The first verse of Jo Brown and the Bruvvers 1962 hit Picture of You
In the night there are sights to be seen Stars like jewels on the crown of a queen But the only sight I’m gonna view Is that wonderful picture of you
I can remember at the time a very serious conversation with two of my boarding school friends(Boyes,Packett?) about whether to buy the record this week to help it get to number one next week ,or buy it next week to help it stay at the top. Serious stuff!
But pictures of you are everywhere. One of the many reasons that I never made it to the Premiership in business journalism was that there was a point where I just found it difficult to take it seriously.
Occasionally when I saw a senior executive with the very normal picture of his wife,2.4 children and or Labrador on the desk I would opine. “There are two reason why you have this picture ,one, you (are so stupid that you) might forget what your family looks like. The other that your job is so boring that you have to remind yourself why you are doing it.” Neither opinion gave the interview a tiger in the tank, but I did enjoy saying it!
Of course the man may have been just trying to personalise his space in the corporate world. He may also have been obeying a kind of style code like wearing a tie, having clean shoes. The family photo states. I am a regular guy,trustworthy and straight. Maybe ,that is not so obligatory now.
One thing I did learn was that senior executives with lots of glory photos in their office of them with politicians, pop stars, footballers etc were almost invariably on the way out. The show wasnt egotism but insecurity. They knew either their careers or their companies were cons and they were trying to paper over the cracks with look at me photos. Or is it that they felt such an insignificant people that without the paid for celeb pics others would cotton on.
And then there are the families who have turned their homes into shrines for their children,or themselves. I can think of several who have rows of those gormless year photos which make all children look very similar. What is that saying, besides an in your face declaration of no,worse, anti style or taste. Of course any family pictures in my house are there because they are great pictures of beautiful people!