Harry Goodwin’s review of the New Left Review’s socialist critique of Amia Srinivasan’s The Right to Sex was never going to be an easy read. The smarmy in-jokes, the half-baked puns, the insipid punchlines – how can we have allowed this journalistic damp fart to seep into seemingly every single page of Cambridge’s student newspapers?
‘Srinivasan was born to a banker and a dancer – two professions with different understandings of ‘bump’ and ‘line’’. Like the illicit drugs Mr. Goodwin evidently finds such a source of merriment, his writing provides only quick highs, unpleasant come-downs, lasting self-loathing – and, unfortunately, crippling addiction. Yet, it is incumbent upon us reasonable folk not to write off the scholastic smirkers who lap up his garbage. The user is to be pitied, not the pusher.
What highs, then, does this Escobar of the fens offer? Aside from narcotics, pornography and the more recherché varieties of sex are prime obsessions. Take the most recent article. From his garbled account, I gather that a Ms. Srinivasan and a Ms. Doherty, two perfectly wholesome young women, were cordially discussing intercourse and the peccadillos of the highly-sexed fogeys at All Souls, before the Parker pen of this pent-up periodista penetrated these Socratic Sapphos and dribbled out, with smirking satisfaction, some juvenile hackery. But what else can we expect from this slanderer of the Union, this Toope-bashing Bolshevik, this CCP-slating sicko?
In truth, there is nothing so unusual about all of this. Mr. Goodwin is every public school, Oxbridge-educated pseudo iconoclast, cracking-wise about the elitism of those sacred institutions whilst liberally sprinkling his writing with a patina of learning. How droll, Mr. Goodwin. Clever enough to have gotten in, cleverer still not to be grateful for it.
– Nancy Reagan