Novak Djokovic has spoken. But should we listen?
Well, yes, if you want advice on how to improve your backhand slice. In that case, there would be few people as qualified as the winner of 20 grand-slam titles to offer you tips. It would, however, be obviously foolish to ask his advice on tackling tricky leg-spin on a grassy Indian wicket. Nor should you give much merit to his opinions of Rembrandt or the novels of Virginia Woolf or Putin’s military options in Ukraine. Any suggestion otherwise is absurd given his lack of expertise in high art, geopolitical, slow-wicket thinking.
Yet we live in the Age of Names. The world arrives before us marketed in extraordinary ways that trump the lived experience. Here’s Paris Hilton on cryptocurrency; Justin Bieber on Non-Fungible Tokens. Next up is Gwyneth Paltrow on US dreadnoughts of the Second World War and here’s another Name with great teeth and immaculate clothes talking gut biology on YouTube. Who in their right mind would not prefer their advice to anything offered by some dour GP with bad breath from behind a chipped NHS issue desk?