There’s nowt so queer as folk, so they say. And it would seem that those who get themselves vexed about climate change protests/protestors are the queerest of the lot.
With a number of the problems in the world, some people can distance themselves, by dint of: ‘It’s happening somewhere else/to someone else…’ With this problem, there is no escape. Or indeed, ‘No Planet B’ (I see a usage of this excellent term from Ecowatch as early as 2013, it may well have been around before that). And yet some, frankly deluded, souls get incredibly bogged down in matters such as; ‘the roads are blocked’, ‘rich celebrities are getting involved’ and ‘all the climate change protestors are white and middle class’ [NEWSFLASH! : Probably the white middle classes will be the last to suffer when the Earth reaches the point of no return. So they might, in fact, NOT be acting out of their own best interests].
All of this crystallises in some of the responses to Greta Thunberg. They don’t like the way she sounds, or looks, or doesn’t smile. They don’t like the fact that she comes from a well-to-do background. They don’t like the fact that her mum represented Sweden in the Eurovision. (Her mum wasn’t in Abba though. Which is about as far as most people get when asked to name famous Swedish popstars). They don't like that MORE than they don't like the fact that her mother is a famous opera singer. They don’t like the fact that her mum wrote a book, the publication of which coincided with Greta’s first school strike, which they suspect makes it a publicity stunt (a very long stunt by Greta, I have to say. Several months long). There's also a reference to an article somewhere about the deliberate construct of a ‘cultural icon.’
Greta is, they declare, a PUPPET. A mere mouthpiece for dark forces behind her, who are manipulating her for their own ends. (I read one intriguing piece that described Greta’s meteoric rise as Acts I to VI imbued with tones of Machiavellian dread. As if she were a Shakespearean tragedy.) Having seen her speeches, I think it is unlikely. She may have received assistance in writing them, but so have many public figures. A lot of 16 year olds, thrust into prominence in the public eye, would have their own chat show by now. In which they appear with dazzling teeth and new hairstyle, a la X Factor contestants, who look NOTHING like their original selves come the live shows. Greta remains true to herself. And that is what irks a lot of people.
Even if she were 'a puppet', we shouldn’t give a flying &*%”! Concentrate on the message, why don't we?!! Frankly, I’d be happy if you wheeled out Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy to deliver the message, as long as the brattish children in charge of our countries were as grown up as the younger generation who are trying to make a difference.
On a small sidenote, I noticed this week that the ‘too posh’ to be relevant has also been applied to Fleabag. We can’t empathise with her because she’s rich, apparently. (As is the creator) And she invites that empathy by looking at the camera. I don’t remember that objection with Peep Show or The Office, which both did that. Oh yes, silly me, those had male leads. So that was probably alright. Nor do I see much anguish about how to relate to Eastenders (pumped into our homes for hours every week), if you're not from that social demographic. If you don’t like Fleabag, fine. But don’t make it a massive class issue. (Yes, I’m posh, so I should shut up). For the record, I liked Fleabag because it was inventive, had some very funny bits and also some spot on observations about women (whatever background they are from).
especially relating to motherhood.