Assault by popular culture

Sometimes I wonder whether there’s something wrong with my brain. Even though I never saw the relevant series of The X Factor I know who JLS are – I even know what the JL and S stand for and what some of them are called and even that one of them was going out with someone from another reality TV formed band, making everyone go crazy imagining what good looking talented superbabies they would have.

JLS, X Factor and superbabies are not the only examples of this weird bloody phenomenon. I know what Kanye did at the Grammys (and I have an opinion about it – he’s a douche and although Beyonce is talented at having hair and thighs and dancing like she means it, she is supremely overrated), I know who the Kardashians are, I know about Taylor Swift’s Twitter account and Shia Le Beouf’s odd antics while wearing a paper bag.

But I don’t care about it, I don’t want to know about it and usually when someone says “oh my god Myleene Klass really hates birthday collections doesn’t she?” I’m nodding before I have time to wonder how the fuck I know that? Because I do know, and it worries me because I really don’t care about Myleene Klass and I don’t want to know what her thoughts are about anything, even birthday collections for children. I mean, I’m sure she’s fine, you know, whatever, but I care about her the same amount I care about any random person I don’t know and will never meet.

I, and you, all of us are being assaulted by popular culture. It’s everywhere and really I answer the question about how I know these pointless things – because of Facebook, Twitter, TV and radio, even friends and colleagues. Unless you make a supreme effort to avoid it all then you can’t get away from it. As well as disassociating yourself from all social media and giving up TV and radio, you’d have to find some way of plugging up your ears when people start yapping about what some bland poplet wore to present an award for the best song in an advert for frozen produce. If you can find a discreet and non-offensive way to achieve this, please write an in-depth blog post detailing your process, otherwise it’ll just have to be the old fingers in the ears “lalala I can’t hear you” approach. And that is never as popular in conversation as you may think.

Apparently Myleene Klass’s blathering about being asked to put ten quid towards a birthday present for a child was all just PR to get her in the news so she could push her knickers on people. I don’t think that little nugget that highlights the depressing nature of our culture has come as a surprise to many though. Of course she was trying to sell something, that’s her job. Forget talent or producing anything of worth (sorry, relatively speaking she’s fairly shit at playing piano so don’t even suggest that she merits her fame because of that), that’s not where the big money really is. That would involve investment, overheads, time and care. Why bother putting any work into those things when you can just publicise your lacy undies by sharing a slightly sarcastic and not particularly funny email?

The saddest, most depressing part is that people read about it. I read about it and now I’m writing about it even though, as I protested quite a bit (too much?), I don’t give a shit about Myleene Klass or her knickers or her arrangements re birthday collections. So why do I know? Because it’s bloody everywhere and without checking out of that aspect of life completely, it’s pretty much impossible not to be assaulted with this knowledge of the workings of celebrities lives, which really should stay private, if not for their sanity then for ours. As long as there’s a PR opportunity out there to be had though, the underwear will continue to be washed and displayed prominently in public.

If you liked this, you might also like my blogs on dead celebrities and cultural classism. You can also follow me on Twitter @SallyWJones.

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