April 2, 2006

Who?

I find this happening a lot lately: I pick up a trashy magazine, or I’m perusing the daily newspaper ,and whether an article or a photograph, I’m stumped, along the lines of – “who the hell is that; never heard of them”.

If you’re thinking this can’t be much of a problem, you’re right, of course, but it sure takes away any vicarious fun involved in, for example, going through photo’s of the best and worst dressed “stars” – if you don’t know who any of them are it’s no more fun than looking through pics from the next door neighbors school formal.

Right now, as I type this, I can hear the F1 cars buzzing around Albert Park, as we play annual host to this event, which comes and goes in the blink of an eye. A short while ago, reading the Sunday papers, there was an article about the “celebrity” race that is held as part of the supplementary “entertainment” component of the real racing, the article commences: TV STAR Kim Watkins will battle it out with…” blah, blah, blah. Who the hell is Kim Watkins I wondered in astonishment. I gazed at her photograph willing some recognition, but none came. I had to look her up on the Internet, and yes, she has beamed from on our (local) teevee screens since the precocious age of 12. So, she has clocked-up more than a couple of decades under her stardom belt, go figure.

Several months ago, Graeme Blundell – a local theatre, film, and television actor, who has also created a writing career for himself – mentioned another non-entity “star” in one of his columns. This particular woman calls herself, for reasons best known to her “Jackie O”. Blundell wrote: “…Jackie O is a celebrity because she refuses to believe she isn’t one”.

That’s probably not verbatim, but it’s as best I can recall. It was a momentary and searing skewering of self-anointed stars and celebrities everywhere and the multi-layered delusions of importance and grandeur that accompany these strange folk, who, in the Land of Oz, are “celebrities” all the way from their own front door to their mail box.

On the matter of “real” stars, Gawker.com has been given quite a few inches of press space in which commentators have discussed the wrongs of their somewhat creepy, and, I would venture, entirely superfluous, newly added star stalking feature. But, for all the bellicose bleating, from both the MSM and the stars, the new feature is innocuous, and provides exactly the same brief, forgettable and irrelevant content that every weekly trash mag prints in their regular gossipy columns, and have done for decades – you know the type of stuff: Ange spotted buying baby booties…ooh, ah”, or “Jen carrying groceries as she leaves - gasp - a supermarket”. This is the bread and butter of weekly mags, so while the posts on Gawker may be somewhat more timely, there’s nothing new here, and it would take a very fleet footed stalker to take advantage, particularly as most "spotters" are probably sending a quick tag line about their close encounter to Gawker some time after the moment. Have a look for yourself to see why there is nothing to be fussed about & then scratch your chin wondering why the MSM gave this harmless bit of non-sense such grim and serious coverage.


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