Monday, January 5, 2004

Australian Idol

I've been holding back on this for a while, mostly because I seemed to bethe only one who isn't insanely caught up in this soap opera. Until I read an article in The Drum Media by Steve Anderson. I quote:

The amateur talent contest that was Australian Idol is sad proof that the not too discerning public will watch and listen to whatever they are dished up. To sell it to the masses simply requiers saturation exposure. It's no accident that the advertising budgets of Hollywood blockbustersare triple that of the production costs.

I hope the nice young man Guy Sebastian enjoys his few seconds in the sun. And as a devout Christian, I wonder whether he's come across the worshipping false idols part in The Bible? Maybe the suits at BMG would read it to him before he's strung out holding up convenience stores in about three years time. Camels and the eyes of the needle Guy. Get back to Church!

So why am I so against all this? Is it the mind numbing stupidity of it? No, people are free to watch what they want. Is it the fact that the audience are so painfully unaware of the puppet master's hand being stuck up their collective arses? Nope, since J. W. Howard got re-elected I'm not in the least surprised by the inability of the Australian public to know when they are being manipulated. The real reason I'm pissed offis because we're entering an age where we will have no cultural icons.

All these so called pop stars and idols and whatever are simply a passing fad. Marketed to the extreme, they burn brightly and quick. Does anyone seriously think that anyone will remember who Guy Sebastian is in 50 years time? Or Brittany Spears or what Aguilera person?

Where are the Elvis Presley's of this age? We have no Bob Dylan, no Rolling Stones and certainly no Beatles. Nothing to give to future generations as a real icon of popular culture of these times. The closest I can think of is Nirvana, and that is more for the Hendrix-like loss of Kobain, rather than for the musical revolution they pushed to the masses.

Real culture has been replaced by soulless, irrelevant marketing. Art has been reduced to it's lowest common denominator to be as digestable and as inoffensive to an audience of 7-35. Worst of all, people lap this up as if it was an endless supply of ambrosia. People have been reduced to mindless drones marching to the tune of the corporate Piper.

Once, we were citizens. Empowered by the values of Democracy to control our nation and our lives.

Then we were consumers. Empowered by the capitalist system to decide which corporations we would give our money to.

And now, we are pawns. Manipulated by the media into doing as they want, fooled into thinking that we actually have a choice. It is the worst prison of all - the one where the inmates do not know that they are prisoners.

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