Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Relationship journalism

Having started the New Year with a cultural detox, I now lurch from my perch unabashed. Today I surrender to a yearned for dalliance.

Plastered across the Daily Hate Mail on Monday were photos of Hugh and Jemima accompanied by a headline as to their rekindled romance. Now you don't need Martin Bashir to unravel the politics of their relationship: just look at the body language. Their on and off relationship should only ever be off.

And you can do the same the sleb set over. Just look at Wills and Midds. Did this week's "colourful copy" threaten anything? Of course not. For exactly the reasons that Hugh's and Jemima's did. We have seen them together enough to know it has only ever been on. Call it insipid but Hello and OK!'s thriving business models rely on it: relationship journalism and its appeal is pretty easy to fathom. In today's Bowling Alone society, rumourings about Lindsay Lohan's lurkings are as good as we get to village gossip. And I would argue it's healthy.

So what if we delve more into vapid stranger's sordid habits than our own? It's nothing new. The News of the World which gleefully reported aristicratic sex scandels in the 19th century, first appeared in the same year as Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Surely life can't be all reflection and no deflection?

And on that note, today marks the opening of celebrity childhood dreams portrayed at The Hospital's When I Grow Up exhibition. 10am-7pm. 24 Endell St, WC2. Free


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life may have been easier City Slicker but it certainly was not better or meaningful. I hate reading about celebrities o much that I have not bought a single paper broadsheet or tabloid in six years. My life is much more fulfilling and meaningful.

I would recommend rising above the cultural detox tide for ever. You will then find life is much easier. Until then you remain trapped in a cycle of sin.

4:53 pm  
Anonymous hb13 said...

Er, anonymous get a life. You obviously care enough to spend your time writing such an asanine comment. Stop hiding the copies of Hello! porn under your mattress and maybe then you will find 'happiness.'

4:55 pm  
Anonymous Ella said...

Ouch but well made point. Lindsay and Robbo - no way! They will be owrse for each other than anything.

4:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

deflection is the new self-help!

5:00 pm  
Anonymous dam breaker said...

Huge Grant is a flamer. The sooner she sussed him out the better.

5:04 pm  
Anonymous Keith43 said...

I write for a pink blog and rumour has it Hugh Grant fancies George Michael. He has even approached him in fact to play him on screen.

5:10 pm  
Anonymous Gail said...

Interesting point CS but can celeb goss really replace vanishing social capital? Shouldn't we rather be sitting in cafes with family and friends?

5:13 pm  
Anonymous lighthouse shop said...

All is not lost. Community suffered a similar fate one century ago. In the closing decades of the nineteenth century, America and Britain faced rapid population growth and staggering technological change. The railroad and telegraph linked traditional, isolated small towns into a vast, unfamiliar nation. Businesses and industries grew to sizes never dreamed of before. Urban centers tore citizens from intimate small town settings. Social critics fretted about the decline of human relationships.

However, between 1870 and 1920, America responded to social upheaval with its greatest period of "civic inventiveness." At that time, most of our major civic, fraternal, professional, and social organizations were founded, e.g., Shriners-1872, Salvation Army-1880, Connecticut Library Association-1891, PTA-1897, Rotary-1905, NAACP-1909, League of Women Voters-1920. I believe that we will similarly find a twenty-first century reply to the collapse of community, once we recognize the problem and become convinced of its importance. But it is not to be found in celebrity gook!

5:13 pm  
Anonymous Sandra said...

Great photo CS. Really enjoying your blog. Cheers.

5:18 pm  
Anonymous danny78 said...

No of course we all need a little deflection.

So who is watching the dirty dirty secret of The Apprentice tonight? Cmon we know its shite but you gotta love the Sugar man.

6:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here here City Slicker

Couldn't agree more

We could all use a little dumbing down these days. Christ I know I do.

6:44 pm  
Anonymous honkman said...

Of course this is hardly revelatory. Everyone takes it for granted that American journalism has been “tabloidized,” that once-taboo subjects are now grist for the journalistic mill and that celebrities are news, so much so that eventually the Enquirer’s circulation plummeted, presumably because it had lost its monopoly.

6:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee Atwater, the late Republican strategist, read the Enquirer religiously and called it the “pulse of America.”

6:47 pm  
Anonymous Whinge Bag said...

The celebrity-industrial complex exists because there is a large public that finds tales of the beautiful, the powerful, and the wealthy entertaining and sometimes instructive in a home truth sort of way; because there are voracious media who need to satisfy the public taste in order to earn profits; because there is an ever-expanding universe of people who want and need to be in the public consciousness; and because there are journalists who can justify what it is they do as socially redeeming. It is a perfectly synergistic system. But it is not a serious one. The real tragedy of celebrity is that most of the time it amounts to so little and, at least on the basis of these two books, leaves so little behind save cheap thrills.

6:49 pm  
Anonymous fashionistawhore said...

Karl Lagerfeld, says of fashion, “Only the minute and the future are interesting in fashion — it exists to be destroyed.” Celebrity is a lot like that. It is ephemeral. Its interest is entirely in the here and now.

6:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading these comemnts one after another, one is struck less by what they say about culture generally or even about celebrity specifically than by how little they say and how superficial it is. In fairness, this may not be so much the fault of City Slicker, who is observant and keen, as it is the fault of celebrity itself

6:50 pm  
Blogger Jamie said...

How's life treating you City Slicker, just stopped by to say hello :-)

11:54 pm  
Blogger quan said...

marketing jobsretail display ideasIn a 2006 interview, J. K. Rowling said that the main theme of the series is Harry dealing with death,[22] which was influenced by her mother's death in 1990 from multiple sclerosis.[21][22][23][24] Lev Grossman of Time stated that the main theme of the series was the overwhelming importance of continuing to love in the face of death.[25] In a review for USA Today, Deirdre Donahue agreed that death was a major theme in Hallows, and that "Harry must wrestle with life's big issues: How should he define courage, whom can he trust, how much should he allow others—old friends like Ron,

12:52 pm  

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