Is it just me but does Davos seems like a very unattractive name – somewhere between a disabled Doctor Who villain, a Greek pimp and an industrial bleach – for anywhere, let alone a Swiss skiing resort. I’ve been skiing myself, quite a few times (no need for applause), so I feel I am abundantly qualified to tell you that ski resorts contain more than their fair share of idiots, but it appears there’s usually room for at least one more.
Bad name or not I’m digressing from a point I haven’t even started to make: the last place that needs a sudden injection of extra idiots is Davos and yet there they were this week, bustling around each other like clueless pheasants at the side of a busy motorway. Politicians making false promises and activists making empty gestures (in both cases primarily to make themselves feel better), all orbiting, at least for a few hours, the noxious cloud that is Donald Trump and his arse talk, a man who is many things and none of those things good. This time he was there to hijack the World Economic Forum, an event which in nobody’s world can possibly be anything but an undiluted bore, though frankly he was probably the highlight if what you were after was a bit of entertainment; a clown at a Tupperware convention.
The real draw wasn’t just Trump but the added presence of his nemesis – Greta Thunberg, the brittle grain of sand in the Vaseline of climate change deniers. Please don’t misinterpret me: she’s right and Trump is wrong, but I’m starting to see the odd flaw or two in all things Greta and the general Thun-der-berg that follows her around. For starters I’d quite like to know how she got to Davos – a mountain resort, in the mountains of a landlocked country. Even she would struggle to get there in a wind powered boat, unless she and her hairy entourage had managed to recreate the film Fitzcarraldo. Did she cycle, or jog, or even fly? One way or another she got there off something’s steam because she might be good but she’s not Mary Poppins.
I’m also starting to think that Greta is running out of clichés. She’s wrapped up the problem in lots of little killer lines so often that their impact is starting to fade. If you watch her out of context she looks like she could be one of Jim Jones’ gang, and in saying that I’m not trying to be mean; she just looks a bit unhinged because she’s trying really hard and still not much is happening. She looks like she should be stood outside a clapboard church on the plains of Wyoming, circa 1877, preaching the mercy of God and the weakness of the sinner. She may be righteous and she’s certainly right but one of these days I worry it’ll all get too much and she’ll burn herself out. Pity. As far as I can see. I can’t see far.
What I don’t agree with is the book. I don’t care if books are made from the pulped used toilet paper from a soup kitchen – it’s still paper and we could do with cutting down. These days hardback books are a literary sin no matter how beautiful you might think them. Y’know, not so much saving the planet. Greta has hammered home this point by sanctioning a hardback book containing all her speeches (11/15, depending on the edition) and lots of glossy coloured photos of her being sincere in her role as the most grown up child in history. This has more than a whiff of hypocrisy to it and to go with that book we have needless clinger-on works of fiction and fact for the children that are still pretending to be children such as “Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg’s stand to save the world” and “Greta’s Story: The Schoolgirl Who Went On Strike To Save The Planet”, not to mention “The Greta Thunberg Story: Being Different is a Superpower”. There’s even a “The Official Greta Thunberg “How Dare You” Lined Notebook”, which is just taking the piss really.
Like it or not I suspect that Greta Thunberg is thoroughly failing to use her difference as a superpower. What she’s really becoming is a reluctant celebrity-on-a-spectrum; the mouthpiece for a fractured generation, the bossy head girl of a year group that would rather take naked pictures of themselves. It’s true that she won’t have a huge impact while Trump is still in power, but how would Obama have dealt with it? He’d have had her round to tea and a couple of photos and then carried on like before. What the world has yet to accept is that no one likes to be told what to do and how you’re wrong by an angry child, and that famous children rarely grown up to be pleasant adults. I wish her well but I just can’t see where she can go next. What an odd future she has.
As for Donald Trump, well he’s just a droopy cock.
I can’t see far, but as far as I can see. Etc, etc.
G B Hewitt. 23.01.2020
Thought – that could be the new name of this blog.