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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Celebrity guff reaches new heights

OK, so I'm clearly not the only one who wonders why it is that -- insofar as they are not speaking in a professional capacity, be it as an actor about the theatre, a pop singer about recording studios, or a wannabe cockney cook about jellied eels -- celebrities are afforded media coverage and perhaps even reverence when they pontificate from the same perspective as an average member of the public (ie, cluelessly) giving their views on certain matters with which they may or may not be familiar. As Spiked say, they’re entitled to spout nonsense views on a subject as much as the next person, just as we’re entitled to question, ridicule or ignore them. But why have the public utterances of people like Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna or Jamie Oliver acquired such significance? Why do we think that because someone is, say, a pop star that their opinions on anything are worth listening to? You don't have to go the absurd extremes of Irish tax-avoider Bono or capitalist entrepreneur St. Bob lecturing us on poverty to find examples that ought to engender a double take.

This absurd trend in modern life reached a new low a couple of weeks ago, when I heard an actor who plays a teacher in a movie being asked (by the BBC, no less) about education policy. I don't know what the show was, but I think it was on Radio 5. I flipped on to it in the car and at first I assume it was an interview with some sort of education expert, but after a few minutes realised that that it was an actor. The actor turned out to be former rent boy Rupert Everett, who is in the movie St. Trinians, which looks absolutely ghastly in every respect. Fortunately, the reviews are so bad that it won't be in your cinema for long, if it hasn't already gone to DVD. Only another person removed from reality (ie, a BBC employee) could imagine that we would be interested in Rupert's declaiming about schools, education and the learning process. Personally, I don't care what Rupert Everett thinks about anything at all (least of all matters of public policy), but who am I against the crowd. Still, I nearly choked on my Yorkshire Gold when I heard him talking about everyone packing children off away to school at the age of seven. No, that's not everyone Rupert, it's nobs like you. Most of us rather like our children, so still have them at home.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

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