Dave's Progress. Chapter 89: That Obscure Object of Desire.

The above title is taken from Luis Bunuel's 1977 film of the same name, in which a wealthy, middle-class Frenchman, Mathieu, is continually frustrated in his romantic and sexual advances towards a beautiful, poor Spanish dancer from Seville named Conchita. In their relationship, Conchita avoids sexual contact with Mathieu, bringing him to the point of such frustration that he eventually beats her. Things wouldn't be so bad had he not first witnessed her dancing naked in a bar and then having sex with another man. She tries to explain these things away as innocently as she can, but Mathieu remains a teased and frustrated figure. The film, then, comes across as a surreal comedy (two different actresses play the role of Conchita, seeming to underline Mathieu's confusion), but as always with Bunuel there is an element of political subversion to the film, with the romance, if it can be called that, taking place against a backdrop of left-wing terrorist insurgence, and at the end the two meet their apparent deaths in a terrorist bombing.
I have used this as the title of my post, because it appears to me that there is another obscure object of desire currently being fed in to our homes via the TV, and its name is Nigella Lawson.
Oh, Nigella, Nigella, Nigella, why do you tease us so? Indeed, Nigella's latest programme being screened on BBC2 is, of course, ostensibly about food, but as a certain scene in a movie from the '60s, "Tom Jones", attests, eating can often come across as a vaguely disguised sexual experience. And Nigella, whether she does this deliberately or unknowingly, seems to turn cooking and eating into a highly sensuous, even erotic undertaking, and one can just imagine the effect she induces in well-off, middle-class males like Mathieu as she explains, in her slightly husky, sexy voice, just how you make things like marmite spaghetti. Yes, she even makes that sound irresistible. Even I sat transfixed when I watched the last edition of her programme, eventually succumbing to the charms of this self-proclaimed domestic goddess.
So, just what is it that makes Nigella so desirable? Is it that, admittedly, beautiful face, which considering her parentage (her Dad is sometime figure of the Thatcher administrations Nigel Lawson) is something bordering on the miraculous? All I can say is, she must take after her Mum. Is it that husky voice which often lapses into proclamations which can only be described as poetic? On the programme I saw, for example, she described the ingredients of a particular cake she was baking as having a colour similar "to the brown, Mexican earth". Or is it, ladies and gentlemen, the very way in which the programme is filmed? I think, for my part, it is here that things are made truly erotic. Although it has to be said that Nigella is innately photogenic and good looking, it is those certain close-ups, first on the eyes, then the mouth, then on to that comely figure, that seem to enhance Nigella's sexual appeal. And, it seems, Nigella doesn't just love the camera, she veritably flirts with it. A gaze deep in to the lens here, a flick of the hair there, or a slightly coquettish tilt of the head, all lead us to believe that Nigella is playing with us, and we are veritable putty in her hands.
Only thing is, as Nigella flirts away, and we get evermore distracted from the food and on to her, or perhaps as we watch her actually eating her food (oh joy of joys!), we slowly realise that Nigella is a married lady. Yes, and to that incredibly wealthy man, Charles Saatchi- you know, used to be big in advertising, now famous as a collector of "BritArt". So, it seems, however you may feel about Nigella, however much you may think she is actually flirting with you, it seems she will remain only a distant, erotic pleasure.
So, I'm sorry to disappoint those of you who were expecting another diatribe about mental illness in this blog, but I really didn't know what to write about this time. Only thing I know is, I will be tuning in to Nigella's new programme next week, as she slowly becomes my own obscure object of desire.
That's all for now from your normal, average, paranoid and delusional man.


bazza said…
I hugely enjoyed reading this post David. More plaese. I am a huge fan of Bunuel which was a good start!
I haven't seen Nigella's programmes recently. When I did watch them, I noticed that I had viewed the entire programme transfixed like a chip on fork and ended up with my tongue lolling around my lips but no memeory of the food - only Nigella.
(Also the eating scene from Tom Jones is unforgettable.)
Best regards, Bazza.
David said…
Dear bazza,
Glad you enjoyed my little foray into matters other than mental health. Indeed, I do plan to do this more often.
Also glad that you seem to share my passion for the movies- and Nigella!
Thanks bazza.
Yours with Very Best Wishes,
klahanie said…
Dear David,
Just wanted to let you know how refreshing it is to see you delve into some other subject material. Of course, don't get me wrong, but it's tremendous to see you share some of your other writing styles.
And, yikes, another cooking show scenario where Nigella delights us with her orgasmic, I mean organic etc cooking.
The film you alluded too is one I would most certainly like to check out.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend. You 'Robin Hood' type dude, you.
All the best, Gary.
David said…
Dear Gary,
Thank you for your most positive remarks. As I said to bazza above, I plan to do more of this sort of thing, as it seems I have almost exhausted the subject of mental health, particularlly from the schizophrenia angle. No doubt there will be posts when I still talk about it, but I hope to mix them in with more of this dort of thing.
Hope to speak with you soon. Indeed, I promise to ring, probably next weekend.
Yours with All the Best,

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