Of course he chose a Ringo song

Caught your eye, right? Perhaps it even entertained you for a second?

Stephen Harper doesn’t actually get high with his friends – not in the context that one may think anyway.

On October 2, 2009, he performed The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” during the annual National Arts Centre Gala. It was posted on YouTube, and since then, has been viewed over five hundred thousand times.

Pretty impressive, considering it has nothing to do with his political agenda.

At the beginning of October our country almost went to election due to a narrowly defeated vote of no confidence by the parties in opposition to Harper and his government. Relevant, yes? Yet forums are not being used to discuss why the liberals are in such a tizzy to pull Harper out of office right now. Instead, almost every news issue and online forum has been running articles about Harpers performance, where his sharpest criticism has been that maybe he should have sang a French version as well.

Harpers sing-a-long, regardless of whether or not it was a plot to spin positive light on his image, has been getting way too much attention. The fact that other major issues aren’t getting the same attention is a conundrum.

So what’s the problem?

We are.

The people are the problem. The majority of us love to act like we actually give a fuck about what’s going on in the political world. We have strong opinions on HST, we have strong opinions on health care. A lot of us will get into a political discussion amongst our friends or coworkers pretending that we actually know what we are talking about, but at the end of the day, we will spend hours Googling Harpers song or moments where he has been made to look like an asshole instead of looking at relevant news and political issues.

Because we don’t give a shit unless it’s entertaining.

As long as something is entertaining, it will get a lot more attention than an issue that is way more important but less fun to watch.

This points to a bigger problem than just whether or not Harper should have done a bilingual version of the song. . It showcases societies need for instant gratification and constant entertainment.

Playing around on YouTube after seeing Harpers performance, it was interesting to see what the most viewed videos on political leaders were. One of the most viewed videos with Barack Obama’s name on YouTube is a minute and a half clip from the Simpsons, with over eleven million views only beat out by a spoof of him appearing in Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” music video with twelve million views. Conversely, his inauguration speech has only four million views.

George Bush’s most viewed video with his name in the title: “Will Ferrell as George Bush”. Seven million views.

The list goes on and on. And it just goes to show that the majority of us, the ones living in the representative democracies that are generally considered to give the most freedom and encourage the most partisan involvement in elections and governing, are more concerned with how entertaining our political leaders can be. Or how easily they can be made fun of.

Based on logical reasoning, it would be safe to say that the majority of us really don’t give a shit if we aren’t being entertained.

Just think about it for one second.

Or have you already put down this article, because apart from seeing how apathetic and self-serving we have come to be as a generation, I haven’t really given you any reason to laugh out loud or splooge in your pants after thirty seconds?

// Nicole Mucci

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com