On the Agenda: The Lego Movie; Sochi fashion; the new quinoa; Fifty Shades of Grey film
Middle-class problems: Travel
By Simmy Richman
There are not many people who would jump to the defence of the Singapore-based banker Anton Casey right now. Casey, you might have heard, received death threats for his Facebook posts about the "stench of public transport" and various other odious comments. Yet, without wishing to excuse the Porsche-driving expat for going public with his thoughts, this column contends that there is a little bit of Casey in all of us – and there's nothing like having to travel over a great distance to bring it out.
We set off at stupid o'clock still wrapped in the cocoon of sleep. We get to the airport/train station/port out of sorts, bleary-eyed and irritable, and then we encounter thousands of other people in a similar frame of mind with whom we are forced to literally rub shoulders with every step of the way until we finally reach the sanctuary of our seat.
Along the way, we will be asked to stand in line umpteen times; we will be frisked, interrogated and possibly ordered to remove our shoes (an act most Brits view as tantamount to a proposal of marriage). Once seated, small matters of personal space take on the significance of epic battles – mostly embodied in the fight for the armrest, when even the call of the bladder will not force you to give up that narrow plinth for fear you may never win it back. And let's not even go there on the politics of the seat-recline button!
Hell, as Sartre would have said if he'd gone by budget airline, is other passengers. And though travel broadens the mind, there is nothing like the getting there to make us quite so small-minded.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
Arts & Ents blogs
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant