Jeremy the Thumb
|Jeremy the Thumb|
|Books||Johnny and the Dead|
This newspaper photographer occupies one distant but necessary pole of the glamour spectrum, that the London paparazzi pack are at the other end of. No Otto Chriek he, for he is so far away from national newspaper fame and recognition that his unique talents as a photographer ensure he at least has a job for life at the Blackbury Guardian, covering strictly local events such as weddings, funerals, court appearances, bingo winners and dog shows. Nearly every photograph Jeremy takes involves one of the following;
- The subject doing a "thumbs up" in respose to something positive happening in their lives. This has won Jeremy his nickname and accounts for the greater part of his photographic output. It is, however, perhaps out of place for funerals - most funerals, anyway - and roughly 50% of court appearances.
- The other great standby of local newspaper photography - the glum "chin resting on folded knuckles" shot, say of a little girl who has lost her cat, the victim of local government maladminstration, or the person attending a funeral who has just learnt there's no point in their turning up at the reading of the will.
- On very special occasions, such as a consortium of cleaners winning a middle-ranking Lottery jackpot amounting to maybe £200 each, and definitely for the winner of the Guardian's Super Bingo prize, Jeremy will coax his subjects into Pose Three in his repertoire of three: lined up to perform what he fondly thinks of as a gleeful high kick.
Jeremy is quite possibly not the originator, but the inheritor, of the Great Tradition of local newspaper photography, as those archive editions of the Guardian which Johnny Maxwell and the gang access at the local library show the Blackbury Pals marching off to war in 1916 with fixed cheesey grins and raised thumbs; and in May 1941 show the residents of Paradise Street taking a moment off from digging through the rubble to grin and raise their thumbs at the camera, to the caption of Blackbury can take it, Mr Hitler!
It is possible Jeremy's career is building up to the point where Blackbury Cemetery will have a place for the big Fleet Street photographer who never was...
Jeremy is referenced in Johnny and the Dead.
Of course, Terry Pratchett spent many fruitful years working in the glamour industry that is local newspaper journalism...