Wednesday 30 November 2011

Celebrity Squares

I don't 'get and never have 'got' celebrity for celebrity's sake. Talent. yes, I'm a huge fan of talent, but there seems so little of it around these days, especially given how much air time appears to be devoted to searching it out, fluffing it up and splattering it (thinly) on our screens. And then mining that talent in search of the much more lucrative nugget of celebrity hidden within.

I remember watching Barrymore building, it seemed, his entire act on a rip-off of John Cleese's silly walk and being unable to discern, sitting quietly amid the guffaws of the rest of you, why such blatant plagiarism was seen as sensational. He wasn't even an impressionist (was he?) but apparently Bobby Davro was/is - I can mention BD because it's nearly pantomime season and twenty-first century panto desperately needs pre-owned impressions of Frank Spencer and Harold Wilson. I am often unmoved by second-hand hilarity in this way because I crave originality. I need newness, I want wowing.

And I do try to take an interest. This week alone I have been exposed for one reason or another to Stacey Solomon and Olly Murs, both of whom I am ashamed to say I 'researched' on Youtube and today, I did the same thing for a 47-second clip of a dog called Benton, or it may have been Fenton - I find it hard to care - who did nothing unusual, but still managed to attract worldwide news attention by simply following a natural instinct for being in the headlines and chased some big rabbits around a park.

'News'? News? This is news today? Have any of you been paying attention to the state of the world? No, you're too busy watching dogs chasing babies using iPads to frighten kittens on skateboards. What is wrong with you????

But I draw the line at spending my time trying to discover what the fuck this 'Bieber' I keep hearing about is; I will never get those precious seconds of my life back. See, I'm forever online, infinitely connected to the wonderful world-wide web of wonder, yet I'm not a slave to it. It's not like I'm on Twitter all the time... Oh. Still, moving on...

It's the same with fashion and this is nothing to do with my seniority; I've never understood popular culture. Back in the nineteen seventies, when everything was suddenly mohair I looked at the price tag and thought, no, no, no, polyviscoseacrylonylonvinyl will do me just fine. Or I could simply wear my ancient woollie ganzie and save a fortune. I just don't get how modern mankind is still in thrall to baubles, bangles and beads.
(Another panto reference there - Aladdin, HMS Sultan, 1991*- see how it all fits?)

So, imagine my sheer, outraged, purple-faced perplexity at the belated realisation that fame and 'celebrity' are used to promote the equally nebulous notion of 'fashion'. Posh Spice sells frocks and her husband flogs specs because you let them!

So, let me get this straight.You buy expensive, sophisticated technology just so you can both watch and communicate to each other about the progress of X-Factor, sneering at the wannabes while envying the sparklier ones. Then you go out and buy magazines to read about their squalid private lives, succumb to the marketing hype in those magazines you paid for and seek out the clobber and bling because everybody else does and as a result of that you have to work longer hours until all you have the energy to do at night is watch mind-numbing celebrity advertainment in order to learn what to wear tomorrow while you clutch a fashionable skinny latte in a manicured hand on the work truck to a job you hate but have to do because the television told you?

There's your world economic problem - and solution - right there.

Next on my fix-list - world peace.

*Writer and director. 
I also won the RN's 'Oscar' for best actor that year when I 'gave' my Joe in John Chapman and Jeremy Lloyd's Keeping Down With the Joneses
See? Something of a celebrity in my own rightJ

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