Every day, without fail, some celebrity or public figure will be quoted spouting a meaningless or disingenuous off-the-cuff cliché, to either big himself up or excuse some misdemeanour. Or simply to gull the public. From now on, then, we’ll be highlighting this sort of egregious shit in this brand! new! ‘Fatuous Phrase of the Week’ spot.
This week it’s one that has always got my goat: ‘battling my demons’. I hate this phrase partly for its ubiquity and partly for political reasons. Slebs are always telling us they’re ‘battling with their demons’ and by so doing are attempting to get themselves off the hook. Poor old Brooks Newmark MP used it this weekend when it was revealed he’d sent another woman a photograph of his undoubtedly impressive and upstanding member. Yes, he admitted, I did – I’ve been ‘battling my demons’.
This conjures up in my mind the sight of several infernal imps pulling Mr Newmark’s trousers down around his ankles, and then one or two of them grappling with his todger while the other two sort out the camera. But it was all rather more straightforward than that, Brooks, wasn’t it? You grappled with your own todger and you took the photo. No demons were involved. No demons were harmed in this incident. It was not something extraneous to you, it was a failure of willpower. We all have failures of willpower, me as much if not more than the next man. But let’s call it what it is. Battling my demons is modern wank-speak for ‘misbehaved and wish to pass it off as an illness, or a simple aberration.’