I have to admit something: I didn't actually see Madonna get yanked down those steps. We had the TV on in my flat - we'd endured Kanye West's unique take on John Cage's 4'33 - but my housemates and I were a bit drunk, and we must have been chatting when Madonna channeled her inner Mr Tumble. Sure, I watched it on YouTube; yeah, I watched it again seven times. But did I actually see it live? Well, no. No, I did not.
As a result of my zeitgest faux-pas, I spent the next few days feeling hopelessly out of step with the world. I felt like Banks when he gets out of prison in The Shawshank Redemption, bar the suicidal impulse. But recently I've had that disjointed feeling again, and it's been ever since Jeremy Clarkson - 'allegedly' - punched a producer, and everyone said it was fine.
According to The Telegraph, 4 million viewers have forsaken Top Gear because the BBC deigned to replace Clarkson. That means there are 4 million people who are so pro assault, they are demonstrably anti it's punishment.
Thus, in all seriousness, I am forced to ask: have these 4m people gone mad? Are we honestly saying that this is alright? And don't think I don't empathise: nobody likes a cold meat platter when all you want is a hot, square meal - I once came jolly close to ticking off a waiter in Wetherspoons myself. But did 4 million people accidentally go insane overnight and forget that assault is a crime, punishable by law? Not that Clarkson would ever be arrested. It's not like he makes inciting comments in the media or anything.
I don't care that people like Jeremy Clarkson, pompous, misogynistic xenophobe that he - 'allegedly' - is; people are entitled to a personal opinion on the man. I don't care that people think Top Gear will be worse off for his absence, bizarrely believing it was much good to start with. But I do care, I care mightily, that there are 4 million people in this country who do not objectively recognise that punching a man is just wrong, and therefore they must shout about their righteous indignation in the wake of Clarkson's suspension. (Whilst we're on that: you know Jeremy Clarkson is going to be OK, right? You do realise that to a man as wealthy as Clarkson, losing one of his several media jobs will not mean losing his income, or his pension, or his house?) And it actually frightens me that a sub-sect of this 4 million strong mob think this furore makes it justifiable to send hate messages to the producer in question. Perhaps these are the same moronic arse-wipes who like to troll the relatives of dead children. Just a thought.
As a society, we are well used to power trumping justice; we continue on, replete in the knowledge that blind eyes are often turned to the most heinous of misdemeanours. But this incident seems to to mark a dangerous precedent; have we really become a society that listens only to the voices shouting the loudest? Just because there are 4m people on this careening Clarkson bandwagon, it doesn't make them right. And perhaps I am in minority for holding this view, but I have never been more content to walk alone.
'Confessions of a Tinderella' by Rosy Edwards is out May 21st 2015.