Clint Eastwood Just Reminded Us Why He Is The World’s Coolest Star

Now rack your brains and try to think of anyone of Clint’s celebrity eminence who’d admit to such views on the record. Charlton Heston, possibly, except he’s no longer with us. Michael Caine is the only living movie star I can think of – but he’s English so his views on the US presidential election wouldn’t carry quite so much weight.

How depressing is it that the entire universe of celebrity is so politically one-sided?

None more depressing, I’d say. If you believe, as Andrew Breitbart did, that “politics is downstream from culture” then it clearly matters very much what our movie and TV stars, pop idols, comics and so on think.

Why do you think Hillary had so many of them surrounding her at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia recently?

Because, duh, there’s a significant chunk of the voting populace which doesn’t give a damn whether or not their potential next president is a lying, cheating, email-hiding, Benghazi-tainted, crony-capitalist, continuation-Obama witch. All that matters to them is knowing they’re on the same team as Katy Perry, Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Banks, Meryl Streep and the incredible  chick who played Hit Girl in Kick-Ass.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

An Inspector Calls: Not a Classic but a Farrago of Leftist Tosh

What a load of manipulative, hysterical tosh is An Inspector Calls. It wasn’t a work with which I was familiar till I saw the latest TV adaptation. Now, of course, I see exactly why the luvvies — see, for example, Stephen Daldry’s highly acclaimed early 1990s National Theatre revival — adore it so. It confirms everything they think they know about the world: rich people bad, heartless, oppressive; poor people the long-suffering and saintly salt of the earth.

In case you’ve not had the pleasure, J.B. Priestley’s play is like a socialist game of Cluedo: a lovely innocent young working-class woman has died and the toffs all dunnit. Self-made millionaire mill-owner Arthur Birling bludgeoned her with his ruthless capitalism; Mrs Birling with her hypocritical sanctimoniousness; young Sheila Birling with her hysterical upper-middle-class insecurity; Sheila’s betrothed, Gerald Croft, with lasciviousness dressed up as human sympathy.

Then young Eric Birling, the drunken son and heir, finished her off by borderline-raping her and impregnating her with a child for which he neglected his responsibility. All right, so they didn’t literally kill her — she drank bleach — but they might just as well have done. As the mysterious nocturnal visitor Inspector Goole makes abundantly clear, this is a case of murder.

You can see, too, why it has become a standard GCSE text. Not only are its politics perfectly aligned with those of the teaching profession but there are so many big themes to explore, so many dramatic coups-de-théâtre at which to marvel. That Inspector, for example. As his name subtly indicates, he’s a supernatural figure: a red avenger from the netherworld come to strike a blow for social justice in a callous world ripe for righteous retribution.

Being a prescient sort of fellow, the Inspector knows — the play being set in 1912 — that that righteous retribution lies but two years hence. Prescient but not omniscient. What he doesn’t seem to be aware of (odd, given that his creator served in the trenches, first with the ranks, later as an officer) is the disproportionate burden of sacrifice that will fall on those despised public-school classes. (Eric, we can infer, is definitely for the chop; as is Gerald, whose father is a lord.)

Or perhaps he does know and thinks it’s a jolly good thing. If so, then I don’t think that reflects very well on J.B. Priestley, who, it is often said, created the Inspector as his mouthpiece. By the time of the second world war, when he wrote the play, Priestley had become a national treasure. A pretty repellent view for a national treasure to hold and to celebrate in a potboiling drama, if you ask me: those bloody toffs, they had it all coming.

Mind you, I’m not sure even Priestley himself would have guessed that his weird melodrama would have become such a standard of dramatic literature. Not least given its tragically dreadful implausibility. Five members of the same family, all with a hand in this random girl’s death? Pull the other one. As for the nonsense with the Inspector’s ludicrous investigation, whose purpose has less to do with inquiry than with delivering portentous moral judgments: it’s so unprofessional and impertinent that Arthur Birling would have seen him off the premises in five minutes, not waited an hour before belatedly realising, ‘That inspector didn’t half ask some funny questions.’

But for all that, it’s amazing how intensely it grips and compels. Once you forget the implausibilities — which you do quite often — you cannot help but be sucked into the emotional maelstrom. Yes, the set-up is almost embarrassingly schematic, oppressively didactic, risibly contrived, but the characters and their relationships (domineering father, feckless son, indulgent mother), though clichéd, are persuasively drawn. It’s an actors’ play — every part meaty, with hidden depths, requiring hugely satisfying shifts of mood. Another reason why the luvvies love it so.

Boy, do they inhabit those roles. They did in this TV production anyway: David Thewlis as the Inspector; Ken Stott as Mr Birling; Miranda Richardson as Mrs; etc. It’s quite invidious to name names when the entire cast was so good. They believed in their characters — even when required to do crap things like get an innocent shopgirl sacked on a toffee-nosed whim — and so, thanks to their conviction, did you.

The play, though, does not deserve this reverence. It’s poisonous, revisionist propaganda on a par with that of Barbara and John Lawrence Hammond, the northern bourgeois liberals who, in the wake of Engels and Toynbee, invented the popular modern notion of the industrial revolution as the bad thing it simply wasn’t. Most serious historians now recognise that for people like Eva —the play’s suicide victim — the owners of dark satanic mills like Birling’s generally did far more good than harm. If the public still often doesn’t, then it’s those celebrity purveyors of cast-iron bollocks like J.B. bloody Priestley we have to thank.

From the Spectator

Power Cuts Are a Much More Serious Problem Than ‘Climate Change’

Today is the day when, in lieu of their gap-year jackarooing in Australia or eating magic mushroom omelette in Bali, Climate Camp protesters named Xan, Freddie, Minty, Tigger, Pidge, and Twig will run riot through London’s business district in protest at the outrageous, disgusting capitalist system that enabled Daddy to put them so cruelly, harshly and disgracefully through Eton, Westminster and St Mary’s, Calne.

More gag-inducingly still it is the day when dozens of celebrities will gather at The Tate Modern Gallery, London (NB – always remember to use that definite article: it does so annoy Nicholas Serota) to sign up for a wonderfully meaningless new eco campaign backed by the Guardian called 10: 10.

The campaign is the brainchild of Franny Armstrong, whose recent eco-movie The Age Of Stupid  is so unsophisticated it makes An Inconvenient Truth look like Tarkovsky, and is indeed now widely recognised as the second most lame, risibly awful and toe-curlingly emetic movie in British cinematic history after Love Actually.

It calls for everyone to help save the world by reducing their carbon footprint by 10 per cent in 2010. So far the roster of luvvies who have signed up to the scheme includes Radio 1 DJ Sara Cox, chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Delia Smith and Ruth Rogers, screenwriter Richard Curtis, directors Richard Eyre and Mike Figgis, designers Nicole Farhi and Vivienne Westwood, TV presenter Kevin McCloud and actors including Samantha Morton, Jason Isaacs, Pete Postlethwaite, Colin Firth and Tamsin Greig.

What I like about these lists is that they give you an instant aide-memoire of all the celebrity pillocks whose broadcasts/recipes/duff plays and movies/clothes/building programmes you need never bother with again. (Shame about Antony Beevor, who is also mysteriously on the list. I was rather looking forward to reading his take on the Battle of the Bulge).

“But so what if this bunch of ocean-going knobs wish to burnish their egos and salvage their consciences by pledging to cut the odd weekend trip to Bora Bora here and plant the odd carbon-neutralising mango forest there? Who are we to judge?” I hear some of you asking.

And up to a point I’d agree with you. The thought that I shall be 10 per cent less likely to have any of these dorks sitting next to me on an EasyJet flight to Palma any time during 2010 is indeed of considerable comfort in these dark times. The problem is, I can’t get out of my head the much more urgent and terrifying story on the front of today’s Telegraph. The one predicting massive power cuts across Britain within ten years.

To anyone who reads Christopher Booker these dire predictions of 1970s-style black-outs are hardly news. Booker – and others – have been warning for years about the inevitable consequences of the upcoming “energy gap” and successive governments failure to fill it by commissioning more (preferably nuclear) power stations.

The only thing that surprises me about this long-running scandal is why it hasn’t been on the front page pretty much every other day for the past decade. Clearly, the prospect of the world’s fifth largest economic power being imminently reduced to rationing electricity, perhaps even limiting its industrial output – as in the Seventies – to a three-day week represents a major disaster for Britain. A disaster, it should be noted, of far greater effect and magnitude than anything which has so far happened to this country as a result of “climate change”.

So why haven’t we heard more about it? Why hasn’t the population – or at least the influential chattering class section of it – been galvanised into urging the Government to stop equivocating and come up with a half-way decent energy policy?

Why do you think? Because partly thanks to the attention-grabbing antics of idiots like the ones mentioned above, our politicians – not just Labour ones, but pretty much the whole of Cameron’s “progressive conservatives”, more’s the pity – have been encouraged to take their eye off the ball, and bleat piously about “alternative energy sources” and reducing carbon emissions instead.

Power cuts (and the energy gap) represent a clear and present danger to Britain and her economy. ‘Climate change’ does not. Unless we get our priorities right very soon, we’re all going to be in deep, deep trouble. And no amount of impassioned protesting by environmentally conscious ex-public-school-children or bien-pensant celebrities will be able to get us out of the hole that they personally did so much to help dig.

Related posts:

  1. Miliband’s brilliant plan to combat climate change: ‘We’ll export unicorns to China’.
  2. Climate Change: an emetic fallacy
  3. Campaign Against Climate Change: a Christmas appeal
  4. Big, hot, shiny orb in sky caused by ‘climate change’ says UK Met Office