Mark Liu: Week 2
MARK can’t stop you from voting in the elections today – but he can prove that it is mathematically futile.
Hi all. It’s good to be back. My first column was an incredible success, getting more likes than the “I need feminism” article, proving how I am more popular than the concept of gender equality. I will manoeuvre the social minefield of hot potatoes that is feminism in my column next week – but first I have to talk about this pointless election occurring today.
Firstly, it’s elementarily mathematical. The chances of your vote having an effect are so small that you are more likely to run in the election yourself and win than having your vote count for something (I have statistically proved this but I could not find a way to get the “implies” symbol into a Tab column).
I think we all know deep down that all of it is bullshit too. Politics nowadays is like a spectator sport or a reality TV show, except the celebrities aren’t as fit and it carries the pretension of being important. We all know the only two reasons people are interested in politics is to shout obscenities while reading the Guardian website, and to show off one’s intellectual wang by discussing pseudo-sciences such as macroeconomics.
Meanwhile, my friends and I – scientists, logicians and real intellectuals – discuss important problems, like the islanders with blue eyes problem, or speculating whether the Delorean from Back to the Future could time travel if it was moving on a treadmill (the answer is no, obviously).
The thing about politics is we pretend to be interested in it from an academic, intellectual point of view but we are continually drawn to the political issues that are hip and fashionable and trendy. The perfect example is Maggie’s death, which was the mainstream topic for days.
I don’t get why her death was such a big deal. Important political figures die all the time in Game of Thrones, and people don’t go on about it. Rewind to a little over a year ago when no one cared enough to accompany me to see the Meryl Streep biopic, The Iron Lady 3D. Apparently, it’s an important era to discuss through long self-righteous Facebook wall posts, but not enough to pay £10 for (£18 if you include popcorn and a fizzy soft drink, both of which are necessary for the full cinematic experience). It did end up being an awful movie. Much worse than Iron Man 3, but slightly better than Iron Man 2.
Suddenly, she dies and everyone is now a Northern working-class student with Northern working-class parents from a Northern working-class town, which had been raped and pillaged by the hordes of the Great Khan, Genghis Thatcher, so they can feel better about being an asshole for celebrating her death. Then, everyone chimes in with whatever opinion they have about her: “Hey, she was an old woman and a grandmother,” “Hey, she was a cunt,” “Hey, if it weren’t for her we’d all speaking Argentinian.” I just sat there wishing that George Lucas had died instead so people would go on about a mixed legacy I actually care about.
Now, Thatcher’s death has become old news, and the exact same cycle happens around election time. People become politically motivated for a single day, because they are mere puppets of BBC news and hashtags. I will watch the election, but I don’t really care about the outcome – I just enjoy a good numbers race. It’s the same reason I only watch the results of Eurovision.
You can vote if you want – I am physically unable to stop all of you – but don’t pretend you’re better than anyone for doing so. Don’t flood my news feed with your “I voted today!!!” updates and a faded Instagram of your used polling card. Because, as we all know, that is exactly how Hitler got into power.