Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gone but not Forgotten

I was saddened to read this morning that Peter Boyle has died at the age of 71. For me, he first ascended into the pantheon as the creature in Young Frankenstein - "from what was once an inarticulate mass of lifeless tissues may I now present a cultured, about town" - but cemented his place there as Ox Callaghan in the unjustly neglected While You Were Sleeping, which is one of my favourite films of all time.

Speaking of obituaries, compare and contrast two that appeared in The Times earlier this week - General Augusto Pinochet and Father Angelo D'Agostino. It is hard to comprehend that these two men belonged to the same species. I got my visceral loathing of Pinochet from my Uncle Joseph three decades ago when I was a boy. I remember this mildest of men being furious about the case of Sheila Cassidy (don't follow the link unless you've got a strong stomach) and I can't recall him ever even getting worked up about anything else at all.

It is also worth noting that the Labour Government of the mid seventies displayed a lot more backbone with regard to Cassidy, than the current one seems to be showing with respect to the Litvinenko affair, though I do hope ultimately to be proved wrong about that.

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