Ed Driscoll

The Waste Land

Sorry for two days without posts–I awoke Thursday morning with a nasty case of stomach flu, and spent all of Thursday, and almost all of Friday in bed. I seem to get this every four or five years or so right around January, whether I need or it or not.

As sick as I felt, there were no hallucinations involved in my ailment, at least until Friday night, when I felt well enough to stagger over to the PC, and turn it on, only to see this.

Sweet smokin’ Judas.

This Telegraph op-ed compares Galloway’s appearance of the Britain’s Celebrity Big Brother TV show to TS Eliot’s “The Waste Land”:

Watching Celebrity Big Brother is like guiltily opening a letter addressed to your wife. Big Brother is loathsome voyeurism. You must bear that in mind to retain sanity.

Viewers should wear surgical masks, spread a black-plastic rubbish sack over the sofa cushions, and wash their hands after switching off. If viewing becomes habitual, consult a psychotherapist.

So what was George Galloway, an intelligent, educated, extremist politician, doing there? What possessed him to plunge into this foul paddling pool? It might sound pretentious, at least to BB fans, but his fate is exactly described by T S Eliot in his poem about modern nihilism, The Waste Land.

Eliot begins with the plight of the Sibyl of Cumae, who, in return for a sexy night with Apollo, was given unending life without unending youth. She shrivelled. “With my own eyes I saw the Sibyl hanging in a jar at Cumae,” says Trimalchio, as quoted by Eliot, “and when the boys said to her, ‘Sibyl, what do you want?’ she replied, ‘I want to die.’ ” That is how it feels to watch Celebrity Big Brother day and night for 10 days.

Heck, I felt like that after watching one 45 second clip–and by then, it certainly wasn’t the flu talking.

It’s been quite a week for the far left and the fairer sex, hasn’t it? On one side of the pond, Teddy Kennedy and co. make Mrs. Alito break down in tears. On the other, George Galloway experiences his inner Garfield on the pumps of (yes, really! I didn’t know what happened to her after that one commercial 25 years ago either!!) Rula Lenska.

Glenn Reynolds writes that “2006 is already shaping up to be a weird year”. Well, Muggeridge’s Law posits that there is no way that a writer of fiction can compete with real life for its pure absurdity. And considering that he created it over 40 years ago, there was no way he could predict just exponentially absurd life would eventually get.