Monday, July 31, 2006


A post about Big Brother - now there's an idea. Should garner me a few extra hits, right? Especially if I also talk about (1) Mel Gibson, (2) Lebanon, (3) Qana, (4) Israel, (5) Ubuntu and (6) Postsecret. What do these things have in common? Yes, dear readers, you've guessed it. They are currently the top searches according to Technorati. I have turned into the whoreish self-publicist par excellence.

For those of you not in the know, (1) is a sometime alcoholic, once-upon-a-time Australian actor and film director who has turned his hand to making muito bizarro films about Christ. He is also prone to the odd anti-semitic outburst, but I am hardly an authority on the man, so let's leave it there.

(2) is a sovereign nation in the Middle East which has been recently been emasculated by American efforts to "spread democracy" in that benighted area of the world. It is currently being massacred by (4), who have used actual Palestinian democracy as a pretext to attacking the Gaza Strip and, over the weekend, (3), where it killed 60 civilians (more than half of whom were children). I shall be writing more about these three this week.

Call me an ignoramus, but I have no idea what (5) is. (6) is a popular blog which gives people the opportunity to share their deepest, darkest secrets with the cyber-world via the medium of the humble postcard.

Big Brother is a "reality TV show," which puts unreal people into an unreal situation (let's not get into Lacanian definitions of Reality and reality, or we'll be here all night). One of these unreal people has been described as Machiavellian, which appears to mean that she's not very nice. As one person said on the BBC website, "Could I have a Big Machiavelli and fries please?"

So what of this Machiavelli fellow? He is known, of course, for being the arch-cynic in political theory; and yet, here he gives an important lesson in doing the right thing, no matter what the contemporary political climate:

It is the duty of the good man to teach others the good that you could not work because of the malignity of the times or of fortune, so that when many are capable of it, someone of them more loved by heaven will be able to do it.

No matter how unrealistic your political vision may seem now, do not give up, says Machiavelli. You may have suffered defeats, your cause may seem all but lost, but time is no barometer of morality. Written 500 years ago, these lines resonate with the radical activist whose dreams of universal liberty are suffocated by contemporary capitalism.


Blogger PercyJonkova said...

Ubuntu is an operating system that is free9and also a word in swahili). You can use it instead of Mircrosoft Windows(along with open office) - its funded by a dot com millionaire and based upon Liunx, which was developed by a Scandanavian academic called Linus Torvalds (that will get you some more hits).

I thought Machiavelli was a new "Ben and Jerrys" flavour. Seriously though, I interpreted the quote as: the key point is to "teach others" that you could not do good things due to circumstance. Surely this a bit of a cop out - others would just get on and try to effect change.

I consider Blair one of the best Machiavelli-ans - trying desperately hard to convice everyone he's doing his best from high moral ground - when in fact he's a bit of slimey kiss-ass, pardon my French.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Snowball said...

Mad Max I and Mad Max II are still great films though. Despite the fact Mel Gibson is an idiot.

11:42 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home