Sunday, 25 November 2007

Broderick's Sunday Special #7: Martin Amis - still a twat

Saturday, 24/11/07

The Martin Amis: Racist or just a bigot? debate rages on. Ronan Bennett publishes a column in which he takes Amis to task. Christopher Hitchens retorts. For those of you who are just joining the debate, let me briefly, but rationally, sum up both sides: Martin Amis is a racist.

All hilarity aside, however, this week I did write a letter to The Guardian in response to Hitchens' article "Martin Amis is no racist." Last time I wrote into the Guardian I was expressing my indignity after a well-known British circuit comedian with a G2 column stole several lines verbatim from Margaret Cho's concert DVD I'm The One That I Want. Brazen as you like! I called for her to be taken to criminal court. They didn't respond.

This week I write the following:

Dear Editor,

Re: Martin Amis is no racist - Christopher Hitchens - G2 - 21/11/07 pg 10-11

I am not going to weigh in regarding whether or not Martin Amis is a racist. His views certainly had racist overtones and were distasteful, but in the multitude of shifting contexts it is important that they are aired and debated. However, whether or not he is a racist, Martin Amis will always be the author of Yellow Dog, and for that deserves no less than to be locked in a perspex box filled with fire ants for the rest of his curmudgeonly days. The Eagleton v. Amis dust-up has unfortunately drawn attention away from the real issue: debating whether or not Amis' books have any merit or are simply the literary equivalent of serving up a dog turd on a fancy square plate. I have gotten less pleasure from reading Amis' novels than I have from being puked on by children on long-haul flights.

They don't print the letter.

The only reason I can think for this is that Charlie Brooker somehow got a hold of my letter and saw its comic GENIUS as a threat to his job as writer of Screen Burn, and subsequently had all trace of it destroyed.

Yes. I'm certain that's what happened.

Sunday, 25/11/07

I ride my bike from Cricklewood to Belsize Park. I'm dressed in shirt and sweater vest, woolen blazer and comfy scarf. This is wonderful!, I think, pedaling down Mill Lane. This is exactly how I'd behave on a Sunday if I were a famous writer! Only I'd be carrying my laptop down to the local French cafe and languidly tapping out a second draft of a brilliant, Miranda July-esque short story, not about to start a double shift at a sushi restaurant.

I stop at Starbucks. I'm going to have a Starbucks!, I think, perkily. I go inside and join the extra long queue. Venti-sized queue, if you will. No matter, I shout inside my own head, I have loads of time!

Starbucks is an armageddon of screaming middle class children. A boy is removing the lids of all the travel mugs, spitting inside, and replacing said lid. A barista comes along the line to take our order in advance of us reaching the cashiers, as one might in a queue at immigration, or hospital.

"Can I take the next drink order?" she says to the couple in front of me. They aren't listening. They're talking about whether their front room should be painted "mushroom." What a stupid name for a colour, I think, mushrooms can be anything from black to red. Sometimes blue. "Can I take your drink order," the barista says again. I interrupt them. "Excuse me, I think this lady is asking if you'd like any drinks," I say, politely. The man looks at me as if I'd kicked his grandmother's wheelchair off a cliff. "Two extra shot soy lattes!" he snaps at the barista, affronted by the fact his mushroom tete-a-tete has been interrupted.

Behind me the mother of the kid who's been befouling the travel mugs struggles to keep him in line. She's cutting in front of me as he wails. (He wants a pastry, probably a limited edition Starbucks Christmas Cranberry one). The mother turns to me. "Was I in front of you or behind you? I don't remember."

"You don't remember? That's very weird. Well, I was behind these people," cheeky, horrible woman, I think. Just because she has kids she thinks she can have cuts.

She ducks behind me. "Excuse me," says the man who used to be behind me, "You just cut in front of me!" A full scale row explodes behind me.

Why are people so rude in Britain? my subconscious wails. We're waiting for our drinks now, me and the interior design loving posh twats. "Two extra shot soy lattes!" the drinks-maker says, plunking two paper cups down on the counter.

Watch this, I think, I'll bet he won't even say thank you. His sour-faced wife won't so much as look at people serving her. If I had telekinesis, I'd make their house, their stupid mushroom-coloured house, burn to the ground.

Go on... FLAME ON! I think, furiously.

I look at the man. A panicked look crosses his face. "Thank you very much," he says to the barista.

Puzzled, I collect my drink and leave the store. As I unlock my bicycle I can smell burning wood in the air. It smells like Christmas.

3 comments:

Luke Edwards said...

I'm glad somebody's speaking against Martin Amis, because I too loathe the man with an intensity. How somebody can be soooooo contrived and opiniated when he's been raised with a silver spoon up his arsehole (and not to mention the fact that he's been living in Uruguay for the last three years) is beyond me. I remember reading an article where he spoke about Muslims in working class environments and I just thought: "What do you know? You've been in Uruguay... have you been living in the UK? Erm, no! Have you been working class? Erm, no! Well shut up then!" Anyway, the man infuriates me. Besides, perhaps more to the point, he IS a shit writer. I'd rather try and read my own toilet paper after I'd wiped my arse with it, to be fair.

Jools Constant said...

Who is Martin amis??

garnet said...

Cone now, we all came here after searching for Martin Amis news, but please don't post comments, as poor Mr. Chow -- who hasn't posted in four months or had a gig in three -- is clearly dead. Show some respect.