Putin, Villas-Boas And Others – By Hamid Ismailov

What have the two big news stories of this week got in common – Putin being elected as the President of Russia and Villas-Boas being sacked as the Chelsea Football Club coach?

The easy answer is Abramovich – who is a subordinate in his relationship with Putin and a master in relation to Villas-Boas.

But my point is not about him, but rather about changes in our social psychology.

In one of my blog entries I said that the life span of news is becoming shorter and shorter.

If we traditionally used to talk about ‘journalism’, now it’s appropriate to talk about ‘houralism’, ‘minutealism’ or even ‘secondalism’ – so fast and snappy is the news nowadays.

In fact the shortening of a life span happens nearly in all walks of our social, public life.

Rock groups are not dominating decades as they used to do during the rise of The Beatlesor The Rolling Stones, but replacing each other within a year.

Who listens now to The Spice Girls – a global phenomenon just several years ago?

The same is with literature – who now reads Dan Brown in the tube – when the epoch belongs to Stieg Larsson?

But be sure, it’s not for long.

There will be another gigantic tide which will take over the world and wipe out him too.

So, all our life is about ever changing trends, brands, names and the speed of it ever accelerating.

Thanks to the ubiquitous internet and mobile telephony it’s not just a Western phenomenon, the whole globe’s lives’ are expecting every year to replace a software or to buy a new gadget.

That must change and changes our overall attitudes.

We don’t stand politicians and policies for too long any more.

Look at the Arab Spring, look at the anti-Putin protests – there is a noticeable fatigue of the population for long lasting masters of their fate.

Even in the West, politicians who have noticed this change of attitude have adopted their policies and systems.

For example, the French presidential term, which was seven years, was shortened to five years.

There are two moments here to ponder about.

Firstly, social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and their language equivalents – which are based not on a master-servant pyramidal – but rather a peer to peer networking relationship have essentially changed the dynamics of inter-social communication.

People are not up for being told what to do and how to do it anymore.

They would rather exchange their own experiences.

Journalism without journalists, self-governing bodies – are all about it.

This dynamic affects families, communities and society.

A parent-child relationship if not crumbling, is being replaced by a kind of equal relationship.

Secondly, having been combined with the shortening life span of our attention it creates a feeling of tiredness of long-lasting loyalties, requiring back-to-back changes.

Even people like President Obama could feel the effects of it.

Whatever you do – you fall victim to that fast coming fatigue.

Though in the case of Villas-Boas being sacked, there is another additional moment – pressurised by the shortening life span of the events around us – we tend to become addicts of a ‘here and now’ attitude.

It manifests itself in across the passion, to wake up a celebrity or a lottery-winning multi-millionaire overnight or like in Abramovich’s case – in a determination to win this year at any cost.

We haven’t discussed here the role of consumerism in all of that, but it’s a matter for another entry.

I hope you could have borne me until here at least:)

*Hamid works and  writes for the BBC World Service blog for Writers as well. To follow more of Hamids works, click on www.hamidismailov.com 

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