It’s about time I turned to the Barefoot Doctor or as Katharine and I like to call him, the Barefoot Tosser. Reading his Taoist lifestyle advice (which normally amounts to breathing deeply while clenching your buttocks) is a bit like reading the horoscope; you know it’s nonsense, but just can’t help yourself. Had I been blogging back in January this year, I’d certainly have mentioned his typically smug Blessings that Count piece from the Observer magazine (available in book form here).
Yes. It was early January. New Year resolution time. Dear Barefoot’s being chauffer driven to a central London TV studio, the smell of new Mercedes leather in his nostrils. He spies a tramp rummaging through bins and begins to count the blessings in his life (‘Ownership of home, dishwasher, car, fancy clothes’). The unlikely pair’s eyes meet. Barefoot mouths ‘Thank-you’ to the tramp. The tramp nods and winks to show he understands that he has helped teach Barefoot humility and so given his own life purpose.
Anyway. I reckon someone’s had a word, because his more recent pieces are almost okay and this Sunday’s on fear wasn’t too bad. That’s why he’s heading towards ex-pet hate. He’s talking about the kind of fear Michael Moore explores in Bowling for Columbine and Shyamalan creates in The Village. And he’s got a handy three step programme for handling it that doesn’t involve buttock clenching.