‘One of the reasons for the failure of the revolutionary movement is that the real life of individuals is played out on a different level than the instigators of social revolution believe’…….Wilhelm Reich
The rise of ‘celebrity’ has implications for revolutionaries that have been ignored. In the 1950s-70s your only hope of ‘bettering’ yourself outside of the daily grind if you were young and working class was marriage, football, music, or winning The Pools. Now there are multiple ways to win money and ‘celebrity ‘ status offers an achingly hopeful way out to millions of young people. You too could be snapped daily like Amy Winehouse and Lilly Allen. There’s the multiple reality telly shows ‘my mum dresses like a tart’ offering both just enough of a sly peek into the horrors of working class life to make you want to move your school catchment area and local celebrity for both mum,daughter and the bloke down the boozer she’s stepping out with. Then there’s the ubiquitous ‘shag ‘n tell ‘ career opp0rtunity for both men and women – this week ‘I bedded The Proclaimers’!!But acceptable ways to celebrity have moved on apace – now you can be a ‘victim’ celebrity – ranging from a the girl at Top Shop ‘harvested’for a Man United bash and for the chosen few the opportunity to become a ‘celebrity roastee’ – ‘they said I was a great shag’. But now crime victims become celebrities – its not just the ‘no win no claim’ firms you ring now but you get Max Clifford on the phone if you’ve had some lucky misfortune. Gerry McCann appears at the Edinburgh TV festival and a casting agency in Streatham offers Madeleine look-a-likes for hire at £300 an hour.Ken Livingstone wheels out poor Damilola Taylor’s father to support his election campaign. Celebrity wife beater Stan Collymore has his own newspaper column. A pappaazzi ‘pulls’ Britney Spears – there but for the grace of god………………there are multiple opportunities besides graft to escape now which – whether we like it or not – offers hope and excitement to millions. So collective effort to improve life is out the window ‘cos basically your in competition with every other fucker down your street for that lucky break.
So as night follows day we see the rise of the ‘Celebrity Campaigner’ . From the example set by Geldof and Bono no self-promoting celebrity can be without a portfolio of good causes and conspicuous philanthropic giving. It began with animal campaign groups like PETA but now climate change is de rigeur from Damon to Coldplay to just about everyone.Geri Halliwell is a ‘UN Ambassador for children’. Celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall run campaigns on school dinners and battery chickens……and they fucking succeed in ways that years of campaigning by ordinary mortals have not – they have the ears and photo opportunities of those in power. And where is the working class in all this – portrayed as the losers you see on Jeremy Kyle – desperate mums poking crisps and fish’n chips through the school railings to their porky kids, resentful, ungrateful stupid pub goers in Axminster refusing to heed Whiitingtall’s animal welfare pleas. If you’ve got a campaign – dont bother to march on the streets – thats for no hopers like Stop The war and dinosaurs like Bob Crowe in the TUC Land that time forgot. Get a celebrity – any fucking celebrity – you know it makes sense.
Robbie Williams may go on strike in protest against the new owners of his record company.
STOP PRESS: Robbie’I’M RICH BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS’ Williams to go on strike to save jobs at EMI – just leave it to Robbie – Batman’ll be along to save the day later. No need for self activity now comrades!