Guest writer, Sahara Swift, explores the increasing similarity between fame and instant noodles.
Seems that anyone can be famous these days, from the fat slug on your garden path after the rain shower, to the long-haired guy who delivers those plastic bags through the letter box that you’re supposed to fill with clothes for ‘charity’. Well maybe not the plastic bag guy, but I’m sure the slug could be famous if he/she (insert hermaphroditic pronoun here) decided he/she (it?) wanted to sign autographs. Let us start by defining an essential difference: I am talking, of course, about the difference that exists between ‘fame’ and ‘notoriety’. It’s not that the two are mutually exclusive, just that one is more desirable than the other. ‘Fame’ (the abstract noun, not the academy) is described, in my trusty ‘New Choice’ dictionary, as the state of being well known. What’s more, this well-known-ness involves having a good reputation; presumably not one based upon appearing in a reality show that ridicules regional stereotypes, then shagging a footballer, and flashing your **** getting out of a taxi.
I’m gonna live FOREVER!
A quick survey (of myself, in my head) tells me that some of the most common roles of the famous appear to consist of, firstly, politicians who rob the rich to give to the poor… no, wait, that’s Robin Hood I’m thinking of there, not George Osborne. Let’s begin that list again. So, we have:
1. Politicians who take us to the brink of financial ruin, then rob the poor and give tax breaks to the rich. Famous for making the country into an even bigger shit sandwich than it was pre-2007. I’m voting for Sylvie the Slug in the General Election of 2015. He/she/it could take out any of the current leaders, even if they were armed with salt, on a dry day. Go on, my friend. SLUG FOR THE WIN.
2. Orange skinned girls with overdone accents, hair extensions and no discernible talent except the ability to be both annoying and everywhere. Spot them by their ‘French’ (Peckham) manicures, large jewellery, identical mini-skirted friends, and names like Chantel, Chardonnay, and Pretzelle. Read about their break-ups and eating disorders in 69p magazines.
3. Footballers. No one gives a shit about cricketers and those elderly men that play lawn boules. Footballers cheat on their wives and get paid too much. Far more interesting. Take a thug, give him a million pounds a year, and watch him get hammered and caught with a prostitute – hey, good times.
4. Actors. I put forward the idea, with entire sincerity, that this is the most serious of all the aforementioned ‘professions’. Whilst, clearly, a ridiculous choice for a career, these people need to be thanked. For serving our coffee and pulling our pints, while we spend more than their hourly wage on a drink and a piece of cake labelled as something fancier like ‘torte’, until they hit big time.
5. Musicians. It’s not enough to be talented and persistent. Oh no. You’ve got to make a BDSM style video of yourself and at least one rapper named after a canine, gyrating half naked in a dimly lit room, singing about how much you want it. Whatever ‘it’ may be. In fact, don’t tell me, I’m too old.
I’m gonna learn how to FLY!
There are, arguably, far few fewer young people making a name for themselves through the good they are doing, when considered in comparison to those behaving badly and appearing in mindless ‘The Only Way Is Wirral’ type docu-soaps. You’re twenty one years old, you haven’t got a hope in hell of getting a graduate level job in the current market, and you fancy a crack at being on the telly. In the halcyon days of my youth, before we had such a mind-boggling array of rubbish digital channels, you couldn’t expect to be all over social media like psoriasis within two seconds of appearing on TOWIE. The kind of shallow, dim-witted ‘celebs’, with whom we are visually punched in the face every time we switch on our homescreen, would simply have faded into obscurity. No bad thing. The local off-licence is always looking for part-time staff.
This culture of ‘instant gratification’ has manifested itself in the likes of ‘The X Factor’ and its perpetual queues of the weird and the deluded, who have been told by Aunty Janet and Uncle Tom that they sing like fucking Pavarotti. I am uncomfortable with ‘entertainment’ that has an element of the Victorian freak show about it. People who want to ‘chase their dreams’ (and other such schmaltzy nonsense) ought to be directed to the job centre, not towards Birmingham LEC Arena to make fools of themselves for the enjoyment of those who pretend to be nice during the week, yet laugh at the failure of the talentless every Saturday. I have to say, I would never be famous. It’s not because I haven’t got the talent – please be assured that I have more talent in my little finger than you have in your entire being, and that of your children and your children’s children (for the next thousand years). It’s just that
I appreciate the benefits of being left alone to wear unstylish woolly hats and tartan slippers, sucking on boiled sweets and talking to pigeons from my one bedroomed flat. I don’t want to be ‘papped’ going to Spar to buy Ferrero Rochers in my pyjamas.
I feel it coming together
Although the ‘two minutes of fame’ bandwagon may be easy to jump on, it’s also kind of hard to stay on. I really had to (w)rack my brain cell to think of even a few of those people who came before this year’s crop of reality fungus. Thus proving that this type of ‘fame’ is more impressive for its brevity than the significance of its achievement. Remember ‘Darius’? Darius who? No it’s not the ending of a ‘knock knock’ joke, I genuinely have no idea what the man’s surname is. I can’t even remember what he looked like. Or which of the numerous ‘so you think you can sing and you’re a bit good looking?’ shows he may have ‘won’. In fact, now I think about it, I’m not even sure he existed outside of my imagination. Please comment below if you remember him. At least they never last long. JLS have gone back to their carpet store to sell the ‘Amazing New JLS Microfibre Mop’ from the adverts, and we only had to suffer ten minutes of smugness from Myleene Klass after the breakup of Hear’Say and their offensive apostrophe.
I keep hearing about ‘The Voice’. Truthfully, I don’t understand the premise – we’ve all got one – and mine’s amazeballs. But this show’s supposed to be new and innovative, because people sing and the judges listen. To their voices. No shit Sherlock. Now reaching the end of its third series, this wonderful specimen of pure aural and visual delight has given us such talent as…. er… I don’t know what any of their names are. See, this instant fame thing; how’s it working out for you, nameless singer? Those shifts you missed down at the pub to attend the auditions were rather wasted, were they not? As for the final of this season, my money is, once again, on the slug. Slow and slimy wins the race. That is the saying, isn’t it? I look forward to his/her/its career as a successful television personality, appearing on such high quality shows as ‘Third Rate Celebrity Big Brother’, ‘I Used To Be A Celebrity, Please Let Me In Here’ and ‘Celebrities Eat Slugs With Me’. All featuring Kerry Katona, a faded Olympic athlete, and a wrinkly former Tory politician in a bikini.
People will see me and die
Admittedly, a small number of these ‘stars’ do have a modicum of actual talent; the likes of Leona Lewis and Will Young. However, these lights in the darkness are vastly outnumbered by the weird; Susan Boyle, and the cheesy; One Direction, so it does seem that hope springs eternal for the ugly and the unpleasant. Look out for me, won’t you, on the new series of ‘Real Chester Slags’ and its spin off ‘Drunken Twerking on Ice’. I can sing in tune and I’m willing to take my top off, but only if there’s a camera. Fame and fortune, for someone as undeniably ordinary as myself, appear just as easy as posing for a selfie. My inability to hold my drink would, equally, make me a fine footballer. Or better still, I’ll visit a school once and then become the Minister for Education. No experience necessary.