On Sunday I caught about one minute of a radio programme featuring the English writer John Mortimer (1923-2009) - in which he was speaking about his life to a sycophantic audience; emanating a smug self-satisfaction so powerful that it came out into the kitchen from the speaker and grabbed me by the throat.
In the space a about 30 seconds Mortimer talked about joining the Communist Party as a young Oxford student (during world war two, after the Nazi-Soviet pact), which got an indulgent laugh; then described how (as a lawyer) he had found most murderers to be decent chaps - implicitly by comparison with respectable people, such as those who supported punishing them.
And I realised that here was successful, talented decadence incarnate.
Just look at the life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mortimer ...
Upper class decadent through-and-through, from the elite schooling, through the Communism and fellow-travelling socialism, the 'anti-establishment' posturing, self-indulgence and ostentation, the adultery and dishonesty, right up to the CBE and knighthood. A hedonistic, selfish, greedy, bloated, irresponsible rake. And yet, throughout all this, a colossal sense of moral superiority! This combination is the unique triumph of Leftsim - no wonder it is so popular among the elites!
Mortimer was a very talented writer - at least, his creation of Rumpole of the Bailey seemed to me (as a late teen) an excellent example of the comic novel genre, and it worked particularly well on TV.
Yet now I find it undreadable and unwatchable because the undercurrent of moral inversion, of subversive, hedonic, Leftist propaganda.
The Rumpole series is (I now believe) evil by intent; but skilfully coated in sugar - cozy traditionalism and earthy humour.
The situation can be summarised in these terms: Sir John Mortimer was one of the prime architects of a climate in which it is edgily-admirable and sophisticatedly-amusing to express admiration for Communists, convicted murderers and deliberate obscenity; and in which anti-Communism is regarded with great suspicion, anyone who publicly criticises murderers and lawbreakers is seen as being fanatical and offensive, and to be revolted by obscenity is despised as a lower middle class trait: boring, weak, timid and anti-cultural.
And now the likes of JM rule the public world!