I got into into a, shall we say, discussion, with a friend the other day, about celebrities; their lives, their errors and why they hurt us.
So I decided to share.
Over our lives we’re bombarded by celebrities, their ‘tragic’ lives and their successes. Whether we want to be or not. And I suppose that having your whole life caught on film and sold to the baying masses, for us to gawp and sneer, to laugh and cry, to compare our lives to theirs, it must be hard. But that’s the bargain for fame.
Everything is a bargain, everything. For all things gained, others are lost. For fame, we give up privacy and dignity. For a calm life, we hand over excitement and fame. For hope, we ignore total truth. And that’s not a cynics words, despite coming from a self-confessed cynic, it’s a simple truth.
But, and this is a big but, the lives they lead are sold to us, the lives they sell are one of the things that pay for those lifestyles we dream of having. We want to see their homes and clothes, to enjoy, sigh at, pick over and alternately cheer or jeer, to compare our tastes with theirs.
We see their weddings, their divorces, their triumphs and failures. We watch their children grow, we learn their names and we imagine having lives like that. We dream of having all that they have. And we feel their pain and joy. Most of the nation watched the royal wedding, either with joy or hate, we still stood shoulder to shoulder. Anarchists and royalists, dreamers and workers, hopers, prayers and cynics. We all stood together, we still stand and watch their child grow.
Every paper and magazine in the country told us of Lily Allen and her miscarriage. I watched women on the street read the paper and get teary eyed. They sat in cafe’s and bars, talking amongst themselves, wishing luck and love on Lily and her family. People who would never meet these stars feel they know, and in a way, they do. They see almost every moment of their lives, to us, they’re that random cousin that mum always tells us what they’re doing, how they driving tests went, what they called their kid, everything, the one we’ll never actually meet. But when we get news that they’ve died, we still get a little sad. It’s not a screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth misery, but just a little shove from the sad gland, to remind us they were part of our lives.
And, no mum, I don’t care what my cousin Rob has done with his college degree. I met him once, by accident, at another random relatives birthday party, 15 years ago. I really don’t care. But when she tells me he’s died, if I live longer, I will be a little saddened. Not so much that I can’t cope, but enough that I remember he had a family, children and that they’ll all now have to live without him
Anyway, I’m veering a little off topic. When we read news reports of celebrities cheating or taking over-doses or whatever else they insist on having more money than sense over, we’re ashamed. Not for us, but for them. We collectively sigh, declare we thought they were better than that, or say told you so, it’s just like them, what a moron. We can’t help ourselves. I don’t know if it’s just another British thing, like rearranging letters on signs into swear words, or funny signs outside pubs, but we feel we know celebrities.
We also know the best way to fix the world, or just our own country, put me in power, we declare, and I’d fix everything. So when another country starts getting too big for it’s boots, so we’ve decided, we delight in the little victories.
The Euro-vision song contest, is not a singing contest, it’s a popularity contest. And the loser, normally us or France, occasionally Belgium, is the social equivalent of the ginger snotty kid with the boss eyes and trick knee who never gets picked for the football team. Also, the song we put in is never good. And it’s always kind of embarrassing.
Anyway, this year, Russia has been stepping on a few too many toes. After Putin (terrifying bear-man that he is) declared, basically, that being gay is wrong, that was the final step on a long path of “Oh god, Putin, do you have no survival instinct?” Which, let’s face it, is not good for a man who lives in bear infested, zombie breeding woods where everyone is armed, huge, scary, angry and drunk. So the whole world has been having its little victories, country by country.
The winter olympics saw a huge jump in the amount of people wearing rainbows, international sign of the gay pride movement, glitter and just general fabulousness. The internet has been awash with pictures of Putin with Hitlers hair and moustache, covered in rainbows and on a womans body. It’s been hilarious.
But, now, apparently, the world has gone too far. And Russia is mad as hell. The winner of the Eurovision song contest was a drag queen named Conchita Wurst (real name Thomas Neuwirth). With his glamorous dress, amazing singing and fantastically well groomed beard, he swept up the Eurovision, across twitter and the rest of the internet. The Russian leader of the equivalent of the Liberal democrats is quoted as saying “There is no limit to our outrage. It is the end of Europe. They don’t have men and women anymore – they have ‘it’.”
And that the LIBERAL leader! Gods, can you imagine what the hard-liners are saying?! It’s hilarious, because it’s not us. The majority of the good parts of the internet (iFunny etc) have, rightfully, declared it to be the biggest ‘fuck you’ to Russia since, well, ever.
But have we all gone a little too far? It was easy to mock Kim jung-il because he never left North Korea, we never seriously had to worry about some kind of nuclear revenge. But Vladimir Putin does leave Russia, on a regular basis. Probably because it’s covered in snow, bears, misery and darkness. And extreme weaponry.
This whole farcical debacle could potentially lead to another cold war, just with bigger weapons. And speaking just for me, I’m not sure I want to be ruled by someone who could seriously be called Zuvlinka Deathcrack, or Vladimir Tepid.
It would probably better than anything we have at the moment, but there’s a limit.
Either way, celebrities falling drunk out of cabs is still hilarious, especially after we told them not to drink too much.