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Anorak | Joey Barton continues legacy of Alexander Graham Bell and Oliver Cromwell

Joey Barton continues legacy of Alexander Graham Bell and Oliver Cromwell

by | 31st, January 2012

JOEY Barton, the QPR player more famous for what he does off the pitch than on it, is writing for the Times . Barton has bult up big following on twitter by way of his barbed tweets and insights into his mind and reading matter.

This is Joey Barton who said:

“I’m not just Joey Barton, the kid from Huyton who plays football for Manchester City and can do what he wants when he steps off the pitch. I have to take responsibility because I’m a role model for kids. And kids will look at that and think, ‘ If he can do that kind of thing, so can I.’”

Barton once stubbed a lit cigar into the eye of Jamie Tandy, a reserve at Manchester City. Barton beat up Ousmane Dabo on the City training ground, punching his victim as lay bloody and barely conscious. No violent trend in following the role model’s antics ensued. It turned out that people were not so easily influenced by Joey Barton, after all.

He was jailed for six months on May 20 for assault and affray. Did anyone beat up a man in the street because Joey Barton had? Barton attacked a 16-year-old, breaking the youngsters teeth. Did anyone do a Joey?

Joey Barton is not a role model. What he is is a man who wants to move on from his past and be better. As he tells it:

“Hopefully, in ten years people will look back and say, ‘He had a troubled first few years but he learnt from his mistakes and he never did those things again.’ Like Roy Keane. He had a lot of problems, going out drinking and fighting. It’s part of the learning process. You make mistakes and it’s how you deal with them. I made a big mistake and it was well documented. I just have to draw a line under it, accept I’ve done wrong and take whatever punishment has come my way.”

Off the pitch, Barton is a celebrity who understands that readers want one thing above all else: to be entertained. If he wants people to remember him a certain way, he needs a new angle. Unlikely to play for England or win anything with QPR, Barton’s career will be defined by what happens off the pitch. Right now it has been a story punctuated by violence. So. Twitter. Can it make us understand Joey Barton and serve as his open diary? He can’t physically assault people on twitter. Twitterland is a place of tight contraints and strict rules. It suits Barton.

The question is: can Joey Barton be a celebrity in anything more than 140 characters or less? Is he just a man best viewed in short one-way bursts created in private and viewed in public?

Today, Joey Barton writes for the Times . He gets 892 words:

Last year I realised no journalist was going to tell my tale truthfully. So I’m doing it myself

All journalists are liars? He gets it. Talk about the media and the media will notice you.

I am watching Cromwell, starring Richard Harris and Sir Alec Guinness, on my iPad. Set in England in 1645, it’s a fascinating watch, with meetings, discussions and lots of battles. But here’s the thing: the chain of command was a nightmare. Communication required horseback journeys from Cambridge to Oxford to London to Naseby.

The real Joey is educated. Look, no porn and poker. Barton is steeped in filmic versions of history.

Fast forward to 1876, Alexander Graham Bell is making the very first telephone call. Bell had been competing to win the race to invent and patent this technology and to connect the world. In essence the world has just become a much smaller place. The age of instant communication has begun.

Smoke signals, anyone? The mighty pen? The phonic alphabet? Speaking? Libraries? Hand gestures? Cuneiform writing? Homing pigeons? The postal service? Morse code? Surely other forms of instant

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Posted: 31st, January 2012 | In: Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink