Matthew Parris
July 10, 2007 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Matthew Parris: wonderful British journalist, who mocks our feeble terrorists, never washes his hair, discreetly married his partner, respects suicide, sounds like a railway nutter, believes America is the new Germany. In 2000, he spent the winter on a desert island in the Indian Ocean, and one of his colleagues accidentally shot another dead. More Matthew here.
posted by tombola (44 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Alistair Campbell on Matthew Parris: The little shit Parris was to my left with that perma-smirk on his face.

Matthew Parris on Alistair Campbell: I'd rather be a little shit than a big cunt.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/media/story/0,,2122640,00.html
posted by vbfg at 4:06 AM on July 10, 2007


Good timing: In Alistair Campbell's diaries, released yesterday, Blair's Svengali calls Parris "a little shit". Today, Parris responds: "I'd rather be a little shit than a big c***."

I almost cheered when I read that on the Tube this morning. There is a time for politesse, and a time for setting it aside.
posted by WPW at 4:07 AM on July 10, 2007


Argh! VBFG! Fie on you Sir! And you were bold enough not to redact. Well done!
posted by WPW at 4:08 AM on July 10, 2007


and he's the 64th "greatest gay" in Britain apparently.
posted by patricio at 4:25 AM on July 10, 2007


Jesus. Could we get more goofily alarmist than the "America is the New Germany" article? I'm an American of German descent, and I'm about as far from what he describes as its possible to get. Ancestry doesn't necessarily equal proclivity.
posted by the dief at 4:36 AM on July 10, 2007


I have often found the smug old Tory quite amusing, even when he was a smug young Tory.

His Great Lives series on Radio 4 was also worthy.

Interesting post, thanks.
posted by Shave at 4:37 AM on July 10, 2007


“Is this a digger that I see before me?”

beautiful...
posted by twine42 at 4:45 AM on July 10, 2007


So is his theory on hair correct? Intriguing.
posted by konolia at 4:56 AM on July 10, 2007


Readers, if only you could all run your fingers through my hair: as light and fluffy as a kitten’s coat.

i also adhere to this theory, but it really helps if your hair is on the shorter side.
posted by geos at 5:26 AM on July 10, 2007


konolia : if you look after your hair but don't use shampoo, it does indeed look good after a while. I've known a few people who've done it. It looks like crap when you first start though...
posted by twine42 at 5:28 AM on July 10, 2007


Alistair Campbell on Matthew Parris: The little shit Parris was to my left with that perma-smirk on his face.

Matthew Parris on Alistair Campbell: I'd rather be a little shit than a big cunt.


How old are these two?
posted by IndigoJones at 5:41 AM on July 10, 2007


Think of the money, think of the pollution, our nation could save. No wonder everyone’s going bald. One day I shall be hailed as a lonely prophet of the nonsense of shampoo.

If true, we really could save a bit. However, it's still pretty much just as troublesome timewise, since I'd still have to rinse and dry my hair every day. Actually, that would be twice as time-consuming, since I only wash it every other day now.
posted by DU at 5:43 AM on July 10, 2007


America is the new Germany.

Not true. The beer and sausage isn't as good.
posted by jonmc at 5:53 AM on July 10, 2007


How old are these two?

Well, Campbell was senior press guy for Tony Blair (the Tucker character in this is based on him, and is apparantly a near perfect copy). Parris is old enough to know better, but Campbell seems capable of inspiring it in anyone.
posted by vbfg at 6:00 AM on July 10, 2007


I don't use shampoo and I look fabulous. It feels great too.
posted by OmieWise at 6:01 AM on July 10, 2007


It sells papers. Not to me (I think most of what I read just now was xenophobic Britain-Uber-Alles piffle of the worst sort), but to someone. Closet racists who think they're too good for The Sun, I expect.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:01 AM on July 10, 2007


The beer has been improving steadily over the last couple of decades, but we will never get our hands on anything like the German sausage.
posted by Mister_A at 6:03 AM on July 10, 2007


I've my hands on something like a German sausage right now.
posted by DU at 6:08 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't use shampoo and I look fabulous.

I use shampoo. On my entire body. It makes me smell like a pina colada, but my pubes are soft and manageable.
posted by jonmc at 6:09 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not here, DU. Not now....
posted by Floydd at 6:11 AM on July 10, 2007


Oh hey, you've turned my very serious comment into the butt of an off-color joke. Dude.

Heh, butt.
posted by Mister_A at 6:17 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


deja vu all over again...
posted by dash_slot- at 6:28 AM on July 10, 2007


That piece about the terrorists is first-rate, though. The same sentiments are in evidence here in the USA - a letter writer to the South Philly Review, a weekly serving a very blue collar part of town, wrote something to the effect that she's pretty sure no one from Iraq is going to shoot her in the face, but not so sure that some crack-head down the street won't.
posted by Mister_A at 7:28 AM on July 10, 2007


I shampoo once a week and rinse my hair every time I shower though. Flattop works better on non-shampoo hair for some reason. Like jonmc, when I do shampoo, I do my whole body.

As for the FPP, meh.
posted by winks007 at 7:30 AM on July 10, 2007


America is the new Germany.

The new American fascists don't even make the trains run on time. And they dress like shit. What the hell has fascism come to these days?

From the article:
But nearly a quarter (23.3 per cent) of all Americans are of predominantly German origin.

Having gone to school in Waterloo this seems pretty normal. Besides, so what? Parris goes through a lot of stuff but never seems to make a point other than the fact that Americans have a lot in common culturally with Germans. OMG GERMNZ!
posted by GuyZero at 7:46 AM on July 10, 2007


Heh, butt.

Yes?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:48 AM on July 10, 2007


I can't believe people on metafilter shower. How did you manage to get your parents to put showers in the basement?
posted by srboisvert at 7:57 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think if you are going to talk about your hair, you should have a pic of it. Looks pretty soft.

I have to say, this guy seems to jump around a lot. I'd rather he made a point now and then. Also, while I am all for skipping the pomp and pageantry of hugely flamboyant weddings with pages-long guests lists and seating charts, I would think you would at least want your friends with you to celebrate. Parris' way seems dodgy and secretive rather than "discreet." But maybe that's just me.
posted by misha at 10:09 AM on July 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Besides, so what? Parris goes through a lot of stuff but never seems to make a point other than the fact that Americans have a lot in common culturally with Germans. OMG GERMNZ!

Yeah, but since WWI you never really think about German Americans, you have whole TV/movie genres dedicated to Eye-talian or Irish-Americans...

It's definitely something I noticed going to Germany: that there is alot of Germany in the U.S. that I didn't really notice as such. Oh and, German beer isn't all that. The sausage was really good though...

on the other hand, I don't get why the British have this weird xenophobia about France and Germany: Hey! You guys won! Both Wars! Weren't even occupied!

I guess he needs to fly his Tory flag every once in awhile...
posted by geos at 10:32 AM on July 10, 2007


Oh and, German beer isn't all that.

Hmm...Well Kolsch is fantastic, but than again Budvar and Pilsner Urquell from across the border in the Czech Republic, unruined by whatever the hell they do to beer when they import it to the U.S (Homogenization actually), are in a class by themselves. I've never tasted anything better. Just amazing.

As for the whole not shampooing thing. Does it work better with thick or thin hair? What if you have curly or wavy hair?
posted by Skygazer at 11:14 AM on July 10, 2007



The new American fascists don't even make the trains run on time. And they dress like shit. What the hell has fascism come to these days?


Yes, this is what's so encouraging; they just don't make fascists like they used to. The neocons and paleocons are just too incompetent to ever be a serious threat. They're great at the whole Fox News propaganda thing but when it comes time to actually attack another country on false pretenses or round up foreigners they really just can't get it together.

Americans are racist, and they do love uniforms, and hierarchy, and being #1 but in the end they've got a lot of British in them. They're much more concerned with getting rich and being themselves and having fun and they just don't have the philosophical fortitude and moral integrity required to throw up concentration camps.
posted by nixerman at 11:25 AM on July 10, 2007


Except for, you know, those times we threw up concentration camps.
posted by jtron at 11:59 AM on July 10, 2007


Damn. I thought you said Matthew Paris. Hmph.
posted by prosthezis at 12:10 PM on July 10, 2007


Yeah, but since WWI you never really think about German Americans

True, true. German-Canadians are the one hyphenated ethnicity that dare not speak its name. Ever since the < a href="http://www.kpl.org/gsr/trivia.shtml">crowds pulled down the statue of the Kaiser in Victoria Park it hasn't been cool to be -German, in spite of the fact that so many people are. Which is why I guess he gets to write a whole column about stating the obvious.
posted by GuyZero at 12:31 PM on July 10, 2007


Except for, you know, those times we threw up concentration camps.

Zing!

Except that even that has gone downhill. They did a pretty thorough job of round up Japanese people during WWII. But Saudis or white guys from Oklahoma? Pretty disappointing showing there.
posted by GuyZero at 12:33 PM on July 10, 2007


Could we get more goofily alarmist than the "America is the New Germany" article? I'm an American of German descent, and I'm about as far from what he describes as its possible to get.

And yet, he didn't mention the thing that most unites German and American culture: the total lack of irony...
posted by Skeptic at 1:19 PM on July 10, 2007


"Oh and, German beer isn't all that."

Are you talking about pils, kölsch or alt? I was an alt drinker, and I can't find anything to replace it. None of the various ales I've tried measure up.

"the total lack of irony..."

The people I hung out with in Germany had a reasonably well-developed sense of irony & sarcasm -- sardonicism even. To be sure, I did run into many Germans who had none at all. But to say German culture is devoid of irony is a real stretch.
posted by lastobelus at 2:03 PM on July 10, 2007


Jesus. Could we get more goofily alarmist than the "America is the New Germany" article? [et al in other comments]

I had independently come to the conclusion that America is impressively German. It was interesting to read an article about it. It's very pervasive, to the point of invisibility; no one's saying that America is Nazi Germany necessarily, but that the cultural heritage seems to have carried over with very few people noticing. America is a country where ethnic & racial identity is very, very strong and binding. ... except, apparently, for the largest ethnic group, who seem to consider themselves so run-of-the-mill and ubiquitous that it never occurs to them to stick together in a group. They're "just Americans". (Just folks! Nur Volk! [that's probably horrible German, I don't know the language, apologies])

Like Parris writes, it's not some evil conspiracy oh no, it's just something to think about. It's not necessarily bad. It's just a fact of the origin of America.
posted by blacklite at 3:10 PM on July 10, 2007


But nearly a quarter (23.3 per cent) of all Americans are of predominantly German origin

I had just been thinking about the fact that I was the ONLY non-German kid I knew. I grew up in Iowa, and Determan, Hunchis, anything-burrger, were the same as "Smith" in my town.

As to the main point about America being the new Germany; I've never heard of this guy before and don't find him to be impressive or persuasive. All I can really come up with as far as feelings about his style/prose is "annoyingly and persistently British"....not that he could really be wishy-washy about that, but you get my point...perhaps.... or not......
posted by lattiboy at 3:19 PM on July 10, 2007


the Tucker character in this is based on him, and is apparantly a near perfect copy.

Interesting! I did not know that, thank you. (Never could sit through that show, as it happens, in large part because of Tucker. Wondered about his mental age, you see.)
posted by IndigoJones at 5:58 PM on July 10, 2007


After a bunch of Murdochlinks and forty comments, still no mention that he was once a member of the House of Commons.

In case anyone from outside the UK was wondering why on earth some random gay man was so famous.

By far the least obnoxious Tory I'm aware of, mind.
posted by genghis at 7:45 PM on July 10, 2007


But nearly a quarter (23.3 per cent) of all Americans are of predominantly German origin

How do they calculate predominance, I wonder? Surely after a couple of centuries of the melting pot, with krauts and paddys and limeys and spics and dagos and all them intermarrying, even someone called von Bismark has likely only got a fraction of the Aryan in him. Least you guys still keep the blacks separate, mostly... over here, we even let the west indians marry white folks!
posted by dash_slot- at 2:13 AM on July 11, 2007


dash_slot: This Bismarck had multiple Aryans in him.
posted by lukemeister at 5:40 AM on July 11, 2007


Seconded genghis. I like Parris. He did a fascinating article about John Inman recently too. I'm not sure he's even really a Tory anymore. Parris, that is.
posted by imperium at 12:31 PM on July 11, 2007


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