Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Episode 35: YouTube

You know me. You followed me around the country. You loved me on the TV when I had you in stitches with jokes about my penis. You followed me in the tabloids, you supported my charitable works. Then you didn't. I don't know why, you made me a pariah. Now, I have people who love me again. So much that they made me their mayor. This is my new story, From Under Dark Clouds.



Two cuts of my campaign video had been made, one in Greek, for the electorate, one in English, to leverage foreign public opinion with my considerable celebrity. Both had been put up on YouTube. It began with a montage of stills of me working with the young start-ups at the incubator, talking to the businessmen and women about the new business park and at the Town Hall Towers giving the displaced and dispossessed of the community a new start with a roof over their heads.

The voice over was warmly fluent with the merest hint of a Greek accent, probably similar to how I sound in Greek.

His tireless work as mayor has proved to our community that while he is new to our country, he is a New Greek, a man of conviction and dedication to the home he has adopted as the people of our town have adopted him. He has given hope to young Greek talent, helping them to build a future from their entrepreneurial dreams.

Pictures of me huddled with the kids at the Start-up Shed sessions. I love working with those kids, they truly are the hope of this country’s tomorrow. I did look nurturing.

His support of those who need the helping hand of the community. Greek family and community is the envy of the world and this is something that he fully understands.

I do.

He believes in second chances and so he has begun a programme of commandeering vacant and unused public buildings for the homeless, who have lost their jobs and homes. Where the crippling austerity has forced proud people to their knees. He has given hope.

Some fantastic shots of me with the priest at the opening of the Town hall Towers, helping the residents in with their furniture. My back still reminds me of that day. And a wonderful picture of Despina with her son holding the hugest bread-stick you ever saw.

And the new business park that aims to strengthen the backbone of this country, it’s entrepreneurial community. He aims to reduce bureaucracy so companies can prosper and provide work to the people giving them back their dignity.

The stills became animated with the film of workers arriving at thriving businesses, me mingling with them as they worked merrily at doing whatever they were supposed to be doing. They could have been making dildoes for all I knew, the point was that they were happy and employed. The climax was the scene of me with the old guy at the sandwich shop and him delivering his line, dubbed in English, “This is a town where businesses can do business”.

The voice-over pondering, ”This is a New Greek who dares to dream big, big enough for a nation. We trust him, and so can you!”

I slumped back into my chair with a tear in my eye, I don’t mind telling you. I really had done some good shit. They need me.

I wanted to see what the world was making of it so I began to check the British news sites. First I found a piece in The Cerberus by Jude. He had been away for a while but he was checking in from time to time, first journo I really felt I could trust.

The headline said that I was running for the helm of a failed state. Then he referred to me as ‘disgraced ex-comedian’ cheeky fucker! And I would have stopped there but he did go on to mention my good work and argue the point for celebrities taking public office in this world of media savvy politics. He even asked if this was possibly a very natural development. He noted that politicians rise from all walks of life and why would show business be any less relevant than a builder. He left that question hanging at the end of the piece. Quite pertinent.

I scrolled down to the comments, 134! One said that I had been the victim of the fickle British tabloids and the Greek people, who were more humane, had understood my honest potential. Another questioned my qualification for public office in a foreign country but one of the replies pointed out that my wife was from here, the astute Cerberus readers obviously got me. Then a username OwnGoal74 wrote “CIRCUS CLOWN VIES FOR RINGMASTER’S JOB!”

The Daily Mail had pictures of the wife on the beach in her bikini and asked, “Does this qualify (me) for Greece’s top job?”. I browsed the shots, fuck she looked hot! Right click, save image as…, Desktop > Family photos. I didn’t bother reading, it’s the Daily Mail, the words don’t really count.

CNN had reposted the YouTube video and were pretty supportive of my candidacy. That’s what I love about the Americans, they really admire success.

Bloomberg had blanked me all together but the Twitter-sphere was all over it. Some good, some simply disrespectful. “Funiest thing he ever done!” How can he expect to be taken seriously with grammar like that? OwnGoal74 must have been behind “Can a clown run the circus? #Greece” and some wag who asked if my state limo would have a funny hooter and doors that fall off. I refused to rise to the insults. I replied in thanks to the supportive comments. There are still people back home who believe in me, although they could have been Americans. I typed “Maybe I’ll do the same back home;)” then deleted it, shouldn’t get ahead of myself, yet. I did, however post some pictures of the young entrepreneurs at the incubator and the homeless at the Town Hall Towers project with the caption “#Greece: everyone deserves a second chance”. I liked that and started to add #secondchance to all my tweets. You should do too.

Back on YouTube the comments were gathering but after the first few opinions, which were quite balanced, it all devolved into LOLs and trolling about what each other’s mother would do in Greece. I may have met some of them.

All in all, I think it’s going well. You can’t please everyone but who knows, this politics gig could take me back home by public demand, #secondchance. The video had been viewed nearly a hundred thousand times and I got thousands of little thumbs-ups.

I nipped back into the family photos folder just to check that the pictures of the missus had saved in high enough quality. Nice. Then, I found the campaign video in Greek.

The edit was the same, the same narrator, speaking in his native tongue, the still photos segued into the video but now there were the voices of the workers in the dildo factory. I could be heard saying good-mornings and asking them how they were and what they wanted me to do, carefully dubbed in when my back was to the camera. They’d also dubbed my question to the sandwich guy. Oh well, that’s showbiz. I’d spent all day getting that line nailed. NO, I’m going to make an issue of that! The people need to hear ME! I made a note to contact the production company that day and get my voice reinstated.

What I noticed then fumbled my mental pencil. The comments loading spiral stopped, ALL COMMENTS (0) VIEWS 27.

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