Politicians are the masters of spin. We see them on TV giving rousing orations full of sound and furry, we see them standing proudly at podiums in imposing, elegantly designed government buildings commanding the respect of generals, judges, reporters and everyone in attendance as they recite the words carefully crafted by teams of speech writers. This pageantry is designed to convince the public that they are honest, trustworthy and wise so that we will compliantly accept the latest tax increase, regulation or war. They are the personification of stately–a word which has its origins in the late 1300s and meant “noble, splendid,” in a sense of ”costlyand imposing display.”
The viral video of the day features Czech President Vaclav Klaus ”stealing” the ceremonial pen used to ink a new deal with Chile. The sticky fingered leader’s spokesman was quick to point out that his boss had a right to the pen based on international customs but that did nothing to curb people’s fascination with the footage.
This video amuses us because it offers a glimpse behind the meticulously crafted and usually impeccably maintained facade. In it we see the true nature of all politicians; they see something they want and when they think everyone is distracted, they take it and hide it under the table, out of sight as they pass it from hand to hand waiting to see if anyone notices. Then, they tuck it away in their pockets. In this video, the facade crumbles and we see something reminiscent of a school boy trying to lift a piece of candy from the teacher’s desk with all the grace and cunning of Wile E. Coyote. We like this video for the same reasons we are captivated by Charlie Sheen’s tailspin or whatever is the latest thing on E! News. This is the beauty of the market in the digital age; long gone are the days in which bureaucrats can control when, where and how they are seen. There will always be someone around with an iPhone or Droid or whatever, ready to record their every gaff and misdeed in brilliant 1080p HD and share it with the entire world in minutes.