Friday, February 10, 2006

THE BALLAD OF PENTONVILLE GAOL

Interestingly, the announcement on its Culture Vulture blog that tomorrow's Guardian is going to carry Pete Doherty's "prison writings" hasn't exactly gone down well with the readers, to judge by the comments section.

The paper's Patrick Barkham, though, says Doherty has always been brutally honest about his demons. I've read his prison writings and I think they offer a rare insight into the mind of the creative, sensitive and funny 26-year-old as he contemplates the confinement of both prison life and addiction.

Hmm. "Brutally honest about his demons" - frankly, whatever else you choose to believe about Doherty, his honesty might be the last thing you'd come to praise. From what we can see, he's tended to swash about in a state of denial until he gets cornered, when he falls back on a mixture of pity-me and blaming everyone else. And while we're sure his prison writings will be as splutteringly fascinating as Down In Albion, he's hardly on a par with Mandela or Wilde, is he? He wasn't jailed on a point of principle or as part of a struggle; he turned over his best mate's house to get money for skag.


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