Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Curious article by Zoe Williams in the Guardian - here - in which she discusses the case of Mel Gibson's drunken outbursts against Jews. I'm not sure I follow Williams's logic but, at the heart of her piece, she appears to say: a)people become more right wing when drunk, b)everybody becomes less intelligent when drunk, and, therefore, c)left wingers are more intelligent than right. This baffled me because, in Guardian terms, Gibson actually became more left wing after a few drinks. It is, these days, left wing to attack the Jews. Furthermore, I don't think I've ever seen anybody become more right wing when drunk. I've seen mild liberals turn into raving Maoists and I've seen many outpourings of sobbing, left-wing sentimentality. But I've never seen or heard anybody turn, in drink, to the right. I have also, I might add, seen plenty of people become much more intelligent after a few glasses. (This, I realise, would seem to support an aspect of Williams's case - more intelligent, more left - though only by inverting all her logic.) Perhaps the problem is that nobody really knows what left or right opinions are any more. The left is only defined by being anti-American - this allows them to support fascist groups like Hezbollah; the right is only defined by the varying success with which its thinkers ape the prose of the late great Auberon Waugh. It's quite funny but it's hardly politics. Incidentally, Williams also asserts that the left is more comfortable with alcohol. The Guardian is truly another planet.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 8:22 am