OK. Magnanimity in victory is a sine qua non among civilised men and women, so let me not be the first to rub it in. Last week I wrote that I feared the worst and felt sorry for Britain. I was convinced throughout the campaign that a certain testicular fortitude was missing on the part of the voters, and that David Cameron would be vacating No. 10. But, not for the first time, I was proved wrong. The only testicular fortitude missing was when Ed Balls lost his seat. So now we’ll have five more years of furious lefty hacks passing more wind than usual. There is nothing that angers Guardianistas more than when good, hard-working people vote with their brains. Tilting against the windmills of envy and class warfare might sound like a loser, but the election result showed that the Brits possess testicular fortitude, as well as nous. Take it from Taki, this could be the start of something big: reform of the undemocratic EU. No more European superstate, no more dominance from Brussels, no more foreign judges issuing left-wing human-rights ukases. It’s all up to David Cameron, and I sure hope he succeeds. Mind you, only the heartless can fail to sympathise with Ed Miliband, but he can always advise Channel 4 or write a column in the Guardian.
Things have been hunky-dory over on these shores too. At lunch with Harvey Weinstein and Michael Mailer at Harvey’s Tribeca Grill, we were discussing a film version of the greatest book ever written apart from the Bible, Nothing to Declare. I was flattered, but when talk turned to casting I quoted Deborah Ross: ‘Only Taki can play Taki.’ She wrote this in her review of the greatest movie ever made, Seduced & Abandoned. The trouble is that Taki no longer looks so good. And who could play young Taki now that Mickey Rooney is dead? But, besides being the only producer who makes films without non-stop car chases and zombies blowing up their innards, Harvey Weinstein is a generous man. What about a documentary? he suggested. My best buddy Michael Mailer, a very successful film-maker in his own right, is facing a Sisyphean task in trying to sell Taki. People go to the movies to watch violence and horror. My life is as easy to film as reading Finnegans Wake. Andy Warhol once made a movie of a man sleeping for five hours and 20 minutes straight. Some modernists even liked it. Filming Taki reading, training and pursuing the fairer sex unsuccessfully would be almost as thrilling as Warhol’s Sleep. Let’s call Nothing to Declare the greatest movie never made, and leave it at that.
And, speaking of training, it all came up trumps last weekend as I won big time in judo and am headed for Amsterdam on 21 September for the world masters judo championships. The summer season is not a good background for competition. Last weekend I missed a great party to celebrate Bob and Chantal Miller’s 50th wedding anniversary. It was a surprise bash thrown by their three beautiful daughters. It was all hush hush, starting in Paris, then on to Como by train, and so on. I missed it for the sake of competition but I don’t plan on missing another one. Next stop will be Rome and Joseph Getty’s marriage — if I’m alive, that is. I plan to celebrate my last two weeks in the Bagel like never before. Then I look forward to my London season, The Spectator summer party, the party for our readers, and my betrothal to Norma Desmond, an up-and-coming young starlet of silent movies.
Last but not least, a funny story my NBF Harvey Weinstein told me about Robert Redford, my fellow movie star. It seems that Bob Redford is very slow on the draw. In the old west that existed only in the movies he would have died in the first reel. He would jump the turnstiles in the subway if he used it. He makes Silas Marner look like Wafic Saïd. Redford called Harvey and asked him to lunch. Harvey reminded him that he, Harvey, had never ever not picked up the check in 25 years. ‘This time it’s definitely on me,’ said Redford. So Harvey suggested The Monkey Bar, where they serve some extremely expensive wine. Once they’d ordered lunch, Weinstein asked for the most expensive bottle the joint had on the menu, an extraordinary Château Mouton Rothschild 1957, or something like that. He then asked for a second bottle and finished that too. Redford asked for the bill, but when it came he started fumbling for his wallet and his credit cards. ‘I seem to have misplaced it...’ he mumbled. Harvey pretended to lose his temper and accused Redford of being a worse actor in life than he is on the screen. But he ended up paying. Harvey hadn’t even wanted to drink that day; he only wanted to make Redford pay. Such are the joys of having famous screen friends. You always end up paying the bill. But not to worry. I will not play Taki in the greatest movie ever made of the greatest book ever written, and so I will continue to pick up the check — Robert Redford not included.
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