I occasionally watch the Top Gear motoring-lads-having-a-laugh show on a Sunday evening, fronted by the bumptious Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson is a sort of British version of P.J. O’Rourke, (although O’Rourke is at his best in print, rather than on the box) in that he loves to mock cyclists, Greens, do-gooders and other earnest protectors of our public welfare. Excellent. It is amazing really that his show has run on the BBC for so long. His mails must include a fair share of rudeness from those he mocks and it looks like he has really got up the nose of veteran Green campaigner Jonathan Porritt, a person who at one stage was very much the “reasonable” face of environmentalism.
Porritt misses the point completely. He is part of a puritanical new establishment dedicated to the removal of fun, or at least that of those other than themselves. We have had more than a decade of this, and Clarkson is rather like a shot of brandy to the half-drowned. He may be overly laddish for some people’s tastes, but he acts as handy counterweight to the scolds. Long may he sing the praises of Ferraris, supersonic jet aircraft and other fast machines.
(I have classified this post under “Arts and Entertainment” since Top Gear is purely entertainment. Do not expect to learn a lot about practical car maintenance.)