By Casey Liss
Clarkson Speaks

Jeremy Clarkson has made a formal statement about his future at The Sunday Times (mirrored here). The quote everyone is focusing on is this one:

Which is why I have made a decision. I have lost my baby but I shall create another. I don’t know who the other parent will be or what the baby will be like, but I cannot sit around any more organising my photograph albums.

On the surface, this is good news. But to get here, Jeremy seems to have taken some really awful turns:

I felt sick because after I’d lost my home and my mother, I’d thrown myself even more vigorously into my job and now, idiotically, I’d managed to lose that too. The sense of loss was enormous.

I had heard rumblings that, likely due to his own philandering, Clarkson’s marriage was on the rocks, if not failing. Naturally, the loss of one’s mother is devastating. But things got worse still just before the event that led to his firing:

Two days before the “fracas”, I’d been told, sternly, by my doctor that the lump on my tongue was probably cancer and that I must get it checked out immediately. But I couldn’t do that. We were in the middle of a Top Gear series. And Top Gear always came first.

For a man who is regarded as a chain smoker, this seems to be the logical conclusion stemming from a terrible habit. I have a feeling, though, that a cancer diagnosis is always a surprise. (Thankfully for Jeremy, it appears it was simply a cancer scare, and not a diagnosis after all.)

At 55, then, you’re in a limbo land where time is simultaneously with you and against you. You are too young to put your feet up but too old to start anything new.

Not a fun place to be, I imagine.

Since I started sharing the news about Clarkson and Top Gear, I’ve had a lot of people come out of the woodwork to explain to me all the ways Jeremy deserves what’s come to him, how he’s a terrible human, and, in some cases, should kindly show himself right off the planet. Furthermore, if I hold him in any regard other than contempt, I should follow in his footsteps.

All of that may very well be true. I don’t know. I do know that this is a man who has clearly been broken. Maybe he deserved it. Maybe he didn’t. But I feel bad, nevertheless. To wish ill upon any person, even one I don’t agree with, is not my style.

It’s interesting reading Clarkon’s piece as I read something else. When Steve Jobs was fired from the company he created — his baby — he floundered for a while. Eventually Steve seemed to have found some humility, and famously brought his baby back from the brink of death, and grew it to be a juggernaut.

That in mind, I can’t help but wonder what Clarkson’s future holds.