The Voodoo That You Do

Last year for Christmas I received socks, a book and a voodoo doll. It confused me greatly – particularly as I had just purchased a whole shed-full of socks and, short of growing a few extra legs – was unlikely to need any more in the foreseeable future. What was doubly disappointing was that no apparent regard was had for the actual items on my Christmas list. Sadly, it appears that my annual request for a Time Machine has become ‘tiresome’.

Still, there is something to be said for the element of surprise. Specifically, ‘what in God’s holy name is this?’ springs to mind, as I tore away the paper to be confronted with a small, featureless doll. It was a gift from my mother in common law who assured me that it was not intended to suggest that I was childish or regressive. Rather, the doll was a simple tool to allow me free access to the world of the black arts. Relieved, I examined the object more closely.

There were no distinguishing features. This was entirely on purpose; to ensure that I could rely on it whenever the need arose. Not for me a voodoo doll burdened with a specific identity – that would be wasteful. This was a voodoo doll fit for multiple uses. It meant I could use it to channel dark energy towards anyone – from a sworn enemy to the person that cut me off in traffic on the way to work this morning. If I stored it in the glove compartment, barely an infringement would go by without me plunging the sharp end of a needle into my voodoo doll. ‘Take that, SRZ468!’ I would cry as my car was overtaken in the fifty zone that everyone except me pretends is a sixty around Lakeside Drive. Perhaps I should strap it to the steering wheel rather than leave it in the glove box for ease of access. Rather than shout abuse at red-light running cyclists dressed in lycra pants that make them look like human anatomy models, I would both toot my horn and squash my voodoo doll simultaneously.

Notwithstanding the somewhat anonymous nature of my voodoo doll, there was a particular person who inspired the choice of gift – a point reinforced by the fact that a large number of sewing pins had been plunged into the genital area. As I spent the next hour or so removing the worst of them, I began to wonder why it is that there are so many options to wish the worst for people and so few to hope for the best. Nobody creates a doll for the sole purpose of wishing somebody well.

Back when I attended Flinders Christian Community College, dabbling in the black arts was something that, if not prohibited outright, was certainly frowned upon. However, I had no need for voodoo then, for I had something much better. I had a band. Not just any old band, either. Ours was a twelve legged rock machine of great renown called 20/20 Vision and I held the esteemed position of ‘lead singer’. You could say that I was the Justin Bieber of Tyabb, if not the greater Westernport area. And, if you did, I would probably feel compelled to hunt you down and extract some kind of revenge.

Last week it was announced that Justin Bieber has been the subject of more internet searches in the past year than any other human being on the planet. He outranks President Obama by a factor of three or more. I find this absolutely astounding. For those of you over the age of twelve and, therefore, possibly unfamiliar with his work, Justin is a sixteen year-old singing sensation who has sold millions of copies of his debut album ‘My World.’ Whilst such a title really ought to be more specific (is it Dreamworld, Sea World or Disney World?) given his age and experience, you’d be forgiven for assuming that such a CD could only really last three or four minutes at most. It’s a ridiculous title, right up there with The Shaggs and their memorably titled debut album ‘The Philosophy of the World’.

Being a teenage singing sensation is no easy thing. It rarely ends well. From Frankie Lymon to Leif Garrett, it’s a kind of success that rarely survives into adulthood. Worse still, it’s the type of popularity that guarantees that some people will dislike you intensely as a matter of principle. Not that they need a voodoo doll to wish you bad luck – the internet will suffice.

Firstly, there was the campaign to establish the words ‘Justin Bieber Syphilis’ as the top ranking item on a Google Search list. Other efforts include the bog-standard manoeuvre of replacing photos with pornographic images. Personally, I find that quite infantile. There are, however, other pranks I cannot help but admire. As part of the promotion for his apparently longer-than-four-minute album ‘My World’, fans were asked to vote for the country that Justin should tour first. The winner? North Korea. Whilst you’d be forgiven for assuming that this was the result of a nasty on-line campaign, it’s also possible that a certain Kim-Jong Ill pulled out all the stops to get a little Bieber action in downtown Pyongyang. Justin’s subsequent refusal to go has – let’s been honest – probably set back relations back further than the end of the popular TV series M*A*S*H.

I doubt that regular people in North Korea have much access to the internet, but I bet they have an ample supply of voodoo dolls. Poor old Justin Bieber. That said, if nothing else it would explain the high-pitched nature of his singing voice.

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