Monday, January 30, 2006

Life on Mars, how ordinary girls become celebrities and charities lose out

I am looking forward to watching the next episode of Life on Mars tonight (and not just because it is named after a David Bowie song!), a series where a detective has an accident and finds himself back in the 1970s. I have been really enjoying the series. It is fantastic seeing all the 1970s decor, streets and general stuff. what a sexist society though! Idon't know whether it was really as bad as that or whether they have exaggerated it to make good viewing - if not - then thank god things have changed. Society has a lot of faults right now but they portray the 1970s as being positively brutal.

I am not entirely enamored with society and popular culture at present. In fact I find the current culture of celebrity and obsession with appearences somewhat repulsive. More and more people are seeking fame just for fames sake and a quick fix for their problems.

It used to be that most people who became famous had a talent for something - either for telling a good story, musical ability, a great voice, artistic skill, talent as a dancer or athlete, skill as a mathmetician, scientist or inventor or performing some heroic deed. Sure there were people who were just famous, usually those who were rich and frivolous. But more and more people just seek fame for fames sake. I think it has a lot to do with mass media and the fashion industry. Models earn vast amounts of money just for looking good (or so it seems) and todays youngsters want a piece of that. Magazines like hello, Tatler, New Woman, Now and Hot all feed a starry eyed youth picture after picture of celebs like the Hiltons (famous for being rich - be honest who would be interested otherwise?), Nicole Ritchie (famous for having a rich, famous father), previous big brother contestents etc getting drunk, partying and generally setting us bad example.

All you need to get famous now is a driving desire to be in the limelight, make a wad of money and behave badly. Just to prove it - a talentless nobody won this years Celebrity Big Brother and is now £25, 000 better off. Lucky her you might think - but hang on a minute - had one of the real celebrities one it that money would have gone to charity! Isn't there something wrong there??? I thought the whole point of the show was that celebs made idiots of themselves ( & revive ailing careers) to raise money for charity. Yes I know they made 45 grand for charity on the phone lines but you can't deny that charties would have been 25 grand better off if it wasn't for Chantelle. Maybe Endemol should match that amount - I'm sure they can afford it, or maybe Davina should I'm sure the fact that she kept saying on air that wouldn't it be funny if a non celeb won it may have swung the votes somewhat.

In a way the whole charde that has been this year's cebrity BB has served us a timely reminder of how c**p, shallow and ridiculous reality tv really is. Why the f*** is it called reality tv anyway? There's nothing real about it. What's realistic about being locked in a house for weeks on a end with a bunch of people you have never met before and probably don't even like, with nothing to do but eat, sleep and argue. Even the shows that supposedly film stars everyday lives (like the Osbournes) can hardly be called "reality". There's nothing normal about having a full tv crew in your house, just the very act of them being there will change your behaviour, and of course the tapes are cut very carefully because they couldn't possibly show everything, there just isn't time. Of course how those said stars get along with the film crew and the director and producer will also influence what the end show will look like - so basically it's not real at all. It reminds me of those very virtuous dilemmas they have on Star Trek where they want to help prevent some catastrophe but can't because it will change the future of the universe.

On a lighter note I thoroughly enjoyed watching Top of the Pops last night, although I wasn't too impressed by Richard Ashcroft's new single (or his shiny black jacket). I did enjoy The Ordinary Boys though. The presenter likened them to Madness and although I can see what he means I thoiught that they were more like the Specials. Definitely shades of Ska in there. I also really liked the Magic Numbers, I will have to listen to some more of their stuff.

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