Tuesday 16 April 2013

Daydream Belieber

When Justin Bieber's career is just a nostalgic tear in a post-adolescent eye nobody will even remember the slightly crass Anne Frank affair, that caused a few people to turn it into an 'international' outrage. Do people not have anything better to worry about? Apparently not; if Europeans really were starving none of this would have even seen the light of day. For what it's worth, I didn't see anything offensive in what he wrote. It was only the slightly self-centred postscript that caused the ripple and that ripple has now disappeared. Que Sera, Sera...

What gets written on social media is ephemeral. Here one second, gone the next. Unless of course somebody copies it and passes it on. Or even better, takes offence and then copies it and passes it on. Then there is the chance of reaping the whirlwind. A carelessly chosen word, a poorly phrased reply... forget to type 'lol' or 'lmao' or append an appropriate smiley and you could find yourself at the centre of the storm.

I quite like it there, at the centre; all nice and calm while choppy waters and shrieking skies rage all around. And I quite often find myself there, sometimes by design. There is nothing quite like the incoherent rage that grips the losing side in an unequal battle of wills. And anybody that gets quickly offended enters the battle already outnumbered. Sun Tzu counselled that you should pick your battles wisely and not join a fight you cannot win.

Against rage, nothing is a more effective weapon than calm,wry, good-humoured indulgence. And against knee-jerk Socialist 'solutions' to complex problems, nothing is more effective than reason. "Kill the bankers!" they scream, "Eat the rich!" they opine and "We demand a living wage", blind to the likely consequences of their mob madness. And I have to confess I quite enjoy seeing how easy it is to provoke their unchecked fury

Communities and economies have both momentum and inertia and few politicians have the will or the means to alter anything at a stroke. Any outright solution will cause somebody, somewhere to lose out - that's the true nature of redistributive policies. No politician in his right mind will do anything to drive away the geese that lay the gold, so all that's left - apart from bloody civil war - is to balance the budget with what we've got.

Ordinary people aren't any sort of political. They just get on with what they've got it and if they ever give voice it is to the side which seems to speak their language. Why wouldn't they? That's Labour's target vote, but while they may not be political, they are not entirely unpersuaded by calm logic. Which is why, in poll after poll, they express their opinion that while they may not like the treatment, it is preferable to Labour's non-credible plans to increase the dosage of the disease.

Back in your box, sunshine

So, carry on amusing me, Twitter haters, master-baiters. It gives me immense pleasure in seeing one of you descend into a howling spiral of self-destructive, fist-shaking anger after taking offence on behalf of others who are calmly watching and hoping it's not them you are trying to defend. And then - and you'll love this - it's even funnier when you block me and then subtweet about your Pyrrhic victory, not realising I can still see you.

If you're going to end up blocking me anyway, why not do yourselves a favour - that bile must sit sharp on the stomach - and go for the early exit. Block and blow, there you go. Leave it kev, it ain't worf it.

There. An entire blog without mentioning Margaret Thatcher.


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