As far as I can make out, the twenty first century is obsessed with 'celebrity' and yet people have little clue what it actually means. It is a career aspiration for young girls at school to 'be a celebrity', and yet they have no idea how to get there. The route seems to involve wearing very little, having sex with as many men as you can, falling out of clubs and taxis wearing very little, pretending to be attracted to women as well as men, having affairs with famous men and women, and then telling the newspapers how dreadful it all is that everyone talks about you all the time, while being pictured wearing very little and falling drunk out of clubs and taxis. It's totally bewildering.
I looked the word 'celebrity' up to see what the actual definition was. Here's what I found:
- A famous person, especially in entertainment or sport
- The state of being well known
There's also an interesting article on something called Wikipedia which Lilly showed me. You can see it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrity.
What is interesting to me is that these definitions don't actually include any validation as to exactly why a person is famous. For me, you would celebrate someone because they have achieved something which is worth celebrating ... my uncle Giulio for example, he was a great musician, feted in the day, and celebrated at parties across the land ... so he was a Celebrity was he? And what about Chez and Lucrezia? There are articles on this Wikipedia about them too ... and their father was Pope! So are they all Celebrities as well? I certainly wouldn't want to celebrate their family's achievements ...
Taking this into the jungle then, and there are very few people there who I would want to celebrate. I asked Lilly: which of them would you throw a party for to celebrate their achievements? If you take that tack, then maybe Fatima Whitbread (for her atheletic prowess); Willie Carson (for all those horseracing wins); and Stefanie Powers (a Hollywood actress, who has appeared in over 100 television and film productions since 1958 - Lilly told me that her real name is Stefania Zofya Federkiewicz - who would have believed it!) ... but who else? Some man who plays drums in a boy band, a man with muscles who is in a reality drama of some sort, two girls who have surgically enhanced their bodies so they can be models, a lady who is an actress of some sort and who loves her teddy, another women who I cannot understand a word she says, a radio DJ, another soap opera actor, and a singer who had some popular records twenty years ago. There's nothing worth celebrating there. None of these people have done anything that hundreds of others haven't done as well, if not better. The only other vaguely interesting person was Freddie Starr, apparently a comedian, but even I could tell he was not a well man.
The culture of the time seems to idolise the non-achiever. To lift up onto a pedestal people who have no right to be there. Role models are the unachieving walking disaster areas which fill the television channels. Aspiration for young girls is to get their breasts made bigger; for boys it's to be in a pop group and to go out with models with fake breasts; and for both it's to be famous ... without a thought as to how or for what. Hard work and talent seems to count for nothing.
But then that makes the culling so much easier. We can take people who are vapid and vacuous, who aspire to nothing and are simply walking wastes of space and air, and put them to very good use indeed. And on that note, I'm a little thirsty ...