Monday, May 17, 2004

The Case of Rosa Meriläinen

The latest political farce in Finland has been the case of MP (Green Party) Rosa Meriläinen. She foolhardily confessed in a magazine interview that she happened to smoke some weed at a party a year or so ago, and subsequently became a target of hypocritical tabloid mania and excessive finger-pointing, also by the members of her own party. The current logic and general level of public discussion being "drugs are bad because they are bad", of course Rosa had to be crucified in the name of law, order and upholding public morals; her also being a Parliamentary Member making it extra-bad.

I have to confess I wasn't previously a big fan of Rosa. I used to think her as just another political wannabe trying desperately ram into the corridors of power. I remember an incident years ago, when she handed out her election flyers, smiling her ever-sweet smile, at a local student union club, to yours truly, and me just furiously tearing those into shreds after she had gone. I just can't stand people who push themselves too much; I only thought Miss Meriläinen was a big nuisance. But what do you know: pushing hard seemed to do its work, and she found herself finally being an MP. Somehow I started to gradually in a funny way to respect her, after getting acquainted with her notorious but frank net diary and her refreshingly non-conformist antics in the venerable Finnish House of Parliament (e.g. wearing a badge saying "Cunt smells good"; in her weblog, she referred to the Parliament’s Administrative Committee as a "dog-poo committee", etc.) But in the formal and stiff world of politics, such behaviour is naturally out of question; as sad as it is, it could be said that Rosa had it coming. The system just does not tolerate loose cannons; being too honest for your own good will only harm you eventually, unless you learn to play along the rules of the game -- become another slick teflon career politician churning out hollow statements to media while giving out of real you as little as possible, while making sure of keeping your hard-earned mandate, and taking care of all vested interests.