29 October 2009

The Fan Club

There has always been this bizarro cult of personality thing to Danny Williams’ supporters.

They worship him as if he was a celebrity.

Some out here in the rest of the world – your humble e-scribbler included – have taken to calling the truly hard core cultists The Fan Club.  They make comments all over the Internet faithfully  pushing whatever line is currently on the go from the Club directors or simply attacking anything that they think undermines the gloriousness of their idol.

They’ve got a language of their own, too, but that’s another story.

Six years in, though, the Fan Club doesn’t have quite the same impact as it once did.

Take the past 24 hours with two examples.

Not so very long ago, the sort of attack on supposed foreign demonios being launched by Hisself and the Fan Club  against Hydro-Quebec (again) would be spreading like wildfire.  For examples of the Fan Club talking points, just check the comments sections at the Telegram, CBC or even here at Bond Papers.

Not so this time.

This is all old hat around these parts and ordinary taxpayers seem to be having a really hard time connecting a theoretical issue in far off New Brunswick to real-world issues in this province and in their lives. 

People have built up an immunity to the same old, same old.

Now that’s really interesting because the immunity is really at the heart of the results in the Straits by-election.  Hisself framed the whole thing around the same old, same old:  look at all the riches I brought you.  $137 million.  Show me how much you appreciate that by voting for me.

Well, they didn’t. 

A couple of thousand people didn’t and likely lots more didn’t who just never bothered to show up at the polls.  A monumental effort worthy of the most grandiose display of the faltering Smallwood empire failed to motivate enough to win the seat as it has every time since 2001 in the Straits and on the overwhelming majority of other similar cases across the province ever since 2001.

That’s not good.

Nor is it good that the Hydro-Quebec attack – another same old, same old – ain’t working either. 

That is intended for two purposes:

First, it lets Hisself vent his frustration that the Lower Churchill just isn’t happening. 

Second – and perhaps most importantly -  it is supposed to help change the channel and get people’s mind off the disaster in the Straits.

But it isn’t doing that second thing.  The ordinary taxpayers seem to have caught on.

Meanwhile, there is another problem for the Fan Club beyond the fact their usual stuff just doesn’t work any more.

As he left, Trevor Taylor provided his membership in the Fan Club by praising Hisself to the highest heights on every level.  Hisself returned the favour in his comments about Trevor.

Until the loss in the Straits.

Now party insiders are spinning the story to local media – see David Cochrane’s report on Wednesday’s Here and Now, for example –  that the whole loss was Trevor’s fault.

That sort of stuff just isn’t going to sit well with a whole bunch of people who haven’t joined the Fan Club but who like the stuff Hisself puts out.  They’ve been buying his CDs for a few years now just like they’ve bought The Other Blue Note CDs before. 

But maybe not so much any more.

Not, that is, if people like Trevor are getting blamed for stuff they really didn’t do.

Fan Club takes on a whole new meaning when it’s the fans getting clubbed.