All jobs require very different skills. For example, to work in retail you need to be able to smile on cue and finish every sentence with an upwards inflection. To work on a bar you have to have the cheery outlook of a cat living on a catnip farm and to work in politics you have to be able to look slightly less ridiculous than your opponents while trying to complete normal people activities like eating a bacon sandwich, riding on a zipwire and articulating an original thought.
Recently I’ve been driven to madness thinking about politics a lot by a brief and mostly indirect encounter with a particular British politician. I won’t mention his or her (what am I saying? When would a woman get into a position of power in the British government?) identity but let’s just say he’s often pictured as being as happy as Nick Griffin in a Mosque and has the power and influence of Brazil without Neymar. For the purpose of this post we’ll refer to him as Mick. Now, Mick taught me so many things about the workings of politics in this once by nature, but now only by name, Great Britain. He taught me that politics is not, as it once was, about changing things, not for the better, not for the worse. What politics is about is convincing people that they are valued and agreed with by the people in positions of (relative) power. People want to know not only that their representatives share their views but also that they’re down-to-earth, that they’re really no different from anyone else. But the sorry truth seems to be that they see themselves as above everything, and they have to work ever so hard to repress this feeling when they’re slumming it by listening to their ignorant supporters ranting about this and that while they nod their head mumbling ‘mmm’ ‘yes’ or ‘you’re right’.
They wouldn’t dare disagree with vital support, and as a result they end up being little more than reflective surfaces when they’re actually with the underlings of the party, the proles. No progress is made, no ideas are challenged, and thanks to the monstrous ego of the politician, no possibility of their own ideas being altered is entertained, even in the realms of imagination. There’s a theory that there’s a infinite number of parallel universes yet I still can’t fathom one where politicians’ ideas could be impacted by the words of their loyal party grunts. This rejection of taking to heart the concerns of the ordinary people highlights the shift in politics that’s occurred in recent times. Politics isn’t something one gets into in order to change the nation to help the majority but rather a career path where games are played and people are manipulated almost as much as statistics in order to gain votes. Whoever gets the most votes, whether they’ve been completely above board or not, wins the game. It’s chess, with an election clock and plenty of disposable pawns.
Mick tried to come across as caring and understanding when faced with his potential votes but had a remarkable sense of entitlement. I was frankly a little taken aback at that. For someone to have such a blatantly inflated opinion of his own importance after years of being the media’s whipping boy was admirable. Satire has failed us. I shudder to imagine the level of self-worth needed for people to rise to the top of the political toilet.
The squirming pop weasel that is Justin Bieber now has a video of his deposition as part of the case surrounding his arrest for drag racing under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Normally when I write about something there’ll be one thing I take issue with and I’ll focus on this. In this instance, I am having real trouble deciding where to start.
Bieber’s popularity has skyrocketed since he was discovered in 2008 by Scooter Braun and subsequently signed to his and Usher’s joint label. Now, to have been picked up like this Bieber must have had some singing ability, that’s fine, but his attitude, antics and fans since then have mutated into something truly disgusting. His behaviours have included storming off stage, once because someone threw a bottle at him. I don’t condone the throwing of a bottle at anyone, but it seems Bieber views himself in a similar mould as the rockstars of old, the Osbournes, the Alice Coopers, the Bowies, the Daltrys, the Morrisons. Would any one of those petulantly storm off in that situation? There’s more chance of Joey Essex cracking Cold Fusion. He attempted to own a pet monkey, that’s almost rock worthy, if not original, but gave up when asked for paperwork. I’d love to see him try to keep up with Alice Cooper on a night out in his heyday. He’s also been filmed urinating in a bucket shouting “F*** Bill Clinton”. Oh, the boy knows politics too! We should get him on question time, ‘bout time there was someone in the public eye who really knew what they’re on about. Not only has he done these types of things, but who can forget his longing for one more ‘belieber’ in the form of Anne Frank. Even when confronted with her plight his only thought was himself, impressive focus. And now his actions have caught up with him, time to see some sense right? Nope.
In his deposition Bieber proceeds to one-up everyone who’s ever critiqued him. His arrogance is astounding, his petulance is stunning, his attempts at sarcasm wit and logic are as logical as his fans and his grasp of the English language is mystifying. And he seems to view himself as a mix of The Fonz, adjusting his jacket halfway through and Don Corleone, imitating Marlon Brando’s distinctive voice with the enquiry “Before you came here, you’d asked me?”. In the deposition he fields a variety of questions, responding with non-sequiturs he clearly would deem pithy, including when asked whether he had disciplined Mr Hesney [his bodyguard]? Bieber’s response was to ask ‘what kind of question is that?’ and proceed to enquire ‘Is he my son?’. Either a sarcastic response, or maybe a genuine concern considering he had no recollection of whether he’d been to Australia and resorted to asking his lawyer whether he had. I think his arrogance is typified by his smirking, raising his arms and exclaiming ‘Guess what? I don’t recall’. During the course of the deposition he proceeded to raise his eyebrows and fain sleep to further his classy impression. He even winked at the camera, proving categorically his ignorance, stupidity and over-inflated sense of self-worth. When asked about his former flame, Selena Gomez, he waggled his finger and with increasing irritation told the interviewer not to ask him about her again. And when asked whether Usher had been instrumental in launching his career, Bieber replied “I’m detrimental to my own career” before being staunchly misquoted by his lawyer who immediately claimed he said instrumental. Maybe not what he meant to say, but a whole lot more accurate.
I could write so much more about the problems with his entire demeanour and answers in that deposition, but I’d like to move onto the reaction of his fans. They’ve taken to Twitter in their droves, as they always do, to make light of his deposition, to adopt screenshots of him as answers to every fictitious question they can dream up and to praise his apparent wit and sass. A few examples of the sorts of tweets that have popped up:
The main issue I have with his fans is that they’ll blissfully defend him of any action without any knowledge of the issue, they’re blind to his abundant faults and they worship him. This level of obsession is damaging to them, and it fuels Bieber’s egotistical and narcissistic fire, leading him to believe he’s invincible and incapable of wrongdoing. And if you don’t believe that his fans can be as irrational as I’ve suggested, check out this clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nTKWYvWW2U.
Blogging is not an easy endeavour. It takes up time, demands attention, and makes you hate the sight of a barren word document. And there’s no pressure on you to write anything at all, so why bother? Because you started it, and you pledged that you’d keep it up. Man, that was stupid.
Thousands, if not millions, of people around the world have blogs, and although many will end up on the Internet’s scrapheap many are updated regularly and in keeping with that blog’s theme. And there it is. A theme. The thread that runs through all the posts, keeping it together, driving the blog, acting as a directory, showing potential readers to the corners of the interweb where pieces of writing have been directed at them. People who are interested in Doctor Who will read blogs that are about Doctor Who. People whose lives revolve around football, and a specific club, may look for blogs about that club. It all makes sense when you think about it. But why follow logic and reasoning when creating a blog? That would be utterly ridiculous. Ha, Logic.
People tend to have themes for their blogs in order to help gain a base of readers who have similar interests. They may base them on what they know a lot about, a blog will not often stray far from what that person would choose as their specialist subject on Mastermind. One of my friends writes largely about Halo or Doctor Who, having written reviews, case studies, and analyses of both. He can do this well because he knows both subjects pretty much inside out. If I were to follow a similar tack, you’d be reading an in depth study of the different themes and characters of Scrubs. Likely to have less of a pull I wager.
Another reason for a theme in a blog is to direct the posts. If you have a theme, you know what you’re writing about. If this was a blog full of reviews of television shows, then I’d watch a new programme, and then proceed to pick holes in the plot, or the casting, or the direction, costume and lighting before ending the post by abhorring the show and pleading with my readers not to watch it, unless of course it is so bad it’s actually quite entertaining. That’s how most objective reviews of things seem to go, people love being critical, and it gives others something to moan about, everybody wins. Maybe if I had a political blog I’d scour The Times to find the latest parliamentary debate and then articulate everything that’s wrong with our government, topping my article with a thick layer of doom and just a sprinkling of gloom. Unless of course it was the Jam Debate that had been hotly contested in recent days, then I could just copy John Finnemore’s satirical overview of it from The Now Show, changing it slightly and aiming it at a different demographic in the hope I’d be able to revel in the praise truly due to Mr. Finnemore. In that case maybe I’d add a little political cartoon, to separate my blog from the hoi polloi of political-ish blogs. What is a political blog without a shred of whimsy?
Rather than meticulously planning my blog theme, or even stumbling upon a theme as I wrote, I’ve ended up with a stuttering, confused blog that spans Instagram, through history, to politics and even a fanciful imagination of archaeology in the future. Even though when my friend and I were discussing this issue prior to starting blogs I had an idea that it would consist of ill-defined ‘rants’ about the social or political issues of the day, that lack of a concrete base has led to the coma my blog has descended into in recent weeks. Anyway, hopefully now it’s woken up for a while, probably should’ve used that time to conceive a theme. Oh well.