinking that am I setting him up as an idol who has feet of clay?

I definitely think, however, that society in setting Jimmy Savile up as an idol have seen that he had more than just feet that were made of clay.

Ciao For Now



Feet of clay is a reference to the interpretation of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon by the prophet Daniel which is recounted in the Book of Daniel in the Bible.

“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.”


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