Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Article excerpt

Last Wednesday, 24 June, Pugs held a luncheon in honour of our first member to depart for the Elysian Fields, or that large CinemaScope screen up above, Sir Christopher Lee, age 93. Pugs club is now down to 19 members, the ceiling being 21. Our president for life, Nick Scott -- I was actually the first chief, but was overthrown in a bloodless, as well as a vote-less, coup by Nick -- gave a wonderful address, and we broke our custom concerning the presence of ladies. Our guest of honour was Lady Lee, Christopher's widow. Now there's nothing more that a poor little Greek boy can add to Sir Christopher's obituaries, which were numerous, glowing, detailed and well deserved. Except to say that he personified that smouldering restraint of an England long ago, with his perfect manners and diction, and his ability to be interested in what other people had to say. The big ME was unknown to him.

Christopher loved the members of Pugs, every single one of us, and was equally loved in return. At last year's annual lunch on an outdoor terrace of a Chelsea restaurant he was recognised as he got up to leave and was given a standing ovation by the luncheon crowd. Here's what fellow Pug and knight, Sir Bob Geldof, had to say about him: 'Christopher, what a bloke. What a Pug. Lives don't come more lived than that.' What struck me was the fact that Christopher wore his Pugs club tie for his investiture by the Queen three years ago, and was outspoken about the increasing depravity of film. If ever there was a palimpsest of present and past, it was Sir Christopher.

And speaking of the modern world and the ache for an unreachable past at times, it takes labyrinthine logic to turn a decent Nobel Prize-winning scientist into a pariah because of a joke. England is now as bad as America, and that's no laughing matter. Misandry, thy real name is no sense of humour. Anyway, who today knows what's fish and what is fowl? Sexual identity is no longer clear. Which makes me wonder about TheSpectator . The place is full of young ladies, but none of them has fallen in love -- certainly not with me -- and I've never seen any of them cry. Maybe they're all men, after all. My, my, things are getting very complicated. In America, things are straight to the point. They take everything seriously, even their newsreaders. …

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