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About Me:18-year-old sixth form student, studying English Literature, History and Government and Politics. My articles will broadly cover topics from the current affairs of politics to reviews of books and albums, as well as adding my own creative pieces, whether it be short fiction or general opinion.
In October 2016, Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint. I, as well as many others, were able to allow our contempt at the pinnacle of celebrity culture subside as she became a vulnerable woman with two children and a husband. Months later, the latter, Kanye West cancels a plethora of his shows and is admitted to hospital for mental illness. Again, the laughs at his extravagant rants dissipated into silence and were replaced with a stark solemnity: here was a struggling human being, just like us. Such was our pathos, and at the time I saw it as a poignant reminder that the fanaticism that revolves around fame renders celebrities as somewhat ultra-human – that they are beyond base emotions and vulnerabilities. That’s what I did think. And then came the advert.
“KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS! DON’T MISS THE SEASON PREMIER – HOW DID KIM COPE WITH HER SITUATION? WHAT WAS HER RELATIONSHIP LIKE WITH KANYE? ALL WILL BE REVEALED ON THE NEXT SEASON OF… KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS!”
And then proceeded a Cilit Bang advert. Followed by one about an upcoming movie. Is this indicative of a post-modern society, wherein our emotions are not something sacred, but instead a mere commodity? It seems absurd to me to think that somewhere amongst the shock and horror of that incident stood a producer rubbing his hands at a dream that had materialised. Rather than questioning whether our society is post-modern, then, isn’t it more appropriate to see this as a natural flourishing of a thriving capitalist system? In fact, having a tragedy revolve around Kim Kardashian - the epitome of the fruits of capitalism that feeds off of idolatry – transformed into a skit off of her reality TV show is the perfect reminder, not that these celebrities actually have human qualities (they still do, I’m not disputing that), but that everything can be monetised. In this society, post-modern or otherwise, your emotions are just another facet that contributes to you being the perfect consumer. Outside of celebrity culture, we see this same mindset being placed into politics. In the UK, if you are an economic liability, you are not as valued in society. If you are disabled, you are not entitled to your benefits – it’s what ‘needs to be done’ to save our economy.
It need not all be doom and gloom. Though the hierarchal structures that exist perpetuate and strengthen this sort of society, there exist pockets of hope and escape. The arts, more than anything, have always championed – in fact their whole existence relies upon – emotions. Whilst the government may try and cut the funding to the arts, they will always exist, and they deserve to be cherished. So when the world seems a little bit detached, a little bit post-modern, a little bit non-real, immerse yourself in literature, in music, in art and cinema. Because they each run on the same life-blood as you do, and it will help you rediscover the world’s humanity.
Image Credits: meme.com