There had never been a time when so little information has been provided to so many for so little purpose. The amount of the internet that has been cordoned off by the celebrity gossip section must be second only to porn at this stage. I am a hypocrite, obsessed as I am with sports which comes a close third. But sports to me seems like a more tangible idea that is worthy of obsession. Most people grow up playing at least some sports, whether they enjoy them or not is a different story. But how many people have any real brush with celebrity?
This is what I find baffling and I am not going to single out any of the most obvious targets because they have been well and truly covered. But how do people manage to sustain a very successful career based on nothing but bluster? I guess it is the perpetual motion machine that the more they are on the more they are fueled to go forwards. Also there must be some people who view them as aspirational figures whose career path they could follow.
The thing that I find sad about it is how much media attention it garners. To the point that it drowns out a whole array of endlessly interesting achievement and discovery. There are still many politicians working who genuinely care about the future of their country and the people inhabiting it. But what are the chances of them being able to promote a positive news story. They managed to create and implement a policy that could have a positive effect, they debated and discussed with opposition both inside and outside their parties and came to a consensus. The chances of something like this receiving widespread media coverage are somewhere below 1%. However catch them in a bed they are not supposed to be in and wall to wall, constantly updated, live from the scene action ensues. We can only blame ourselves though, whenever you look at the most read, most watch or most listened you can clearly see where the reality of our conscious lies. We want to blame our politicians for being obsessed with appearance but put yourself in their position. Any decision they make will be used a bat to beat them with in the future. We force them into being automatons without strong opinions because that is the politically prudent course to take. Did you meet with a fellow politician and have an interesting and engaging discussion? Did they clearly and concisely describe their point of view? During this debate did they change your opinion? Well in that case you are a flip flopper, why can you not hold a consistent point of view, how can the public trust you when you do not follow-up on your beliefs.
The double edged sword of celebrity is that we treat everyone as if they are equals, from scientists, politicians to trust fund dilitantes. They all receive equal airtime and varying scales of respect. But in news interviews now you find someone who clearly is constrained by what they can say as a politically prudent measure to safeguard their future versus someone who needs to be as controversial as possible to maintain their income. It is not a fair fight and this is the problem with our celebrity obsession. At the bottom end of the barrel are the people without any discernible talent who are willing to do anything, share anything just to maintain their fame. They are incapable of being embarrassed because everything that happens is a chance to share a story. Something most would find deeply personal and private becomes the ultimate opportunity for a personal story to cash in on. While we are watching most of these people start melding into one and we judge them in a similar manner, so the person who unabashedly shares all manner of information becomes the truth teller. While those with a more reasoned and measured response become seen as shady and cunning. It is not a great way to judge the people we want to run our countries because at the end of the day we will be left with only the terribly narcissistic and desperate fame hungry morons.