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November 04, 2007

Comments

dearieme

A moving reflection, Mr D. How do you produce such a flow of good stuff, eh? I suspect that you neglect your guitar practice. Just you get playing along with this fella.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=zD6ZD1Igxr0

jameshigham

Took a long time to wait for the managerialism to come into a Heather Mills post but I have to hand it to you, Chris, you worked it in well:

But increasingly, a "good job" is no more than what the boss says it is.

Agree.

savonarola

I wish I had said that.

Will

This is not really a response to your excellent post, but the Heather Mills phenomenon baffles me. I haven't followed the story, but am staggered by quite how obsessive the media's hatred for an individual can get. Does she deserve it? No of course not! She's not evenly remotely significant enough to deserve it. Dick Cheney deserves it; Bin Laden deserves it; the entire advertising industry deserves it.

So in the same way that one had to side with Stalin during the second world war, I have to express some sympathy for the woman. Whatever it is that she's done to provoke so much hatred (and frankly I have no interest), I struggle to believe that many newspaper readers are quite as mysoginistic and wound-up as the wankers on Fleet Street who write this stuff.

Will

This is not really a response to your excellent post, but the Heather Mills phenomenon baffles me. I haven't followed the story, but am staggered by quite how obsessive the media's hatred for an individual can get. Does she deserve it? No of course not! She's not evenly remotely significant enough to deserve it. Dick Cheney deserves it; Bin Laden deserves it; the entire advertising industry deserves it.

So in the same way that one had to side with Stalin during the second world war, I have to express some sympathy for the woman. Whatever it is that she's done to provoke so much hatred (and frankly I have no interest), I struggle to believe that many newspaper readers are quite as mysoginistic and wound-up as the wankers on Fleet Street who write this stuff.

Ms Robinson

Mr S&M, A most excellent piece. Heather is merely the screeching banshee at the top of the heap of people dying to get heard. Where once we could be heard by quietly doing 'good work' now we have to tell everybody what we're doing which invariably means we're doing less of it.

Bruce

If you view PR and brand management as a modern day craft then this all looks rather different. Heather (and her advisers) have simply done a "bad job".

Jules Evans

good post, and good blog.

I think Britney Spears is in a similar position - she obviously needs to just get out of the public eye and sort her head out, but she cant conceive of a life outside of the public eye (and maybe it would be impossible).

but why do you think the Cynic or Stoic good life is closed to us now? The whole idea of such a life is that it is available to us, whatever our external circumstances, even if we're in a gulag.

i dont think our external circumstances are any more extreme or antithetical to the pursuit of the good life than previous eras.

and plenty of us have a similar idea to the good life to the one you described. indeed, millions of people follow stoic principles through cognitive behavioural therapy. I used CBT to get over social anxiety, which is precisely the excessive concern about image which you describe.

im also not sure that i agree that greater worry about image = less freedom. heather mills' situation is about the power of the media. in the UK, the media is very powerful, and the state is consequently less so.

the state is even afraid of the media in this country. thus tony blair complains the media is a feral beast, and gordon brown has an election when rupert murdoch tells him to.

in russia, by contrast, where i used to live, the media was pretty toothless, and the state was much more powerful.

as bob dylan said, you gotta serve somebody - it might be the state, or the media, but if you have an ungrounded sense of self you're always going to end up at the mercy of some external authority.

Dave

I must say I think you talking twaddle. Heather Mills had death threats because she married and is now divorcing an icon. A one sided character assasination demonised her which was highly irresponsible considering the godlike status of Paul McCartney. She had a very modern damage limitation team murder her personality to protect their employer.

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