“What’s wrong darling? You seem especially tortured and pensive tonight, yet grizzled and manly nevertheless. Is something the matter?”
“Not really, well, I don’t know. It’s just that I did a big interview today with a newspaper to promote my latest film which involves another caricature of myself as a man seeking vigilante justice.”
“Yes, like almost every film you’ve done for the last 10 years, so what?”
“Well it just dredged up a lot of memories, some of them quite dark, and I’m not sure if I may have gone and said the wrong thing.”
“Oh baby, what did you talk about? When your family pet died or when you used to wet the bed, or even that time a lovely, gentle butterfly landed on your nose and you wrote a poem about it?”
“Yes, my love, all those things. Those and that I time I roamed the streets with a cosh looking for a ‘black bastard’ to kill.”
“Wait dear, what’s that noise?”
“That noise, darling. The sound of your career being fucked into a hole in the ground.”
“Oh yes, I can hear it now. Did you turn the iron off?”
Silly, silly Liam. What was he thinking? We all have dark thoughts. Yes, all of us. Yes, including you. Sometimes even priests have dark thoughts. Maybe Jesus did. Of course, there’s nothing to stop us having dark thoughts but we should be grateful that ‘The Thought Police’ haven’t been invented yet, or so we think. Otherwise we’d all be nicked, my son. So Liam has had dark thoughts but I’d always assumed he was a smarter man than to say them out loud. Too late, I suppose. Silly, silly, rugged, macho, heavily stereotyped sod.
Shame, because I like Liam Neeson. I imagine quite a lot of people do. And I don’t feel stupid saying that I don’t like him any less for what he’s just done. Or rather what he has just said. However, he has committed the cardinal sin of telling the truth in Hollywood, the truth about his past feelings, and as we know Hollywood likes their film people to live a sordid, filthy lie for years (if not forever) before they are publicly outed; invariably for being a prolific sex offender. They don’t care about junkies anymore, or bloated, alcoholic has-beens – junkies simply die young (and with so much more to offer etc) while bloated, alcoholic has-beens become Johnny Depp.
As one might expect, the world has delivered Liam Neeson a swift and colossal backlash with race groups and the like suddenly claiming he must be the spawn of the devil as well as some inbred, hair-lipped, fuck-witted, backwoods, Klan-happy, Alabama redneck from the 1920’s (now there’s a proper generalisation for you). Before you know it they’ll be blaming him for the Brixton Riots. Before you know it they’ll find his membership card for UKIP. And naturally the press have steamed in with a thousand and one redundant opinions and before you know it no-one will know what kind of thoughts they have on the matter and, even worse, what kind of thoughts they’re allowed to have.
You see, like it or not, this whole Neeson thing has pulled back the curtains another lot more on just how dangerous it is to have an opinion these days and how it is somehow even more dangerous to say how you once felt in the heat of it. 40 years ago! 40 years ago I was 2: should I still feel the same as I did then? Some people without all the facts are judging someone else for something they felt a long time ago. And if those that judge can say they have never had a dark thought in their lives then they are entitled to think what they want. But as soon as they say what they think then so anyone else is entitled too as well.
Personally I value Liam Neeson’s opinion just as much as any newspaper columnist out there. Because why shouldn’t I? Just because someone has written for The Mail or The Telegraph or The Daily Star for years doesn’t mean their take on the matter is correct, or indeed worthwhile or valid. And it shouldn’t be those who shout loudest and appear the most ‘outraged and offended’ that have the final say on what will ultimately happen to the life of one person. And yes, I am profoundly aware that I am included in this list (just about) because I have said something about it; but I take some comfort from the fact that I have a readership that rarely drifts towards double figures and even more comfort from the fact I am at least reasonable enough to say you can look at it in more ways than one.
Liam Neeson may not have a career very soon, and that would be sad. He’s been kicking round the suburbs of Hollywood since his balls dropped and I’d imagine there have been quite a few moments in his life when he’d rather just have been done with whole lot of it. If anything Hollywood is even worse than the third rate hacks that feed off its scraps. Sure, everyone can have their say, but to be judged by Hollywood as an entity is to be judged by a group of people so pathetically hypocritical and retarded in taste and morals that the likes of Liam really shouldn’t have to worry too much.
If I were him I’d check my bank account and property assets, then check my real friends were still my real friends and then lower the portcullis with a sturdy 2 fingers raised and wait for the whole thing to die down. And then when someone from Hollywood says its OK for me to start working again simply tell them to fuck off. And Liam, if you’re reading this (that’s my joke for this post), you’re welcome to pop round for a glass of oaked Chardonnay and a wee dram any day. We can discuss how crap ‘Taken 3’ is. You can even stay over in the spare room. But I’d prefer it if you didn’t bring your cosh.
G B Hewitt. 07.02.2019