On reading of Phil Spector’s murder conviction last night, and the suggestion that it might devalue his (indisputably great) achievements, my first thought was ‘anyone who thinks that is a tit’.
That starting point got me thinking about historical figures who, despite providing unequivocal net good to society, were despicable bastards in their private lives.
In that frame of mind, I read this:
Once upon a time I was a communist, before that I was a catholic. Rather like Terry Eagleton I was able to make the transition between the two quite comfortably because I could do so without having to encounter liberalism along the way.
…and was reminded how grateful I am to random chance for the fact that Henry VIII happened to evolve where and when he did.
The rest of the piece is here, although sadly it doesn’t quite live up to that awesome line.