Monday, 19 November 2007

The silliest man in Britain?

I have been vastly entertained over the last couple of days by the preening antics of a man called Neil Clark.

This Clark, 'a 41 year old journalist and writer based in the UK' and with his own blog, is clearly mad. Not mad a la Bottler, foaming at the mouth, yelling at underlings and thumping the desk, but at heart no less fundamentally deranged.

He champions a bewilderingly wide range of beliefs, part straight old-school socialist (renationalisation of public utilities and 'a new top rate of tax for the very wealthy'), part loony-tunes sub-fascist. Among his more barmy assertions, for example, is that Slobodan Milosevic, by any measure one of the nastier gangsters of post World War 2 Europe, was a mightily wronged innocent.

As intriguing, he claims to be 'a regular contributor' to both the Morning Star and the Spectator.

Who is this colossus, straddling such wildly improbable worlds?

Well, I am sure that regular denizens of the blogosphere know that he is also the newly crowned winner of the Best UK Blog award. This is in fact an American competition rather than a British one. But it is out there nonetheless and, having chosen Clark among its 10 finalists and then seen him win, it has accordingly allowed him to boast that his crack-pot views are the real voice of the wider British blogosphere. (It is worth pointing out that, having belatedly discovered that he had been nominated, Clark embarked on a frenzied round of shameless canvassing that Mr Eugenides in particular has highlighted with justifiable glee).

Since his win, in an astoundingly silly article in the Guardian under the headline 'We need a blogging revolution', Clark has now taken po-faced self-congratulation to a realm beyond beyond parody.

It starts with a ringing declaration: 'It's official. We now have 4m bloggers in the UK.' It continues in a mood of potty self-delusion.

What is nowhere mentioned in this hilariously self-important puff piece is that exactly 4,249 votes were cast for the Best UK Blog Award; that is, 4,249 votes among all 10 finalists. Now, it's true that Clark captured 1,116 of them, 26.3% of the total, in his words an 'overwhelming victory'.

Nonetheless, of the 4m 'official' bloggers in the UK – Clark's description, not mine – 0.025% voted for him.

It doesn't sound entirely 'overwhelming' to me.

Still, where would the Daily Brute be without Clark and his nut-case ilk to laugh at?

For those who can bear to look, there is a picture of this very, very odd man above.


Peter Horne said...

One of the funniest things about him are his attempts to sue Oliver Kamm for defamation.

Why does he do it?

My guess is narcissism to the point of psychosis. Or it could be bad potty training.

The Creator said...

Actually I think it is a simple matter of very small brain meets hugely inflated sense of self-importance.

That said, potty training can never be entirely discounted.