Smirking From Home

Turning ideas into words.

Face-Painted Experts

Congratulations to Amy Williams, Great Britain’s first and probably only gold medal winner at this year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Not only has she a shiny bauble to hang around her neck but she can look forward to having a lucrative career in television when she retires. I’m envisaging Celebrity Skeletons in the Closet on Ice, a reality show where a celebrity’s past catches up on them, slamming down an ice tunnel on a bin lid and crashing through a wardrobe door. It could be hosted by Jeremy Kyle, with Amy training those “skeletons” to slide accurately down the tube. She’d need to learn how to train a 4 person bobsleigh team for Katie Price’s obligatory appearance though.
You have to love the Olympics and other similar global gatherings, such as the World Cup and a G8 summit meeting. There’s nothing like a large-scale shared experience to prove our ability to instantly become an expert of what’s happening in front of us. This idea came to me the other night when I switched on the TV about 2am, in preparation to sit down and feed Robert. The sight of an 18 stone Canadian’s Lycra-clad arse staring you in the face sure as hell conjures up a few bizarre thoughts. It’s only natural that after watching the first few attempts in the two-man bobsleigh, I became an expert in what was required to achieve Olympic gold. “Oh no, he’s gone a little high round that bend”, or “he doesn’t have the muscle mass to produce a quick start”.  You find yourself knowing half way round that their efforts would be in vain. At least you think you do. You shout at the curlers to produce a draw shot and wake the rest of the house up yelling “sweeeeep sweeep” at the top of your voice. Speaking of which, I wonder if they’d entertain the notion of doing the luge on an ironing board. I’d fancy me chances.
I’ll draw the line though, at painting various parts of my anatomy in support of my favourite team. That’s one of life great mysteries. A great global sporting event comes into the public’s eye and all of a sudden we’re slapping painted flags on our cheeks. Why is that? Does it help Rooney dribble better? Will Massa’s car accelerate faster just because you’ve painted a prancing nag on yer forehead? Maybe it engenders a nationwide sense of community, a feeling which I would heartily endorse rather than smirk at. Then again I would argue that the reason for these bouts of communal frivolity is all wrong, or at the very least, should not be solely confined to sport. With a general election, one English team is guaranteed to win something. No more misplaced hope on that front. A nice red rose for Labour, a tree for the Tories and a compost heap for the Green Party. What better way to bring politics to the proles and get the kiddies involved. Gangs of northern voters could take their tops off for Gordon, their beer bellies slathered in oily depictions of miner’s helmets and the Southern toffies replicating with top hats for David. And like following the world cup, we’ll all become experts once again on our Gross Domestic Product*, knowing our macro from our micro economies.
Such blind wisdom isn’t necessarily confined to great sporting events or elections. Currently I am an expert on the Argentine Tango and Alexandra Burke just doesn’t have the same vocal range as Leona Lewis. Thanks to modern television we’re all opinionated geniuses and what’s more, we’re now allowed to air our views in varying shapes or forms, be they phone votes, Internet forums or as gullible consumers in your local supermarket. Never before has so much power been put in the hands of the ignorant and we are loving it. We crave it without realising that we are being manipulated. We design our Jedward placards and buy our DVB jeans, safe in the knowledge that there’s food in our cupboards and heat in our homes. I’m not intending to veer down the sanctimonious route of ethics and morals. We live our lives the best we can in harsh times. However, there is more to life than believing that Sharon Davies was under marked for her triple salko or painting your face to support those who genuinely don’t give a two hoots about you in the first place. You don’t need Simon Cowell to tell you that either.
I’ll admit that I’m as guilty as the next man. I voted repeatedly in this years Strictly for Chris Hollins, mainly for his honest endeavour and warmth. I will also vote in the general election in May, the only sad thing being we won’t have that option to choose from. Anyone out there fancy painting my face?
* Otherwise known in our house as Robert’s nappy.

February 22, 2010 - Posted by | Ondatelly, Politics |

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