Sunday, 28 December 2014

For Tiernan Douieb: I am not an idiot

Thanks to the wonderful @churlishmeg, I have discovered a great blog post on Nathan Barley. When it came out, I was still a Latin teacher and enjoyed it mostly for the dystopian cynicism.

I thought the 'idiots' in it were a bit exaggerated. Now I work in media. I don't know anyone like the idiots, but I have seen them from afar. 

I do know Dan Ashcroft, though. There's this one freelance writer, getting on a bit, probably talented but hardly setting the world on fire. He comes up with wild, exciting ideas, but people look at him like - WTF. And he has a beard, and his every haircut is a disaster. He has even got a priest's coat that he wears to parties.

The thing is with Dan, is that he is smart but he spends so long looking down on other people, and nursing his failures, that he ignores the good in the world and underestimates his potential. 

As Nathan Barley goes on, Dan became less of a hero and more of a wraith.., lacking the strength to walk away from the idiots, he unwillingly pandered to them. Real life Dan is beginning to get like that - recent blog posts vacillate between mocking idiots and trying to get the attention of people who might save him.

Dan is the tragic hero of Nathan Barley: he is complicit in his own failure. The only hope is to reclaim him as he is in episode one (when he writes a scathing piece) and save him from his later arrogance (when he churns out shit to order).

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