Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A Collection of Measured Dissent

Here's a sobering thought for you. Using a hugely conservative estimate that at least 60% of them are over the age of 18, for every ten people leaving comments on YouTube, six of them can vote in a general election. And their votes counts exactly the same as yours. No matter if you read The Times, The Guardian, The Mirror, The Sun and The Beano each morning to take in all perspectives, peruse Hansard frequently, visit impoverished areas, small businesses, schools and colleges to connect with real people, the vote you make in the next election counts just as much as the person who'll vote for whichever candidate mentions asylum seekers the most, or who seems like 'a nice bloke'. This is why we'd happily lobby for voting slips to contain short current affairs quizzes. Get all five questions correct, and your vote is multiplied by three. Cracking idea, hey?

Part of the reason for our latest dose of despair for the future of society is that we've been unable to get the tune of the marvellous "Paul McCartney's version of Imagine" from Newstopia out of our heads for the last few days.


This means we've been dipping back into the above YouTube video occasionally, and while listening to the music (which is crying out to be remixed, we hasten to add), we dipped into the comments for the video. A mistake.

Even though it's a perfectly jolly tune in its own right, and nothing more than an affectionate parody of Macca's melody-over-lyrical-content songwriting style, from many of the comments you could assume it was performed while Micallef danced around a bonfire of Abbey Lane acetates topped with a meat effigy of the late Linda McCartney. Here are a few of them:



Yeah, branding a comedian an “animal” for making a family-friendly remake of a 37-year-old song. That’s a considered opinion, right there. Thanks, “Ponchocv”.


“Got a great sense of humor”, have you Mr so-called-“davesharon5747”? We beg to differ there, but note you say you “didn’t appreciate” the choice of song by Mr Micallef. That could be because you’ve changed your mind since your first viewing and have since accepted it wasn’t getting that worked up about, but it could well be some sort of post-vengeance gloat. Maybe you jetted over to Melbourne and rubbed snot onto the windscreen of Shaun Micallef’s car, or flipped him the bird at some traffic lights. Your comment has that sort of air about it. You nutter.

It seems your account has since been suspended. Presumably if you got that worked up over a parody of a song you like, you’ve probably starting making gallingly specific threats to the children of someone you really disagree with, like someone who posits that your favourite sports franchise might not be the greatest ever to grace the conference in which they play.


Tell ‘em, Steve-Dave! A quick look at this user’s account reveals they’ve uploaded just two videos. One of them is a camera phone video of them punching a punching bag repeatedly (4 months ago, 71 views). The other one is called ‘freestyle’, and has spent the last four months notching up a total of five views. Five.


So, there’s a critic who knows what the public want, right there. We haven’t watched ‘freestyle’, coincidentally. That would sully the efforts of the five people who’d already seen it.


Presumably Miss Lizzy hasn’t been listening to the barrage of weak “Paul McCartney and Heather Mills” jokes trotted out by jobbing Mock The Weekers over the last half-dozen years, or she’d have been able to put that song into some kind of perspective. And anyway, it’s Sir Paul now. Show some tossing respect.


Yeah, that jhon lennon. Always fcukign poswing around like he pwns the joitn.


A collection of measured dissent, there. “Motherfucker”, “scum”, “son of a bitch”. Was there a subliminal flashframe of Micallef taking a dump on The White Album that we missed or something? Oh, and stoberto06 – if you want to elongate the word “shite” in text form, adding multiple letter Es on the end just makes you look, well, a bit shitty.


Yes, well spotted.


Indeed. Why, Darfur is like getting a spot of jam on your T-shirt compared to this abomination. Interestingly enough, sergeev1989 actually finds The Holocaust deserving of as many as seven frowny brackets, so they’re not doled out lightly(((((((.


“It.s a crap or shit”? PICK A SIDE, YOU PUSSY.





Really? Really? By the way, we’ve seen the full episode of Newstopia this is from. That actually is the end of the song on that clip up there. There wasn’t, say, an extra bit at the end where Francis Greenslade sneaks onto the set dressed as Mark Chapman and shoots a pistolful of blanks into “Paul McCartney”, no matter how much these comments make it seem like that was the case.


Actually, fuck it. As soon as we get around to it, we’re going to get some video cameras together, and do our own parody of ‘Imagine’. We’re going to drive up to Matthew Street in Liverpool, we don’t live that far away. We’ll even pay the toll for the Mersey Tunnel to get there a bit more quickly. We’re going to dress up as John Lennon (circa Sgt Pepper, only the uniform will be emblazoned with embroidered penii), and roll around in dogshit outside The Cavern Pub while singing a version of Imagine where all the lyrics are made up of the words “poo”, “bum” and “willies”. In a Joey Deacon voice*. And then, we’ll go home, and upload it to YouTube, but before clicking “complete”, we’re going to DISABLE COMMENTS FOR THIS VIDEO, so all the self-important prudes will be denied their pissy little way of stamping their little internet feet at the nasty thing the rude men done. What will you do then, PixieDust1996? WHAT THEN?

(* Except we’ll do it really early in the morning, so we don’t get our faces stabbed in.)

Do you know the really funny thing about all these comments? Aside from the fact that the vast majority of people making the comments up there are unlikely to vote in elections because it’s unlikely they’d be able to spell ‘X’? It’s that the song “Imagine”, by John Lennon, is a song about, hey, peace. About putting differences to one side, to admitting that while Person/Country/Religion A might not necessarily get along with Person/Country/Religion B, we should all just chill the fuck out, and try to get along as best we can. Come on, give it a go! It’s easy if you try!



Note: We actually do like the Beatles, and Paul McCartney, and John Lennon. And yet, we’re able to display a modicum of tolerance for others. Zany.



Thank Ringo for the occasional voices of sanity in the comments for that video, that’s all we can say. Cheers, Applemask.


4 .:

Mark X said...

Note to anyone with a sorely lacking grasp of reason: The angry part of this blog post in no way reflects my actual stance on people doing comedy Joey Deacon voices, or rolling around in dog poo. I am making "a point".

Anonymous said...

I don't particularly find it funny either. And I'm not really a fan of the Beatles. Not that I find it horrible or offensive, just maybe mildly amusing. Can't Shaun just get back to doing proper comedy shows? Newstopia just doesn't quite do it for me.

Word verification was:

Anonymous said...

This is a very sad compilation of stupidity. I thought the sketch/song was perceptive - that is, pointing out that Paul McCartney's excessively cheery, folksy style was diametrically opposed to Lennon's ponderous profound posturing. (There are some people who think Imagine is just not that great a song, just a blank canvas on which people paint their own heavy, undirected emotions)
(Not me of course)

sonofajoiner said...

"(There are some people who think Imagine is just not that great a song, just a blank canvas on which people paint their own heavy, undirected emotions)
(Not me of course)"

But me of course.

Youtube commenters are almost as lacking in self-awareness as those folks who start facebook pitchfork mobs where peeps fantasise about committing violent murder because they are deeply opposed to violent murder. A la all the Maddie and Baby P groups in existence.

As a coincidental aside I would just like to mention that my word verification asked me to type nonsce.


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