Poor Jeremy Clarkson was doing the rounds last week, sulking about his scolding from the BBC and desperately trying to rationalise how accidentally driving around Argentina with a provocative registration plate could have been interpreted as mocking the Falklands War. It just keeps happening to him. He’s a weather-independent natural disaster and a magnet for culturally insensitive trouble. It’s never his fault. Racial slurs just fall out of his mouth at the exact moment he’s desperately trying to stop them. Clarkson exists under a cloud of misfortune.
Far be it from me to question his integrity but I find it a little tricky to believe that all of these incidents have been accidents. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that he thought they were quite funny at the time; and only freaked out when he realised that other people didn’t think so and started backtracking implausibly like a philandering husband caught with his dick in the au pair.
Jeremy Clarkson is a baffling, ridiculous figure but not as baffling or ridiculous as the media attention he commands. Is Jeremy Clarkson a racist? How are we ever going to get to the bottom of this question? Well, if you define a ‘racist’ as someone who does racist things and expresses racist attitudes regularly, say over a period of twenty five years, then yes, he is a racist. The Guardian newspaper pays at least four writers a year to point this out. This may explain their financial problems.
Naturally, for someone writing for the Daily Mail it’s a lot more complicated than that. For them, Clarkson is not a racist. He just likes making racist jokes and laughing at them and, if you think about it really hard, that’s the opposite of racism. Yeah? No? I don’t get it either, but white middle-aged men on the upper slopes of the media Olympus have always had the best grasp on issues of systemic inequality so it’s best not to ask questions.
One word that constantly crops up in defences of Clarkson is ‘rebel’. What’s he rebelling against? He’s an ex public-schoolboy, BBC personality and Sunday Times columnist. As well as being a friend and neighbour of the Prime Minister in a town which has become a collective noun for its concentration of wealth and power. You can’t get more establishment than Jeremy Clarkson. But middle class adults with naïve delusions of importance will always find a cause to rebel against. And Jeremy Clarkson is a rebel against ‘political correctness’. For people like Stephen Glover this is very worthy. For people like James Delingpole it’s the most important task any human could ever engage in, and Clarkson is the greatest cultural warrior of his generation.
Except, if he is a cultural warrior or a rebel, then why is he at such pains to flop around like a soppy mimsy, crying about how unfair life is every time he gets his wrist slapped for acting like a bellend?
How many times is the news cycle going to be dominated by this shit? I know Jeremy Clarkson, like Justin Bieber and bukkake porn, is popular but that doesn’t necessarily mean he needs to become a cultural symbol and a rallying point for frantic discussion. He’s too tiresome for that.
Let’s put this to bed once and for all. Jeremy Clarkson is not a soldier in the battle against the tyranny of the left and nor is he the devil incarnate. Jeremy Clarkson is a moron who doesn’t understand basic concepts, like dignity or not being a sensationalist self-publicist. He is a reactionary bully who picks on people he perceives as inferior and then weeps like a Dickensian heroine when he’s told to stop. He’s not equipped for the modern world, and he can’t handle it intellectually or emotionally. By his own admission he’s not safe to be let out in public.
If you’re so stupid that you don’t understand that the easiest way of not using a racial slur is to not use a racial slur then you’re too stupid to operate a toaster. For his own good, he should be living in a home for outdated clowns. And if he insists on continuing to broadcast Top Gear from the carpark – bouncing over the speed bumps in a Ford, shouting homophobic slogans out of the window, whatever – so be it. But really, he should be sacked. Not because he’s offensive but because he is a tedious idiot and he makes everyone else in the country into a tedious idiot every time he does something tedious and idiotic.