There may be greater arseholes on the planet but none has come to our attention recently who is greater than the captain of the Costa Concordia. He did not ‘make an error’ and run the ship aground, he deliberately deviated from the course, sailing closer to the coast so that he could ‘salute a friend’. Following this instead of helping passengers and overseeing the evacuation of the ship, he fled – or, if you believe his version, ‘fell into a lifeboat’. In yesterday’s Times a conversation with the coastguard was reported in which the latter yelled at him to get back on board and help people. The captain agreed, only to hail a taxi and go into town, allegedly asking the driver where he could buy some socks. I can’t think of a single thing to say for him. They will probably hang him out to dry – and so they should.
Update: in 2015 he was sentenced to sixteen years. However, appeals are dragging on:
By contrast, I am rather pleased with a radio play I started yesterday which is a sort of modern Dante’s Inferno. A man falls asleep listening to the radio and finds himself being guided through hell by a man who calls himself ‘Doctor’ – not The Doctor, just a doctor – and in the various circles of hell he finds, and talks to, speculators in world food prices, serial adulterers, arms dealers and terrorists, though not necessarily in that order. It’s less judgemental than Dante and unlike his version there is a way out – except that most of the damned – who are kept in hell by their own blindness and stubbornness – can’t see it. Perhaps I ought to be preparing a place down there for the captain of the Costa Concordia..
On a lighter note, I’ve just found out how you spell that thing in darts. I have not the remotest interest in that game, which I find tedious in the extreme, but you can’t help noticing that they stand on a thing which is referred to as ‘the ockey’. That’s how I always thought it was spelt – assuming it was some kind of slang word – but in the Times (and they should know) it is spelt ‘oche’, which Mark claims is Greek. Who’d ha’ thowt?
And finally – apparently a Leonardo sketch has been made into a design for a handbag, which seems fairly typical of the commodification of art these days. Though I suppose you could argue that ’twas ever thus.