Sunday, 10 January 2010

Did it rain last Tuesday?

You might be wondering why I’ve put a photo of my most prized possession (Season 1-8 of Columbo) on my politics oriented blog.

The simplest answer is, I love Peter Falk and I love Columbo (in a very butch heterosexual way I should add). The series is IMHO one of the best written shows ever that combines police puzzles with some hilarious writing (as well as beautiful photography).

But of course, without Peter Falk it wouldn’t have been the same. His puppyish enthusiasm that hides a steely interior makes Lt Columbo one of the best-loved characters of all time.

The more complex answer is that Peter Faulk’s success in the 1970s seems to represent a delightful time when you weren’t promoted for being a creep, and gifted, charming, delightful people could really make it in the world. Which brings me to my political topic: Rod Liddle. I just can’t bear to put his ogreish face on my blog.

Anyway, it seems that the poor man’s Jim Davidson is going to be rewarded for being a warmongering, bigoted pillock by being asked to edit The Independent.

I’m no fan of The Independent. It is full of Blairite slime (Rentafool), knuckle-dragging neo-cons (Bruce Anderson) and atheist protestants* (Johann Hari).

Furthermore, like Te Graun, their coverage of Russia is disgraceful.

Putting it like that, it is difficult to see how it can get worse. But if you can’t see how it can get worse, you obviously know very little about Rod Liddle.

The annoying thing is that I actually dislike some aspects of the mainstream left in common with Rod Liddle. I do find that the mainstream left tends to equate Christian with rich-white and Islamic with poor-brown. This is both patronising and sets the scales against rational discussion about secularism and human-rights in the Islamic world.

Very few leftists have shown any regard for the Christians of Cyprus or Anatolia. I’ve found they generally prefer to blame the Pope for AIDS and take credit for other people’s achievements with ludicrous self-aggrandising gestures (like the atheist bus). And of course, in the mainstream left it’s taken for granted that only a misogynist would oppose abortion. There are a lot of things I dislike about the modern left; especially the close-mindedness.

Yet someone who adores the IDF, wants to bomb Iran, cut his honeymoon short to move in with another woman and thinks that a fifteen-year-old work by a sociology professor is evidence that black people are thick is the very last person on earth to open the left to new ideas and to improve it. Far from breathing fresh air into the left, Rod’s nicotine stained slobbery mouth will poison it.

Still, maybe that is a good thing. I do think the left-wing British ‘blogosphere’ has improved a lot in recent months. Maybe the left will be reborn in 2011 after Te Graun and The Independent have been destroyed. When ironically enough they might try exploiting the free market rather than being exploited by it.

Now excuse me, I dislike watching DVDs on my own and in this snow my friends can't visit, but I'm really going to have to watch some Columbo to get the scummy taste of Rod Liddle out of my mouth.

*I use the term ‘atheist Protestant’ because Protestants were predominantly English types who thought their opinions regarding the existence of a non-provable-entity were of great interest to other people and gave them a right to snoop on others and give them earfuls of unwelcome opinions.


  1. I love Colombo. TV gold.

    As well as Peter Falk's masterful characterisation, the best thing about it is the moment in each episode where the killers know that Colombo will get them.

    At the beginning they're full of confidence but after Colombo doggedly keeps at them, you can actually see the point at which they psychologically break. Even if they keep the charade going for the last half hour, they know from that moment that they're going down. Colombo is a bit like Poe's Tell-Tale Heart...

  2. You can see some of the difference in Western culture in the sorts of stars they were, compared to today.

    You simply do not see many films or TV programmes revolving around people like Falk or, say, Jack Lemmon today. There is often a real humanity there in film stars from the 30-70s; the likes of Albert Finney and James Cagney were not apart from their audience. Today film stardom is another branch of our all-devouring celebrity culture. Spectacle itself has become the star, more even than it was in a medium like Victorian Melodrama... One might understand it all more if these stars were genuinely something more significant and 'other' compared with the general population, rather than surgery obsessives and Scientologists.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys. Pleased to see you ignored Rod Liddle and focussed on Columbo… if everyone ignored Rod Liddle and focussed on Columbo, the world would b a far better place.

    I’d agree; I like he way that Columbo doesn’t always have a watertight case, but they’re just so worn down by his mind games that they confess.

    I don’t have much knowledge of popular culture pre-1960s. but I’d agree that now someone like Peter Falk would be less likely to get a leading role now as popular culture has become a tool for conformity. On a deeply unconformist note, I'm going to listen to some William Shatner

  4. Rod Liddle eh. At the indpendant.
    The Graun have already put up an aricle by a feminist speaking against it.

    You'll never guess, today I was in the local librabry. Under the genre of Sociology, was there some post-marxist analyctics or post-structuralism or whatever is in vogue? No, there was nothing less than the book of Richard Littlejohn's rantings, of the wheely bin fascists, health and safety zealots etc. In the sociology heading. Just goes to show the quality of our local library.

  5. @NK
    Well, it's another example of how libraries are following the free market in everything. They seem to get more wretched every year. I reckon that Cameron and Gove have probably set their sights on privatising them.

    Incidentally, I tried attaching my new twitter account to my blog, but it came up with someone else's list of stuff. I've no idea what happened there.

  6. I've just read your entry from the 3rd Jan. 'From Buchan to Byzantium'.

    Very interesting. As an atheist with a really Catholic wife ( i'm talking about observing Lent, meat-free Fridays, priests coming round to bless the house, mass more than once a week sometimes ) I have a rather strange relationship with religion.

    When i'm online reading comments from UK atheists I instinctively side with the religious. Like you, I cannot stand the arrogance, the smugness and the patronising manner. I almost want to get baptised just to show them..

    On the other hand, here in Poland there definitely is a religious right and they lay it on so thick at times that I find myself turning into a proper Dawkins nut.

    PS: My own website has just come out of hibernation and now includes that translation, 'Europe's Suicide', which I told you about.

  7. Hi CK

    I’m going away for a few days, but a quick message. I entirely relate to your position, because in countries where freedom of expression and scientific enquiry are threatened by faith groups, I entirely take the side of the secularists. But here, the secular fanatics seem really comical. In a country where churches are empty, they heap praise on themselves for their idiotic atheist bus campaign.

    It sort-of makes sense if you take the idiotic and illogical view that religion is a monolithic entity. On that note, it was deeply ironic that Johann Hari now attributes Melanie Phillips’ idiocy to ‘the religious’, when Hari is one of the few people to have praised Melanie Phillips.

    Yet it seems that our own atheist fanatics have ‘fundamentalist envy’, as seen in their obsession with the USA. They are uninterested in Britain’s heritage of Cathedral Protestantism and instead like those caricatures that America provides. This seemed embodied by how Richard Dawkins went to visit Ted Haggard when discussing Christianity. Seems pretty odd when the Archbishop of Canterbury is just up the road.

    What these atheists have in common with fanatics, as far as I can see, is that they see faith as a meaningful difference between people. But I don’t have that; I’ve got more in common with an atheist than a scientologist or Pentacostalist or Mormon or Baptist.

    I found it ironic on one left-wing website I was agreeing with that they had a feature on the atheist bus campaign, saying that atheists represented the ‘moral majority’ in Britain. So if I were to lose my faith, I’d be a more moral person? I don’t think I’d become a less moral person, but now they seem to be the ones torturing logic.

    Give my regards to your wife, it seems that like myself her faith is integral to her lifestyle.

    PS: Read your translation, though I thought he missed the point that the EU behaved very undemocratically in this regard. If the Brits or French want religious symbols removed from classrooms, that's fine by me. But the overwhelming majority of Italians want their religious symbols, and I think it is tyrannical to oppose this.

    Noticed you're also a fan of Teeside Tintin... don't think they ever regained the heights of their take on The Black Island though