Thursday, June 15, 2006

Noam Chomsky


Blogger St Anthony said...

Lovely! But who would be more nonplussed, Chomsky or Clarkson?

Thursday, June 15, 2006 3:41:00 pm  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

...good question. Clarkson is a strange anti-hero to me; one is on safer ground liking Chomsky, at least in the leftist circles I tend to inhabit. This is acurious reversal of the mainstream/ alternative axis: Clarkson looks more alternative, whereas Chomsky appears more mainstream - if you see what I mean...! The history behind this one-line-joke of mine - conflating Clarkson with Chomsky - is as follows: A friend of mine, my oldest friend, known each other since we were 13, so almost 30 years... Well there's a Likely Lads element here: insofar as he got married, had kids, got a job at Pilkington's Glass, worked his way up. I, meanwhile, pissed about in bands, then art college, and only pretty recently 'settled down'. That backdrop provides a tension. So, in short, I was all Chomsky-leftist-arty etc.; he was supposedly more mainstream in his habits. So, one night I am around his house, and he says 'Let's watch 'Clarkson'' - the man's erstwhile chat show. My blood ran cold! What, that t**t? No thanks! But we did watch it; and it was really funny. More than that, though, Clarkson knows who he is and accounts for a certain kind of attitude that has been more of less removed from the mainstream. He's not - yuk phrase, I know - politically-correct. That's obvious. But his appeal, for me, is more nuanced than that. Annie - my wife - and I love the innocent laddish crappness of Top Gear. It's such a cultural enclave; a bit of fun. He's designedly unashamed of his child-like awe, and that is valuable, I believe. It's also pretty radical in our current climate. Hats off to the curmudgeon machine-nerd!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 11:59:00 am  

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