Perigo's Perspective: Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered – 27 Apr 2023

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered have I been this past week. Not to mention befuddled because it seemed as if we were having two Easter weeks in a row and this old chap didn't know whether he was Arthur or Martha.

Bewitched by the reaffirmations of yesteryear and a pervasive decency that can still be manifest when the occasion demands.

Bewitched by the solemnising of Super Rugby and other sporting fixtures with Anzac observances; the spectacle of vast crowds, heads bowed in reverential silence as the heartbreaking strains of The Last Post rent the air, commemorating those who had fought and died for freedom.

Bothered and bewildered because that very freedom is still being threatened from within as the likes of Comrade Chris and Kiri Allan try to succeed where Hitler failed in ending free speech. It needs to be emblazoned across the sky: there is no such thing as a right not to be offended!

Not just bothered and bewildered but beyond appalled by the fact that Fox News has dumped Tucker Carlson, in recent years one of the brightest lights in the free speech firmament. I'll have more to say about this next week, when more will be known, but you can bet your boots this is part of Fox's efforts to appease the Swamp, the warmongers, the RINOs, the elites, and of course George Soros.

In the process of this appeasement Fox will plummet to CNN-level ratings from its current position right at the top. Woke-Fascism overrides everything, it seems … even including the bottom line.

Back to more edifying themes: Bewitched by the emerging talents of tennis, resplendent in Barcelona, especially the tournament winner, the poised and passionate Carlos Alcaraz.

Bothered by the thought that we haven't produced another Chris Lewis in 40 years!

Bewitched by memories of Barry Humphries, whose death reminded us of a time when drag was funny and humour was allowed; drag didn't mean a murderous mob in Albert Park, nor was it the purview of pronoun pillocks.

Bewitched by memories of the great broadcaster through whom I met Edna Everage, Jessica Weddell. Immaculately elocuted through her training with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Jessica did a Lady Bracknell that would have done Dame Edith Evans proud.

“A handbag?!” on its own would have been worth the price of admission, let alone, “I have always been of the view that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know?”

“I know nothing, Lady Bracknell.”

“I'm pleased to hear it. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate, exotic fruit. Touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately, in England at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square.”

Jessica was an excellent interviewer with numberless, memorable encounters to her credit, including, of course, Barry Humphries and Danny la Rue.

When I first met her as a cadet placed under her wing I asked if she were related to the W. Weddell of Pinehaven who wrote copious and (to me at the time) unintelligible letters to the editor of The Dominion about metaphysics and epistemology, She replied, “Yes, darling, he's my brother. And what's more, you're going to interview him!”

I did. He won.

Jessica's voice was a much better proof of the existence of God than any of St Anselm's or Aquinas's. One of these days Paul and I will do a feature on great broadcasters of the past and you'll hear what I mean. What she would make of the contemporary squawking, screeching, quacking, upward-inflecting and vocal fry which have replaced human speech I shudder to think.

Years ago, Dominion columnist Karl du Fresne wrote:

“I have heard it argued that none of this matters as long as we can understand what people are saying, to which my response is twofold. First, it's physically painful to listen to some of these awful voices torturing the language; and second, it's getting to the point where we can't understand them. It's only a matter of time before we'll need subtitles on the TV news bulletins to explain what some female journalists and newsreaders are saying.”

That point is here. What a far cry from such glories as Jessica! Actually, Tucker Carlson squawked and quacked and gabbled and upward-inflected, but I could put up with it because he was trying so hard to stop the whole world being turned into Communist China, if not incinerated.

So, a week of being bewitched, bothered and bewildered. I can feel a song coming on.

Jessica, who often said her men friends came in pairs, would love this one. This is Samuel Barnett in The History Boys.

Our Contributor

Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo is a New Zealand broadcaster, author and commentator, once hailed by Metro magazine as “the doyen of political interviewers.” He infamously walked out of Television New Zealand in 1993, calling its news and current affairs “braindead.” Lindsay contributes to the Breakfast programme with Perigo's Perspective on Thursday mornings.

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