Secreted in Monday's contrite statement of apology from Antony Worrall Thompson, for the repeated theft of cheap plonk and cheese from his local supermarket, was a mistakes-were-made disclaimer: the TV chef said he would "seek the treatment that is clearly needed".
Worrall Thompson hasn't always had an easy life, but the treatment he needs in this case is a few hours of community service. If he's still feeling glum afterwards, then he should seek some other form of treatment. But to conflate his glumness with shoplifting is, surely, to over-diagnose an example of standard human behaviour.
With the release of Steve McQueen's new film Shame, this week has also brought a spate of stories about "sex addiction". Comedian Jeff Leach – who is good-looking, 27 years old, and mildly famous – was given an hour by BBC3 to complain about having slept with 300 women, and being unable to hold down a serious relationship. I know a few 27-year-old men, yet to hold down serious relationships, who would be overjoyed to have slept with 30 women, let alone 300.
Odd, isn't it, that all the self-proclaimed sex addicts we hear about seem to be good-looking male celebrities, at whom women must thrust themselves with some regularity: Tiger Woods, David Duchovny, Russell Brand. If I looked like Michael Fassbender, I might have a decent chance of becoming a sex addict, too.
In the era of free love, Shame might have been a saucy rom-com about a promiscuous rogue who can't find true love. In this more neurotic age, we're invited to pity the wealthy, successful, good-looking sex addict, and to plead mental health issues when we get caught filching cheese from Tesco.
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