Cultural icon

Society sometimes picks the oddest yardsticks to measure itself by. Here's two passages from today's media:

Life after Lea
Grace Dent's brilliant Radio Times Big Brother Blog
Optimistic Spiral is still certain that six weeks in the BB7 house is going to be one long “par-tay”. “I like to party!” he tells Big Brother, “Where there's a party! That's what I'm all about!” Why the stupid boy didn't get an easyJet flight to Ibiza and spend summer giving out flyers, dancing on bars and copping off with pretty, E-addled teenage girls wearing thong bikinis is anyone's guess.
Instead he's incarcerated in a house with bikini-clad Jayne, who looks more like Fred Dibnah, watching her dance to Pete hitting a grill with a hairbrush for 15 hours at a time.


Welcome to the world diving awards night, sponsored by Louganis
Stan Hey counts down the top ten World Cup dives in the Independent (story will disappear behind subscription-only barrier in a day or two)
5 Mark van Bommel (v Portugal)
Wins the Fred Dibnah Award for impersonating one of the late demolition man's falling chimneys after being head-butted by Luis Figo. The Dutch midfielder is as hard as Gouda, so Figo's attempt at a “Scottish kiss” should have been laughed off. But this was a game that Don King could have promoted, so Van Bommel was adapting to the misrule. Failed, though, to get Figo a red.

I'm fairly sure it's not National Dibnah Day today or anything like that. Yet here he is, used as a point of comparison twice on the same day by writers who are clearly confident that their readers (demographically very different) would know perfectly well who the Bolton steeplejack was, and why mentioning him would be humorous, even a couple of years after his death. Who would have thought it?

Well, maybe the man himself would have if this quotation from his Wikipedia page is anything to go by:

“It's a funny thing this celebrity. If you don't wave back you're a miserable bugger, if you do wave back you're a big-headed bugger. I don't know.”