Tawdry, Vulgar, Mediocre

Celebrity culture at its worst


It’s hard. It’s very hard. No matter how you try, it is almost impossible to avoid celebrity culture. By a strange kind of osmosis, you become aware of people who are simply famous for being famous – Kardashians, people who have appeared on “talent” shows, so-called “WAGS” (why in this day and age would someone want to be famous because they are the wife or girlfriend of a sports star?) – even if you never watch the braindead television shows they appear on. As ever, our American friends are ahead of the rest of the world, having elected as their president a man whose main claim to fame is appearing on a reality TV show. But where America leads, the UK is sure to follow. Which brings me neatly to Pippa Middleton.I am no fan of the royal family. I have written before about the tawdriness of the “honours” system and the snobbery it creates. The current royals are a particularly sorry bunch – the bumbling and narcissistic Charles Windsor appears to have an opinion about everything and expertise in nothing; his arrogant and bone idle son; the repellent, workshy Yorks. The enduring popularity of the current monarch is a real mystery to me – it appears to rest on the fact that she has been around for a long time and hasn’t spouted garbage like her husband and son. I’m convinced there are going to be republican rumblings once Elizabeth Windsor dies; her failure to abdicate in favour of her idiot son or even more idiotic grandson is pretty conclusive proof that she agrees with me.

When the pompous pseudo-soldier William Windsor married Kate Middleton back in 2011, the media went into a frenzy over Middleton’s sister, Pippa. One newspaper even dubbed Middleton junior “Her Royal Hotness.” This is wrong on so many levels but let me just point out two things. Pippa Middleton is not royal and nor is she “hot”; if she were not the sister-in-law of a member of the royal family she would be considered ordinary looking. But because she happened to appear in a supporting role in the soap opera that is the royal family in the twenty-first century, Middleton is somehow considered “hot” by the sycophants who cover the dysfunctional Windsor clan.

Middleton has done nothing to deserve fame or recognition. Her life has been a study in privilege. She has allegedly worked in “public relations” and has been engaged in “philanthropy.” As anyone with a passing knowledge of the British class system knows, these are code words for rich young women who go to lots of parties and get their photos in the newspapers in various, ludicrously overpriced dresses.

But it has been the media frenzy surrounding Middleton’s upcoming wedding that has caused me to write this post. Yes, Middleton annoys me but I could mostly filter out her privileged, pointless existence until recently. However, the UK media seem determined to make me aware of this absurd woman’s nuptials; one newspaper has even dubbed it the “wedding of the year.” Give me a break. An overprivileged, workshy nobody marrying a minor aristocrat who, surprise, surprise, works for a hedge fund. This is not news! And flaunting your (unearned) wealth is disgusting when people in the UK are relying on foodbanks to feed their families. How can a dress cost £40,000 for goodness sake?

I have no doubt that some will dismiss the above as based on envy of Middleton’s privileged position and (unearned) wealth. I have enough self-knowledge to know that there’s some truth in this accusation. But are Middleton and the other vacuous, famous for being famous, supposedly good-looking clothes horses that infest the media really the sort of people who should be presented as worthy of attention, admiration or imitation?

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