Some of Charlton Heston’s reactionary political antics during the last few decades of his life probably warrant one of my Good Riddance posts, but that’s not all there was to the man. This photograph, taken in 1961, shows another, earlier, and more generous side to him. It comes from a nicely rounded Independent article, according to which the rot set in during his fifties. Let this be a warning to all those of us currently passing through that dangerous decade.
Apropos of reactionary viewpoints, Morrissey recently won a court apology from The Word, which had quoted him as complaining that Britain had lost its ‘identity’ as a result of immigration. As far as I know, Morrissey still lives in Trastevere, one of the oldest areas in Rome and occupied in large measure by immigrants. Not the kind people complain of when they pontificate about identity. The other kind. The rich, white kind that loves the Rome of Pasolini and Anna Magnani and style accessories like lines of washing overhead and parked Lambrettas. That this Rome no longer exists is due in no small measure to the presence of culture tourists like Morrissey, whose attachment to Italy is, I imagine, far less integrated than that of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants whose presence in Britain over the past forty years has not only ensured the functioning of essential services, but also contributed to creating its current ‘identity’.
How old is Morrissey?