Jeremy Clarkson VS Socks
It’ll happen again this Christmas. Millions of people will think ‘What would Dad like? Socks or a book?’ and because they’re not near a Marks & Spencer (if that’s possible in the UK) they’ll drift into a bookstore. There in front of them they’ll see a bewildering array of colourful covers – but wait! This bloke’s on the telly talking about gearboxes! The perfect gift! Because Clarkson (who admittedly can sometimes be very funny) is the non-reader’s book purchase, a gift to be unwrapped and transferred to a bookshelf without ever being read, the literary equivalent of a scarf or cufflinks.
It’s an odd idea; a horse-owning public school toff who lives a fantasy life with family, nanny, housekeeper and many cars in a village of chinless green-wellie NIMBYs, being sold to working class dads because he has ‘shared values’ with them; a man who doesn’t like multi-culturalism, wants the old ways back, makes fun of anyone different, hates the poor, doesn’t believe in global warming and so on. Clarkson’s tightrope act is an unenviable one. In ‘For Crying Out Loud!’ he complains that there are too many unnecessary words in use, but is described on the cover as ‘The multi-million copy bestselling phenomenon’. He disapproves of The Guardian, but the only quote he can find to sell the book is from Zoo, the magazine for tramps and convicts.
So this Christmas, think before you buy. Choose life. Choose something other than Jeremy Clarkson. And let’s hope his children turn out to be gay. And black.