Ladies and Gentlemen of the interweb, I must confess, this blog has been so barren as of late because literally nothing as happened, and as someone who is usually very particular about the usage of literally (no you didn’t “literally” die laughing you cretin), I’m sure you appreciate the seriousness of the situation. No major events have taken place for me to lampoon, no particular branch of society has been especially annoying (they’ve all been equally banal), even the internet is no longer serving as a source of endless consternation and woe for the future of humanity. In short, things aren’t better, but I’m just used to them being shit.
But then, I had a conversation with a friend who shall remain anonymous, (it was Lizzie Nash) who revealed to me in an ill judged moment of honesty that she was leaving to go and watch the Kardashians. Bingo, there it was, something to hate, something that I had loathed aeons ago but had allowed to fall into passive acceptance over time, something to write about. I personally couldn’t give a shit who the Kardashians are, who they claim to be, where they come from, whatever sob stories they have to tell, as far as I’m concerned they are a living embodiment of everything that is wrong with everything. Ever.
I’m going to divide my hatred of the Kardashians (I’m going to shorten that name to the K’s from now on, saves me time/stops me from throwing up a little in my mouth every time) into two prongs, because there are two main reasons why they/the programme are really starting to piss me off.
First up, television. When John Logie Baird first started demonstrating his miraculous moving images in 1925 in Selfridges in London, I doubt he paused and thought to himself “Hm, I say, this machine will be jolly good for transmitting utter shit directly to the minds of the people, good job John.” Truth be told I have no idea what he said about his invention, and I’m too lazy to look it up, but I do know a fair bit about television. TV has brought us closer to the rest of the world than ever before, it’s taken us to the front line of wars, it’s shown us revolutions as they happen and the rise and fall of dictators, it is a source of instantaneous news and a powerful window into the joy and suffering of billions of real people.
It’s the medium that has made the careers of hundreds of hugely influential thinkers and entertainers, brought us programmes like Star Trek, Dr.Who, The Sopranos, The Wire, The Simpsons, Futurama, Friends, Firefly, Life on Mars, Frasier, Monty Python, and hundreds of others, and it has been utterly sullied by the all pervasive plague of the celeb. For every great show like Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad we’re treated to umpteen more atrocities like the aforementioned K’s, Honey BooBoo (who is apparently the offspring of a walrus and Veruca Salt), The Real Housewives of x (there are numerous variations), The Hills, TOWIE, and one of the worst offenders, Made in Chelsea. TV was once a noble source of entertainment and information, we learnt from television, we laughed at television, we cried at shows like Band of Brothers, but now TV has apparently been boiled down to programmes that deal with “reality” in a way that is supremely unrealistic and squeezes borderline masochistic complicity from its viewers as they eagerly await the next dose of utter hogwash like the servile residents of a horrible dystopian future ruled over by a gigantic androgynous perma-tanned Geordie.
My second point is simply this, why do the people of today feel the need to do this to themselves? Two hundred years ago people my age kept themselves busy by either working, playing with hoops, reading (if they could afford it), maybe sneaking out to talk to the bonny lass next door. A hundred years ago they would have been marching off to war, or gathering around the wireless to listen to news from the front. Now? They conglomerate in groups in Starbuck’s, not to talk, but to stare blankly at their iPhones as they crush candy and Instagram their way through another day. Culture is the preserve of but a few who are deemed pretentious or weird, the cool kids have no time for theatre when there’s Vines to watch. Creativity is for other people, we’re only here to consume.
The celebrity culture I’ve been railing against is merely a symptom of this pandemic, a sign that Generation Y or Z or whatever the fuck we’re on now is doomed to be forever remembered (or rather forgotten) as the generation that did nothing. Perhaps we’ll go down in history as the generation who first demonstrated humanity’s hitherto hidden addiction to screens, with cartoons and cereal toys forming integral parts of our childhood, or perhaps as the generation who simply fizzled into an amorphous collective of nothingness and Hollister hoodies, but no one will look back on us as thinkers, creators, revolutionaries.
However, I feel that underneath it all there lies something else, and it’s something that’s essentially human that cannot be denied, ambition. Much like the god awful tumblr full of rich kids that I wrote about some time ago, all of this hysteria is seemingly just fuelled by the fact that people want to be the people they see. They want the jet set lifestyle, the insane nights out, the injection of drama into their mundane lives, naught but escapism and desire, and though it’s a fucking huge waste of time, it’s arguably forgiveable. Just.
But watching, even acknowledging, a woman who has made millions off a mediocre sex tape (seriously, it’s not even worth watching) waving her dirty laundry in public while ending up in a relationship with a man who has the most insane god complex ever? Yeah, go fuck yourselves.
Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.
The whole celebrity culture thing – I’m fascinated by, and repelled by, and yet I end up knowing about it.
XOXO, The Fabulous! Indian.