We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

If we ever get to the day when the best we can do in the way of eccentrics is men who wear silly hats, then heaven help us.

Simon Heffer, on the late David Hart

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Laird

    Nice article. One of the things which has always fascinated me about English culture (from the undoubtedly distorted perspective of an American, anyway) is your eccentrics. They abounded in that wonderful old TV show “The Avengers”, and (aside from Diana Rigg) were among its most entertaining features. There was one in every episode, and what was especially delightful is that no one ever seemed to consider them unusual. I wish we had such people over here!

  • But you do Laird – it’s just that you don’t notice them, since the US itself is the epitome of eccentricity. You’ve just grown to take that for granted, is all.

  • Laird

    Perhaps you’re right, Alisa. But our eccentrics just aren’t as much fun!

  • RAB

    Ah yes Laird, the Avengers, a British classic that celebrated British eccentricity to the full.

    When America did the movie of it, we Brits just knew that you would miss the point entirely, and true to form…

    Here’s one I bet never got shown in the States.


    I loved it. It was the first time I had seen the Japanese board game Go. I went out and bought a set. I still play it when I can find someone who knows how to play (very rare alas).

    Sadly not even us Brits would put out a show like that now.

    PS I just went into the kitchen to get a beer and on the tv was a news item about 100 scuba diving Santa’s in full regalia. Rule Britannia eh!

  • Laird: that’s because they just don’t stand out as much against the drop of the overall generally inherent eccentricity.

  • Laird

    RAB, I’ve never heard of “The Man in Room 17”, but it does look interesting. Is it available on DVD?

  • RAB

    Two episodes apparently, but you have to buy the complete boxed set of Randall and Hopkirk Deceased to get one of them. You would have to be insane to buy the one to get the other.

    Jeff! Jeff! I’m over here Jeff!…

    The whole Nation wanted to kill Hopkirk all over again, it’s that bad 😉

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I hope no slight was intended to the gorgeous young Ms Rigg, Laird!

    Back to the subject of the SQOTD, I was rather moved and impressed by Heffer’s account of the late David Hart. Hart actually lived close to where my father was born in Suffolk, by strange coincidence.

  • Laird

    Absloutely no slight intended, Johnathan! She was the best part!