Am I the only person on the planet who has not been hoodwinked by the phenomenon that is the ‘celebrity’ entertainment show?
Every time I switch the TV on celebrities are cooking, dancing, skating, eating grubs in the jungle, crying, begging for our ‘all important’ votes, and/or plugging their latest book. I tell you I’m sick of the sights of them. Nearly everyone I know disagrees with me however.
“Yes, but you have to admit it’s entertaining,” my friend Amelia commented after listening to me bemoaning the celebrity high jacking of popular culture, “I mean who wants watch hard-hitting depressing documentaries after a hard days work?”
I could see her point, but there has to be a happy medium somewhere doesn’t there? Celebrities are EVERYWHERE nowadays. The grin inanely at us from magazines, posters, beauty products, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years the whole planet will be ruled by them. Society will become similar to a latter day Roman Empire. Celebrities will enslave non-celebrities and make us buy their books, watch them on TV/films, aspire to emulate them, talk about them in our every waking moment, and …hang on isn’t it like that now?
“It’s like the story of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’,” I told another friend Janet when we met for coffee, “we’re all being duped into believing these people actually have talent and are entertaining.”
Janet frowned, “I thought that was about an Emperor who was tricked into walking through the streets naked ‘cos he thought he was wearing a beautiful suit of clothes.”
“Yes, but think about it. This Emperor is ripped off by these two guys who say they’re tailors. They say that they can make the finest clothes but only the cleverest people can see them right? They obviously have no intention of making the clothes; they just want a quick buck. The Emperor of course can’t see them, but not wanting to appear stupid says that he can. He ends up walking through his crowded realm stark naked. Everyone else not wishing to appear stupid tell him how wonderful the clothes are, until one small boy breaks ranks and tells the truth.”
Janet was still puzzled. Wasn’t it bloody obvious? I launched into quite a loud explanation:
“Well, the celebrities are the tailors out to make a fast buck for doing nothing, and us lot are the Emperor,” I said, “Don’t you see that’s what our lives are like now? We eat sleep and dream celebrity shows, unable to see reality. We talk about them at work, school, on the tube…everywhere! The celebrity culture is taking over our very lives. If we don’t watch them, or read about them, then we’re out in the cold…our lives are meaningless. We desperately need more small boys prepared to tell the truth!”
The coffee shop had gone very quiet during my rant, until polite coughs and whispers suddenly broke the silence. It’s funny, but this week Janet didn’t want to meet up for coffee, said she had something else on.
I can see why people may think I’m a bit crazy, but I’m so angry about the state of our light entertainment today. It’s hard to be a lone voice under the constant attack of celebrity this, that, and the other in nearly every newspaper and conceivable form of media. It’s much easier to slip into a warm, mind numbing bath of frivolous banality. Ah yes, that’s much better…
And the money they earn! They get a huge fee for appearing in strictly this and dancing on that, and then they get air time on breakfast TV to promote their book, series, song, or anything else they can think of. What do they actually do to deserve it all? This morning for example a ‘celebrity’ actually had the audacity to use the word ‘gruelling’ when she described the experience of her challenge on a show. Gruelling is working in a diamond mine or a sweatshop in China or somewhere, not poncing about in a kitchen pretending to be a chef! Then they cry like babies if they think they will be voted off, and appeal to the population to keep them in for another week. It’s not as if they don’t have day jobs earning hundreds of thousands a year.
It seems the only programme with mass viewing not featuring celebrities is ‘The X Factor’. I call the ‘celebrity’ shows on TV ‘The Y Factor’. Y do we watch them?