May Challenge: Stars

The world of celebrity seems to have become massive business. Everywhere you look there are updates on people from the latest reality TV show. It masquerades as ’real news’, frequently reaching the headlines of daily news broadcasts and papers.

I think it serves as a distraction. The world feels like it is getting more violent and that we should be scared. Global warming, nuclear weapons and political nightmares, can really affect a person’s well-being. The news has become something that runs constant, we get information on social media and there are constant updates on TV and radio too. Sometimes it feels that every time you look at your phone or TV, you are reminded that the world is falling apart, and there is very little we can do about it.

So, I can see why celebrity culture has become more popular. It’s easier to focus on the ins and outs of the Kardashian clan, than the continuing fallout over Brexit. It’s easier to plot on who a certain Youtuber is dating, than plot on how you are going to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s all distraction.

But this area of distraction is worth millions to the right people. And it feels so obtainable, something that anyone can do. You no longer need a particular talent, just the right personality. The worlds of podcasts, YouTube and Instagram, making fame almost in reach for millions. People want to make videos for a living, something that wasn’t even a thing when I was a kid. It’s great, that people are yearning to be creative, but that’s not why a lot of people do it. They want the red carpet events, the campaign parties and the top-of-the-range cars.

The thing is, celebrities make what they do look easy. It’s not. People like to think that life would be easier without their standard normal job. The work you do, would still be there, but you couldn’t just clock out and forget everything. You would have to work almost 24/7. And that would be super hard. I said earlier that people can find the news can effect their well-being. Well, that will all still be there too.

Life is hard. Maybe a little distraction can be a good thing.

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This post is part of a May prompt which is explained here, feel free to join in or pick one or two topics, to get your own creativity flowing. 

Media Hate Mongering

If you know me personally, I love to think that I can try to get on with everyone. I feel that every person has to have some good in them. Every person is someone’s child, sibling or parent, no different from myself in that way. Despite what people say about it being a deluded way to live my life, I find it comforting that every person has the same internal core. They have the same feelings, it is just that they may think a different way.

This has come to my head today, after the recent outpouring of negativity about Josie Cunningham, who went to the press reporting that she’d abort her 19 week pregancy to get on Big Brother. As mentioned in the article, Josie has previously caused anger because of her £4,600 boob job she got out of the NHS. People hated this young woman, and some even sent her death threats, which in the current world of anonymous led social media, is no longer unusual. Now, as it is publicised that she is having a very late abortion, for a TV show, she is back to getting death threats and blind hatred from people who nothing about her apart from the headlines seen in tabloids.

There is so much about this that makes me uncomfortable. First, how a young woman is made into a public hate figure by opertunist PR companies, namely one called Celebrity Culture, who represent Ms Cunningham. Who describe themselves as:-

Unlike many other companies, we embrace the new age of Celebrity and work closely with national media to raise clients profiles and maximising earning potential… We pride ourselves in attracting national and international media attention and gaining visibility for our clients with the public via various mediums including tabloids, magazines, Tv, Radio and various forms of social media and cyber based platforms.

So, how much of this is controlled by the PR company? Because they certainly have ‘gained visability’ for Ms Cunningham. And the media, working with this PR company, have created this buzz around a making an idea of a person who is as horrible as possible. Because, you don’t need to browse very far in the world of online media, to find another woman rolled out to be as offensive as possible. Why? Because women bitch about other women, women hate on other women, women like to think they are better than other women. That is not remotely true for a lot, but noone hates on women like other women. I have this image in my head of all the male new paper executives and PR company managers getting together to find women to promote that would just offend people.

It is how women are portrayed in the media. That if they do not fit into a certain criteria, then they are considered as scum. And this is considered unacceptable. The fact that a newspaper and PR company sell a young woman down the river, to the point people are threatening her children. Maybe she looks at the Glamour models of Zoo, Nuts and Page 3 and wants that life at all costs, because, to her, it is portrayed as a great job. Which I imagine for some girls it does seem that way. By flashing your body, you can get everything your heart desires. Which is what these magazines and such want. Young girls, who want little else than fame, because it is the most promoted ‘industry’ in modern society. Particularly because over the last several years, people are becoming famous for hitting headlines, and getting attention. And Ms Cunningham is certainly doing both of those, and I wonder if she even needs Big Brother anymore. That is, if she is fine with being a Katie Hopkins style hate figure. Some who is rolled out from time to time, to create anger amongst the general public. Something to serve a distraction against the normal news. The Daily Mail, sister paper of the Mail on Sunday (original article publisher), has paid a reporter to con a foodbank out of food, to say how easy it was, which has been ignored by the celebrity obsessed masses. And that is all you need to know about the state of society. The fact that a company, has possibly tactically, posted an offensive wannabe story days before that of trying to badmouth a charity that saves so many families.

Is it right that people are allowed to become so disenfranchised about our media, that after some thought I am wondering whether Ms Cunningham is even pregnant. The fact that it can be twisted into a ‘news story’, to anger and garner publicity on the Ms Cunningham, the news paper and even Big Brother, is a bit sickening. Although Ms Cunningham is the topic of discussion, how much of this is within her control?

Fallen Heroes

Tune to the News channels, and you will probably find that some famous person has done something wrong. They disappoint their fans and followers, by doing something that destroys the image that they have built up. Which is not something exclusive to celebrities. Family members, friends or colleagues can also do something that changes your perception in them for the worse. And if that person is someone who inspires you, then it can also leave you questioning your values.

If someone has admirable qualities, should their less admirable achievements mask them? I am not sure. I think part of the problem is, that if you idolise a person, you put them on a pedestal. You hold them high, as you strive to follow their example, and get where you want to go in life. But when something ‘unsavoury’ comes to light, we change our entire perception of that person. It’s like they become a completely different person. But, it also effects us, as people. We see that our hero is flawed, and that person we strive to be like is not as perfect as we believed.

I guess, people should accept that nobody is perfect. We all have less favourable qualities and/or actions. It shouldn’t take away from our good qualities. Once we can recognise both the good and bad, in ourselves, we can appreciate the same in others. Success can be managed in so many different ways, and it is easy to hold people in high regard, if they are in a place you’d like to see your own life head. And whilst it is okay to be inspired by such people, don’t let them define who you are. You are your own person, and being that, you also have to be your own inspiration. You have to have the drive to continue on, without relying on idolising people to the point that we view them as a flawless. Everyone is flawed.

More Than Just Words On A Page

I am not a journalist, not educated in the skills of the written word past my High School education. And by the stage I began to get interested in writing, I was in an anti-school state of mind. I hated exams, and that’s what it felt like school was like, one massive exam.

But this doesn’t mean that I am invalid to comment on the amount of tripe in the media, which is dubbed as ‘journalism’. If I went with my impulse, and followed a career into journalism, I would have been surrounded by the egomaniacs, who are hellbent on being ‘celebrities’. Something that sickens me. I would have loved to have a career in journalism, because I love writing and I enjoy discussions that follow one sharing their opinion on events. That’s it! I wouldn’t want to be on television, as I find that seems to be full of arrogance, and my day-to-day life is filled with that already, thanks very much.

Teenagers now follow a career in journalism because they think they will get on TV, so that they can become ‘celebrities’. That isn’t journalism, that isn’t reporting something true to yourself. I think it would have destroyed me, to have to communicate something, which wouldn’t be true to myself. Maybe this is a fault I have, that I can’t write about something I have no passion or interest in. I don’t know if I view writing too much of an art form. Because that’s what I think it is, I feel that it is an emotional release, where you have to be inspired write something of interest. Like, I have to believe what I’m writing about, or it just becomes very transparent and boring. Because I have always looked upon all types of literature in this way, I think that I find it alarming that so many people use it for nothing else, but to make themselves famous.

As a child, I dreamed of writing a novel, but that was more because I felt a bit of pride when I saw someone reading what I wrote. It made me feel so light-headed, if the reader enjoyed my creation. Now, I just feel jaded with media, because it seems that a lot of things seems to be lacking emotion or have an ulterior motive. This has been a thought that has bothered me within the last few years, particularly around the time of the General Election. I found that whatever, newspaper or TV news report I encountered, it seemed like they all had their own political alliances. Like this form of educating the Great British public, came with unavoidable propaganda for a Political movement. Maybe I am naive, but I am of the opinion that all media should be impartial. Ok, I know that seems like I am contradicting what I have just said, but I think that if you have all the journalists saying what they believe in, and then you have a variety of opinions, then you have platform for a range of views to be heard and then allow the public to make their own decision.

But that is giving too much power to the public isn’t it? We live in a society where it is dictated to us who we should admire. There are thousands of ‘celebrities’ who have won their ready-built fame through ‘reality’ TV. Why are we being forced to celebrate some mediocre singer, who fucked someone once? Shouldn’t it be the person who has spent her life crafting her own voice, who is still singing in local bars, getting all the attention? Shouldn’t we be celebrating the lives of the doctors who save a normal person? Why should we accept that a man kicking a ball for 90 minutes a week, is able to earn 200 times the salary of the normal working person?

It’s obvious that things in society are far more imbalanced, than just the media. The big thing I have an issue with, is the emergence of the ‘showbiz media’, the magazines, TV shows and blogs dedicated to telling the warts-and-all tales of famous people. I believe that the ‘celebrity’ culture was created, to take the attention away from more pressing matters, such as the more unpalatable parts of the news, which often goes unreported. Proof of this, is when a class of 8-year-old school children were asked who was Cheryl Cole’s estranged husband, 78 out of 83 kids correctly said it was Ashley Cole. The same children were asked if they knew who was Prime Minister, 12 correctly said David Cameron, 21 said The Queen and the rest didn’t have a clue. Is that the message we want our media giving to children? ‘Who cares who runs the country, some nonentity’s relationship status is what’s important’.

That is why I both want and don’t want to be part of the media. I would like to get the opportunity to tell all these mislead sheep what is important, to help them get a better understanding of the world around them. But, I know that the ‘words of reason’ would find it hard to break through the latest relationship woes of whatever overpaid footballer is the topic of the day. Which would make me feel worthless, that ‘real news’ would be overshadowed by gossip. It makes you wonder how much of the media is controlled by the government, are we being sold gossip as news to try to dumb us down. As they say, ‘ignorance is bliss’ so it would be easier for the government to hide as much as they can, and just fill the gaps with ‘celeb scandal’. This sounds like something from a George Orwell novel, but it could happen, and I wouldn’t be suprised if it already was.

Terrifying thought isn’t it? How much of our ‘free media’ is actually free?