08 June 2011

The coming mono-celeb

Ryan Oakley dissects Oprah and Lady Gaga:
Watching these two talk the same mumbo jumbo made me think of the always pithy Guy Debord:
Media stars are spectacular representations of human beings, distilling the essence of the spectacle’s banality into images of possible roles.  Stardom is a diversification in the semblance of life – the object of an identification with mere appearance which is intended to compensate for the crumbling of directly experienced diversification of productive activity.  Celebrities figure various styles of life and various views of society which anyone is supposedly free to embrace and pursue in a global manner.  Themselves incarnations of the inaccessible results of social labour, they mimic by-products of that labour, and project these above labour so that they appear as its goal.  The by-products in question are power and leisure – the power to decide and the leisure to consume which are the alpha and omega of a process never questioned.  In the former case, government power assumes the personified form of the pseudo-star; in the second, stars of consumption canvass for votes as pseudo-power of life lived.  But, just as none of these celestial activities are truly global, neither do they offer any real choices.
And it made me think that, within my life, we may see a celebrity singularity.
Right now, in a corporate laboratory, scientists are creating OPGAGARAH. They’ve tried before. Tyra Banks was their most recent failure. But they will get it right.
Then, we shall have one media personality who appeals to every demo/psychographic. A monopoly on all culture. A common goal that tells us to love ourselves and our dreams will all come true. A psychic hegemon to cower before while aspiring to be. Someone that both parent and teenager likes. A beautiful monster that eats life and shits profit.
Don’t be surprised if it’s called MOM.

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