Monday, October 27, 2014

Top Gear political correctness gone mad.

The recent incident with the Top Gear crew being attacked and having to flee from Argentina highlights how stupid political correctness has become. Clarkson was in a 1991 Porsche that has had the license plate "H982FKL" since the day it was first registered. There are photos of the original car back in the 90's wearing that plate. To suggest that Top Gear, or Clarkson, somehow either made up that plate, or went out of their way to find a numberplate that was - and this is a highly tenuous suggestion - designed to irk the Argentinians, is just stupid. To say that H982FKL resembled "1982 Falklands" is a real stretch, and I think I smell the foul stench of the Daily Mail in this story.
That paper has it in for Clarkson. They're the ones who dug up the deleted clip on the edit suite and used it to claim Clarkson was a racist because he used the 'n' word. Bear in mind that was a deleted clip - it never made it into the final edit. Yet somehow that paper managed to generate outrage about something that never aired. Something that nobody would have known about had they not gone looking for dirt.
Similarly his comment in the Burma special about the bridge having a slope on it was also taken and used to cause outrage. Watch the clip - the bridge is warped, bent, tilted, sloped - call it what you will. But again - to rake up dirt and further their bizarre campaign against Clarkson, the Daily Mail suggested that "slope" was referring to a racist term used to describe one of the locals who happened to be walking across the bridge. Again - a highly tenuous link if you ask me.
And that's the problem today - too many people are too ready to be offended by everything. It used to take a few days for the outrage to appear because people would have to write letters. But in this day and age of instant-everything 24-7 with all the social networks and always-online connections, people can spread fake outrage instantly - before a show has even finished airing.
Which brings me to my final point : if you watch Top Gear in the nature in which it's intended (three dickheads arsing around with cars) then it's a great TV show and it's funny (unless it's the US version in which case it's a seriously unfunny train wreck). If you watch it wanting to be offended, then yes - you're going to be offended. I don't think there's a race, country, manufacturer, celebrity, political group or religion that Top Gear has left alone across all its series.