Taki Theodoracopulos

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Coming to America

A recent article in a glossy magazine about the rich and famous mentioned a $35 million house in Malibu, California, whose neighbors include Mel Gibson and Britney Spears.  The owner of this mega-structure is one Teodoro Nguema Obiang, son of

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The Limits of Compassion

Something’s bothering me about the Polanski business.  No, unlike Harvey Weinstein and Bernard-Henri Lévy—not to mention that Mitterand pedophile—I will not defend Roman’s actions with a 13-year-old, but I will say that with friends like his making fools of themselves

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Of Gentlemen Sportsmen

By the time you read this the U.S. Open will be in full cry.  Tough, unsmiling professionals will be hitting balls back and forth with machine-like regularity, and Cyclops, the mechanical eye that overrides human decisions, will be resolving close

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Laugh Riot

If you think comedy is dead, just read Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest proposals regarding a Palestinian state and try to keep a straight face.  “Let us begin peace negotiations immediately without preconditions,” says the comedian, and then proceeds to state the

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Boozing With Papa

Fifty-four years ago this month, dizzy with happiness at having been freed from the jail that was boarding school, I ventured down New York’s 5th Avenue looking for fun and adventure.  I knew a place called El Borracho, Spanish for

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Up From Knavery

I recently attended a jujitsu tournament in Newark, New Jersey, a 15-minute train ride from New York City.  I had been to the Newark airport before but never entered the town.  It was quite a revelation.  I walked up the

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Europe’s P.C. Fatwa

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remember that Europe was the cradle of democracy.  For today Europe seems to be sliding inexorably into a culture of control that would have made Stalin proud.

Carol Thatcher, the daughter of the

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Our Expensive Crock

At times I think they have to be doing it on purpose.  It’s simply not possible that such density of stupidity exists on such a high level.  Take Afghanistan, for example.  Like a hellfire and brimstone preacher who cannot prize

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Burning Down Camelot

One of the more annoying gaucheries of the British tabloid press is that of always referring to the Kennedys as “American royalty.”  Back in 1963, with JFK still alive and in the White House, I escorted C.Z. Guest, a true

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Down Goes the Mammoth

So, the great nation builder is leaving the White House, his vision of a peaceful Middle East just a pipe dream, something poor old W used to know something about.  I say poor old W because he was, after all,

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The Monkey Chronicles

I want to make something very, very clear.  This column’s review of the autobiography of Cheeta, Tarzan’s chimpanzee, has absolutely nothing to do with the man who just got elected to the White House last month.  Cheeta’s 336-page opus was

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Before the Cacophony

Can anyone today imagine a clarinettist as a superstar the size of, say, Mick Jagger?  Or God forbid, the ghastly Madonna?  Well, 60 years or so ago, the biggest star in Hollywood, as well as the biggest stud, was Artie

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Putin and the Polish Gesture

In 2002, Vladimir Putin told a French reporter who asked about “innocent civilians” killed in Chechnya that—since the journalist evidently sympathized with Muslims—he would arrange to have him circumcised, adding: “I will recommend that they conduct the operation in such

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Send in the Clowns

Karagiozis is a mythical Greek character created sometime during the Ottoman occupation (1455-1827).  He manages to outwit the Turk at every turn by being funny, dishonest at times, and a very quick thinker.  For example, he discusses a business with

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No More Girls in Bikinis

Just after the Berlin wall came down, I flew to Berlin with my German-Austrian wife and traveled around the city and its eastern parts.  On visiting the Olympic stadium I told the taxi driver that my uncle, a hurdler, was

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Art in the Loo

Christie’s, the auction house, took a full-page ad in the New York Times to publicize the record sale of a painting by a living artist, Lucian Freud, to the tune of $33.6 million.  Thirty-three million greenbacks for a portrait of

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Speaking of Gorging

A few weeks ago, I attended a most wonderful party, with music, pretty girls, lots of champagne—and even some people who did not move their lips while reading the labels of the expensive bubbly and Scotch whiskey they were imbibing. 

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Dealing With the Devil

I do not normally take pronouncements from show-business folk seriously—they are almost always publicity ploys—but in the Mia Farrow and Steven Spielberg case against Beijing’s “Genocide Olympics,” I will gladly make an exception.  We all know that there is something

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Scuppering the Serbs

I live in New York and London, and   among the gruesome sights I’ve had to endure these last few years has been the sight of a vainglorious James Rubin, of Madeleine Albright fame, prancing about the hot spots of these

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Taking the Mickey

In an English court of law 21 years ago, I had the opportunity to discover firsthand how touchy judges can be when challenged from the dock.  It was a case of libel that caught both the tabloid and broadsheet imagination,

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Saudi Bums

As I wrote five years ago in another place, beginning a new column is like the first date with a girl you’ve had your eye on for a long time but never had the courage to ask out.  One’s nervous.