Celebrities. Is there any way in which they do not make our lives better? I have been moved to write on this subject after witnessing a series of quite disgusting attacks on these shining beacons of modern society.
See, for example, Larissa Dubecki’s scurrilous piece hurling abuse upon well-meaning famous people for daring to try to do a little good in the world. Are you offended, Larissa, by "Colombian hip-swiveller Shakira" trying to educate poor children? Personally, I’m sick of the anti-hip-swivelling bias that our media elites seem to glory in. Why can’t a healthy young woman swivel her hips and improve educational standards? Are the two concepts mutually exclusive? Would Dubecki be so judgmental if Julia Gillard donned leather pants and sang about her breasts? Of course not. So why shouldn’t it work the other way?
Dubecki rails against these "ego-driven celebrities". But is ego really behind it? We can sneer at Madonna’s do-gooder efforts, but if she’s really concerned about her image, how do you explain her last five albums? Would a woman concerned with ego have made Swept Away?
The fact is that celebrities are not at the top of the social tree by chance; it is because they are, in fact, superior to the rest of us. "Oh, that’s not true," I hear you cry. "Look at Kyle Sandilands". To which I say, for all you know, Kyle rescues lost kittens on the weekend. Didn’t Jesus himself say, "Judge not the dead-eyed abusive little gopher-people, lest you be judged"? Some people, for example, like to criticise Sting because, while promoting the cause of the environment, he has a carbon footprint 30 times that of the average person. What they neglect to mention is that Sting is at least 30 times better than the average person. The average person, for instance, has never written "Do do do, de da da da". Not deliberately, anyway.
Yet in spite of celebrities’ charity work, in spite of their interesting and well edited movies, in spite of their catchy tunes and selflessly entertaining psychoses, some people still carp and complain. Here comes Greg Barns, whining that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spends too much time with celebrities. Hello? Too much time with celebrities? That’s like saying a doctor spends too much time curing cancer. The main problem with John Howard was that he didn’t spend enough time with celebrities. Imagine how much fairer his industrial relations policy would have been if he’d brainstormed it a little with the cast of The Secret Life of Us.
The fact is, our Prime Minister socialising with movie stars is good for our international image, good for our economy and damn it, good for our souls. Because we watch Rudd chatting up the celebs and we think, yes, in this great democratic country, anyone can aspire to someday meet Hugh Jackman.
And what does Greg "Frustrated X-Man" Barns suggest Rudd do, if he is not to hang around celebrities? Where is he supposed to get his policy ideas from? Bureaucrats? Constituents? Politicians? Don’t make me laugh. Look at the republic referendum. What did we vote against? The Politicians’ Republic. I guarantee you that referendum wouldn’t have failed if we’d been able to elect the president by sending in forms from TV Week. What good are politicians when the going gets tough, when the job needs doing, when you need a big opening weekend gross? Politicians never did us any good and never will: Hitler, for example, used to talk to politicians regularly, but never once dined with Keith Urban. Speaks for itself, doesn’t it?
Let’s look at the cold-hard facts here: something that Barns and Larissa "Blew My Audition for the Young Divas" Dubecki flat-out refuse to do. If we do not rely on celebrities to raise money for our charities, to improve our environment, fight poverty and tell our leaders what to do, then we will have to rely on … non-celebrities. That’s right. And you know the sort of people non-celebrities are. Horrible people. Ugly people. Smelly little people called "Darren" and "Rhys" and "Tenielle", from nasty little suburbs with revolting names like "Marayong" and "Rooty Hill" and "Doncaster East". Sure, you can put those people in charge, if you want the whole country to smell like chips.
Personally, I prefer to put my faith in people who have conclusively proven their moral and intellectual supremacy, like Miranda Kerr, who can change the structure of her cells with her mind.
When I read articles like Dubecki’s and Barns’s, I mourn for Australia. Have we become the sort of country that sniffs at the glory and glamour of fame? The sort of country that says that a woman is qualified to impersonate Katharine Hepburn, but not advise the upper levels of government on national policy?
God I hope not.
Donate To New Matilda
New Matilda is a small, independent media outlet. We survive through reader contributions, and never losing a lawsuit. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue speaking truth to power. Every little bit counts.