Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rage Against The Audience

There is an old video of Zardari Jr. going absolutely nuts, ballistic, at a taqreer he gave to a gathering of PPP party-workers. The dude screamed so loudly down the microphone that even I had to take my headphones out. I couldn’t but help feel sorry for the PPP audience as they winced, yet somehow resisted - under the smiling yet intimidating gaze of Mr. President - the urge to jam two fingers, squarely, in to both their ears. Perhaps, that moment was when it was more appropriate for the President to tell someone to Shatup!

After having watched the Bilawal video, once the shock had worn off, and the buzzing sound left my eardrums, I tried to understand what the man could have possibly been thinking. I was left with the impression that Jr. was trying his best to match up to the oratory brilliance of his maternal-grandfather, the original Bhutto.

Z. A. Bhutto had mad skills when it came to speech-making; he could get the crowd riled up like no one’s business. Looking back at his speeches, the one thing noticeable is how he would build up the tempo. Starting off slowly, his speech would get more excited, his gestures more animated, and his voice louder. And the crowd would be right there with him. Not only was he great at making speeches, he would understand his audience, and tailor his rhetoric to their preferences. If the audience wasn’t likely to respond, he would let it be. But that is not Bilawal.

Having watched his gramps videos, maybe the thing he took away was: ‘great speeches are loud speeches.’ So, in his speech, he started off loudly, but when he noticed that the crowd was not reacting the way he would have liked, perhaps, he thought, “I should try louder.” When that didn’t work, in his frustration, he decided to dial up his volume to decibel batshit-crazy. Some of the crowd - realizing that if they didn’t show visible appreciation, Bilawal was going to flip his top - got up to give a half-hearted, obligatory ovation. Some even did a little fist pumping – to make absolutely sure that Bilawal was done.

To allow you to compare Bilawal, to the man he tried to ape, I am attaching a clip of a speech by Zulfikar A. Bhutto and then, the one by Bilawal.

His most famous speech, the one I am pointing at, starts
around 1:10 and ends at 1:40

Watch - Bilawal Bhutto Crazy Speech in Urdu - HOW FAKE? in Comedy | View More Free Videos Online at

You might want to lower the volume on your headset for this one.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any hearing loss resulting from this video. All medical expenditures are responsibility of the speech-maker.

P.S. It seems that the 'Bhutto' family's Urdu accent gets stranger with each generation. By the next, we will proudly boast the Pakistani version of freshies. Either that or Bilawal Jr. would have joined Altaf Bhai, in leading his party from London.