Sunday, 13 September 2009

Adrian Gill is no snob

Adrian Gill is not a snob. He has taste. There's a difference.

Taste is an internal quality; it automatically rejects the ugly, the jarring, the cringemaking and the distasteful and is by definition utterly personal, relying on a wholly subjective assessment of what jars, offends and feels wrong. Snobbishness, on the other hand, always looks to see what it thinks the smart view is, and copies it. Adrian's rant in his restaurant column this morning is a classic; if ever a critic put a better case for avoiding a restaurant because of its clientele, I've yet to read it -
A pair of lunching, scarlet-gobbed, Botoxed, overweight over-forties, dressed in outfits that might have been appropriate on a 17-year-old Serb in a Mykonos disco. Billowing breast implants and sagging stomachs, spray-tanned, bubble-wrap thighs and french-polished toenails in gladiator sandals, jangling jewellery like kitchen utensils constructed solely out of interlocking logos. Their ferociously yellow blonded hair extensions and flabby faces with Marlboro Light-lined lips gobbing inanities, constantly dipping into gaudy handbags full of BlackBerries and iPhones and antidepressants. They were such a strikingly vulgar pair of brazenly Scottische trollopy jades. There is, in Edinburgh, a culturally cringing plagiarism, a fawning desire to take on English fashion, and in doing so, get it completely ass about tit. These two imagined themselves as up-for-it Wilmslow Wags and had achieved precisely the opposite effect. They stared at each other as comforting mirrors.


talwin said...

In his 'Unreliable Memoirs' Clive James attributes his joy in the english language, and his skill in its use, to repetitive exercises in parsing when at school. And Gill (snob or no) is, like James, a delight to read, and also clearly no stranger to parsing.

As an aside, one wonders how many teachers nowadays (or Ed balls for that matter) have ever heard the word parse.

JuliaM said...

"...dressed in outfits that might have been appropriate on a 17-year-old Serb in a Mykonos disco."


Mac the Knife said...

Buggeration Raedwald. I had a full afternoon planned and then you put in that link to Gill. Sod it. I'll never catch up now.