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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Top Gear really Top Wanker?

Here is a fascinating counter to all the Top Gear love by Johann Hari, check it out…

Ho ho. For Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and their army of Top Gear speedophiles, driving cars so fast they can smash a skull or kill a child has been a subject for uproarious laughter and acidic hate for years now. Clarkson has declared “speeding is no big deal” and shouldn’t be punished with points on your license. He has in the past supported the gangs of thugs going around smashing the British speed cameras that have – according to independent studies – saved over 1000 innocent lives. And he has derided anybody who disagrees as a “health and safety Nazi.” His acolyte ‘Hamster’ Hammond said that because of these views, Clarkson should be made Mayor of London so he can “roar around London in a Lamborghini with a mayoral flagpole, shooting cyclists.”

Now Hammond is lying in a hospital bed, his life very nearly ended by this adolescent need for speed. I wonder if Clarkson, as he stared tearfully at the wounds of one of his best mates and comforted Hammond’s wife and kids, thought back to all the times they have used Britain’s massive death-toll from speeding as a glib punchline. Did he remember the column he wrote recently, in which he declared, “Of course, in France speeding is endemic and this means they have a far, far higher death rate than we do. But let’s be frank here. You can’t really judge a country by the number of people who don’t die in car accidents”? Did he remember the snarling contempt with which he responded to pleas from the AA and some of Britain’s most senior traffic cops to stop encouraging people to break the law? Does he see now why we “Nazis” try to slow cars down?


At 26/9/06 2:36 pm, Blogger Mark said...

I don't think we can really use Jeremy Clarkson as a role model. He is a TV presenter who says silly things to rile up certain groups who make it their job to get riled up. I doubt he considers any of his comments to be taken seriously. Hari clearly considers him some sort of threat when he just isn't. Hammond's accident was done for a TV show in a controlled environment. I think the phrase "get over it" is apt here for Hari.

At 26/9/06 3:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ratings rule and people love the program and I admit I watch it myself. Seems to me they are arguing against some ridiculous laws by overstating the opposition, some rules have no real evidence to back up claims made for them.

Sensible people will generally accept laws and rules if they are given real and honest evidence that they have a real purpose other than easy policing and revenue collecting.

We all know that many of these motoring fines and laws only effect the law abiding, while the anti-social losers just do what they like without any consequences. They can run up $50,000 in fines and get them written off. Tamihere can get so many drink driving charges he can’t even remember the exact number, in Germany he would have been jailed after the first one.

Clarkeson is irritating and stupid, apparently he thinks its funny to be in a wheelchair – not so funny now perhaps. Hammond has a wife and 2 young children, providing support and care for them should override his need to perform juvenile and dangerous antics.

They are part of the boy/men phenomenon, they think its smart to never grow up. Steve Irwin was another example, he was 44 for gods sake. Germain Greer was right he deluded himself. If was an ‘expert’ and a responsible man he would have had more sense that put himself in range of a stingray.

If you are single and want to act like an overgrown kid - good luck as long as you only hurt yourself but once you marry and especially when you have children its time to grow up - it’s called responsibilities.

People keep saying Steve Irwin was a good father – really ??? Surely a good father would have taken more care to see he was around to care for his children.

Saying Steve Irwin’s death or Hammons situation are ‘accidents’ seems a bit like saying it would be an ‘accident’ if you were hit by a train while walking on the track.

The public bandwagon of public ‘grief’ we have seen in both these events has missed some very important points. i.e. GROW UP, and act RESPONSIBLY.

At 26/9/06 3:23 pm, Blogger bomber said...

Normally I don't think people who post anonymously has a lot to add - but I gotta say the above is one of the best posts this month

At 26/9/06 3:44 pm, Anonymous jon said...

Yep I can understand that Top Gear is setting a less than wonderful example in a bunch of ways, such as as fuelling the desire in some people to do things that they shouldn't, but conversely I can also understand that it's entertainment and that it may infact satisfy viewers urges to do silly & dangerous things in vehicles themselves.

To what degree is beating up Top Gear a bit like people blaming rock'n'roll/TV/"insert hate object here" for behaviour they don't like rather than advocating personal responsibility?

Should the issue be more dealing or understanding why people fail to differentiate between what happens on/for TV and reality?

At 26/9/06 3:46 pm, Anonymous deano said...

I don't know the specifics of Hamster Hammond's accident but I would like to disagree with anonymous' comments about Steve Irwin. Stingrays have killed only 3 people (reported anyway). They are a very placid creature- I have seen them many times snorkelling or diving in NZ and Australia. I even stood on one once while walking in shallow water in Torbay. Of course it did not sting me- it took off. His death was some kind of freak experience. It was an accident despite you saying it wasn't. It was only because he was stung directly on the heart that Steve died. If he was stung 5cm away in any other direction he would still be alive today. Steve Irwin was a wildlife presenter, zoo owner and conservationist- that's what he was. Should he have completely changed his life just because he had kids? Not be the man he wanted to be?
Germaine Greer is heartless, man-hating bitch BTW.

At 26/9/06 3:51 pm, Anonymous Russell said...

We are taking life a bit too seriously at present. perhaps some of you could take advantage of the largesse of www.timesonline.co.uk
unlike our "flagship" newspaper they provide all content for free.
click on the driving link and follow through to clarkson.
Whether you like him or hate him if read with out prejudice I am sure you will come to the same conclusion as I. He is very funny.
He writes a weekly car review that is usually only linked tenuously to the car he is supposed to be reviewing and his regular general essay stuff is genius.
I for one enjoy top gear and clarkson and the unPCness (sic??) of it. Particularly so because it is produced by and for the BBC which is populated by cardigan wearing left wing killjoys, not unlike some of the posters who respond on this blog.
P.S. I am really enjoying the varied topics Bomber, I still think you are a lefty mentalist but at least you are not consumed by it.

At 26/9/06 3:54 pm, Anonymous Russell said...

oh... And the technical term for the public grief that our anonymous killjoy mentioned has a new shiny term.
It is called mournsturbation and in that I agree with him.

At 26/9/06 4:24 pm, Anonymous Barry said...

I think we need high profile people like Jeremy Clarkson expressing extreme views on things like speed limits, speed cameras, and other traffic laws, to encourage healthy debate from the great silent majority who would never do anything and let the wowsers in guberment kill all the fun.

I think Clarkson is of the opinion that all drivers should be suitably trained and tested, vehicles and roads should be of a good standard, and laws should allow flexibility for common sense to prevail when traveling on open roads. In otherwords if conditions are suitable let me choose the maximum speed I travel.

But instead lawmakers determine that the we must be told how fast to drive, at all times, because we are incapable of common sense.

I find comments about Steve Irwin being 'responsible' becuase he has a family absured. Should helicoptor pilots stop flying? Should policemen retire? Should Zoo Keepers only look after Mice instead of Lions? Should racing car drivers take to taxi's? Give me a break. Steve Irwin took risks from age 4, before he meet his wife, before they decided to have kids, after they had kid's. Being a great father means loving you children unconditionally until you die, whenever that happens, From the little I know he did that.

At 26/9/06 5:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hammond crashed a rocket powered car at 250mph on an airfield - not on a public road,!
Do some more research, please before you rant! Informed rant good, anal retentive rant bad!

At 26/9/06 6:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These people are/were accidents waiting to happen, it was only a matter of time. Had it not been these events it would have been something else.

Steve Irwin bragged and laughed about how many times he had been hurt. Had the ray got him elsewhere and he had ‘only’ been injured he would have been laughing about it - that’s part of the problem.

Several people in his circle were on TV relating how they had been hit by a ray, apparently the pain is excruciating and morphine doesn’t help, so as a ‘expert’ he knew going into their territory was big (and unnecessary) risk.

Maybe he (and others, Peter Brock) need to remember that they are not quite as quick and alert at 44 and 60 as they were at 28. No-one says you have to stop doing things just be realistic and sensible. These people have caused a lot of pain that could so easily have been avoided.

As for taking risks, of course sometimes it is appropriate and necessary, but some of the comments here remind me of smokers who, when asked why they don't stop, smile smugly and say 'you have to die of something'. That’s another ‘joke’ that has a habit of loosing its humour when reality hits.

Do you stop doing things when you have children, well some people do, but generally no but you do have to think of others above yourself and you may have to adjust some attitudes and lifestyle. Having children is optional so if you don’t want to grow up and face responsibilities don’t have children.

Just as well these children have mothers.

At 26/9/06 11:22 pm, Blogger Hine Te-Po said...

Without risk, humanity would not have progessed much beyond slurping primordial soup. It is absurd to suggest that a life lived to a smidgeon of its potential is somehow more noble or correct. Irwin, Hammond and others of their ilk underscore the vitality of human potential - they inspire others to extend beyond perceived limitations and thus human endeavour extends its boundaries into new territories.

Also, it is impossible to legislate road carnage into extinction - no matter how safe the driver or conditions become. Human error and Acts of God will always be infallibly present on the roads. The only effective way to prevent becoming an accident statistic is to simply not drive. As this approach is 100% effective we ought to assume that it is the only course of action that is responsible - therefore the only action available to the truly responsible.

At 27/9/06 8:35 am, Blogger Mark said...

I have just cringed at the po-faced drivel from anon above. Let's just all wrap ourselves in cotton wool and don't do anything even remotely dangerous after we become fathers. By the way, Terri Irwin joined in wholeheartedly with her husband's wildlife exploits.

At 27/9/06 1:31 pm, Anonymous Z. said...

Speed doesn't kill, stopping suddenly does. Oncoming traffic, powerpolls, inexperenced drivers, bad road conditions, crap cars, lack of sleep, etc cause accidents, all of which are legal. It's ridiculous that a 70 year old in a anglia is aloud to travel at the same speed on the motorway as a 30 something in a modern car w. ABS, traction control etc. Or even more ridiculous, having the same speed limit on a backroad as a 4 lane motorway. We're told to drive to the condition's, well at 3 am on an empty motorway in a modern car traveling at 160Kph is very safe. Now this is when all the softies jump up and down. You are a victim of propaganda! The current limit's are stupid and narrow minded. Technolgy and roads these days are far safer than they where 20 years ago, yet the speed limit is unchanged. I've travelled on the Auto ban many times, and yes people can travel at high speeds safely, why? Because of modern cars, good road conditions, and not having power-polls to crash into. Hammond was traveling @ 450Kph, in the right conditions, yes he crashed and he survived, wheres the problem? Maybe we should fine him, that will teach him a lesson, wouldn't it?

At 28/9/06 1:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Z if you think New Zealand has good road conditions you are quite wrong, the "good" roads i am used to have degraded recently but that dosent stop NZ's roads being full of bends and turns not possible to take at high speeds, you dont take make the corner and you can easily take out other cars. it almost happened to me when a tire blew on my car, a couple days after it had been replaced. these are the things you need to consider when making the laws, its not always going to be safe to drive at 130km/h even when it usually is

At 5/10/06 12:18 pm, Blogger bomber said...

I love how old men in the twilight of their vitality are so quick to defend their right to speed. I think free Viagra prescriptions would probably help with their little self esteem problem

At 27/10/06 5:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep; come on BBC, rip that load of crap off the air.


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