Magazine article The Spectator

Spite and Envy

Magazine article The Spectator

Spite and Envy

Article excerpt

On board S/Y Bushido

With plenty of time on my hands to read - television and DVDs are forbidden on board although both are available - I am shocked at the severity, downright viciousness, in fact, of the reviews about my two old friends, Jimmy Goldsmith and John Aspinall, in John Pearson's book The Gamblers. You'd think they'd murdered somebody and got away with it, judging not from Pearson's opus, but from those reviewing it. OK, Lucan did murder an innocent, but got away with nothing. I have not read the book, just some criticisms, and the latter tells a lot about some of the reviewers. Let's be open about this. Ugly people are more likely to dislike those born with good looks, just as people who are mal baisé tend to be jealous of those whom women find attractive. Just think. Here are two men who went to public school, made their own way in life without a penny from their fathers, had a great time, made hundreds of friends, and left fortunes behind for their children, not to mention breeding and saving thousands of animals in the case of John Aspinall. Oh, yes, I almost forgot, and having lotsa beautiful, very much desired women in the process, as in Jimmy Goldsmith's case.

I ask you, what is wrong with that? So they didn't invent a cure for cancer, but nor have those calling them gruesome, fascist and nasty. Both Jimmy and Aspers did not suffer fools, did not take crap from anyone, especially from those calling themselves journalists, and lived their lives as they saw fit. The answer, of course, is envy. Here's a pretty gruesome-looking chap, with a grotty wife, grotty children and a grotty house. He is assigned to review a book about people he has never met and only knows about from reading the tabloids. He looks around his grotty environment and begins to read about a world which he can never enter. Bingo! Enter the green-eyed monster and then some. In fairness, just because someone doesn't fancy the lifestyle of, say, flamboyant men like my two buddies doesn't necessarily mean they envy them, but human nature being what it is, I'm not about to give them the benefit of the doubt.

As luck would have it, there's also a new book out about another old friend, Porfirio Rubirosa. I recently profiled him in this space, so I won't bore you with more details. Again, I haven't read the book, so I don't know if the writer or the reviewer got his dates wrong, but someone surely did. …

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