Sunday, January 27, 2008

Celebrity meltdowns are we to blame (BBC)

You may have noticed Britney Spears having a meltdown all over the trashy end of the media. The BBC have written an article which basically asks whether we are to blame for this celebrity culture.

The expert they consult suggests that these are modern day fairy tales or morality tales. We can all look at these people and say that is what happens to you if you do X, Y and Z. A kind of internal verification that if you act irresponsibly you don't get a happy ending.

Are we kidding ourselves really? After all lots of people don't end up like Britney but are just as bad. The thing is they don't get caught out.

Are such stories a bitter pill designed to keep everyone else in there place. After all that is essentially what a morality tale is.

"But we also want to know what it's like to live to the point of destruction, to experience the thrill of it without actually having to do it ourselves, and that's where Britney and co come in."
- Phillip Hodson, a fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
So basically we know the result and therefore do not need to carry out the experiment. Although there are some things that any normal person could work out from first principles. It is not rocket science is it.

"Britney is a victim of an exploitative industry, a sensationalist media, and a public who seem to enjoy voyeuristically the troubles of superstars and celebrities."
-Marjorie Wallace, Sane
Yes, sadly the public are guilty as charged. It is compulsive car crash compulsive viewing, you have to watch even though you know what is going to happen next.

What's the answer? There is none we need morality stories to show what happens when things go wrong, but does it really need to be headline news? Morality stories don't need to be current affairs, in fact the best stories live longer than the current news day.

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