The Media we Deserve?

8 11 2009

The rumour that Glenn Beck is being considered as a replacement for Oprah sent shivers down my spine.

I struggled to understand how this rabble rousing dealer of mis-information and public fear-mongering could achieve a higher level of public access. I looked for someone to blame.

I blame Paris Hilton.


Human beings are always looking to apportion blame whenever they can. Normally blame is attached to serious situations such as war, politics, famine, disasters etc but blame can also be channelled towards sports, music, film and other leisure activities which we feel add enjoyment to our lives.

It could be that their football team is going through a bad patch, a frequent occurrence for supporters throughout the globe.  Doubled if you have any interest in the national team or even follow more than one sport.

A favourite band is no longer releasing material of quality (Exhibit 1, Metallica, St. Anger), and you are more than happy with the greatest hits instead of new stuff. It could even be that your favourite series of films has been ruined with the introduction of an annoying creature who takes up more screen time than is necessary.

Those to blame must stand up and shoulder responsibility.

So I can safely say that I blame Paris Hilton.

To be fair to Ms Hilton, she is not the only culprit but she seems to adequately sum up in a single package everything that is wrong with the world of entertainment today.

Lindsay Lohan, Pop Idol, Reality TV, Big Brother, music channels that show no music but a seemingly endless stream of shows with D (or lower) List celebrities, WAGs, Victoria Beckham, Jackass, Celebrity Ice Dancing, Celebrity Chefs, Survivor, John and Kate plus 8 (or minus 8 or divorced or back together again – I have lost track!)………the list is endless, and there seems to be no relief in sight.

Popular Culture is drowning in a sea of mediocrity, highlighted by the public desire for their individual fifteen minutes of fame.

Will anyone remember the “balloon boy” incident as anything other than a father using his child for publicity?

How many times have we watched the “talent shows” and enjoyed the spectacle of the deluded and talent-less embarrassing themselves on TV?

Are we not secretly disappointed when the show concentrates on those who have some ability? Does anyone really remember the finalists?

 How many more so-called celebrities are desperately scrambling to maintain their time in the spotlight?

How many more films will be released that go straight to DVD? Do we really need any more slices of American Pie?

The media tries to maintain an element of quality but the voracious desire of the public for a constant stream of celebrity news and gossip means that the pool of real talent is almost dry. We are willing to accept almost anything that pouts in the flash of the cameras and almost anyone can be a “star” if they get a chance.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Popular Culture.

I have always loved movies and television and I have spent many happy hours watching and re-watching my favourites but I seem to be constantly reviewing the past instead of investigating what is in the here and now.

The reason for this is quite simple, there is so little of interest being produced by the entertainment industry, that I am forced to consider other options.

And watching entertainment that thinks it is news is not the answer,  Glenn Beck!

I am always looking for something that will pique my interest but in the last five years there has been a paucity of quality which concerns me greatly. However the media networks continue to churn out product, more channels are available for us to surf and hundreds of movies are released that nobody will ever watch.

And at the centre of the talent vacuum sits Paris.

I still struggle to understand what she actually does. She seems to be in everything but is good at nothing. She is a constant presence in the newspapers, and there is a continued media interest in where she goes and what she does. Surely we are beyond this? Does anyone really care?

I know that the media industry has some of the most talented individuals in the world working within it, and I know that there are projects of real quality being worked on and shown throughout the world.

But until we learn to differentiate between what is considered celebrity and what is seen as talent, we will continue to be bombarded with more media then we can possibly ever consume, but we have no-one to blame but ourselves.

We have the media that we deserve.




4 responses

8 11 2009

I just tried to follow you and failed. This means that either I am technologically inept, or your link doesn’t work.

8 11 2009

tried to follow me on Twitter? or rss?

19 11 2009

David, if you had a choice: glen beck or ron borges?

25 11 2009

Ron Borges, as I don’t need to watch him!

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