Dear and lovely reader, I must start today’s blog with a bit of a confession: I’m really rubbish at keeping up with the news. When I say “news”, what I actually mean is “the biggest trending stories on the internet”, which usually involve a jaw-dropping image, some hilarious video footage or an insane quotation from a celebrity. There are three reasons for my lacklustre approach to the contagious caterwauling of online updates:
1) I think that celebrity culture is an inherently dreadful concept which encourages people to feel insecure about themselves, and to value notoriety over talent.
2) Wireless internet, as comedian Chris Addison very wisely pointed out, is an absolute miracle of modern living. It should be used to educate our minds, widen channels of communication and bring joy to our lives, not as a harmful gossip machine of hatred.
3) Like you, dear reader, I’m actually too busy for any of this nonsense.
Sometimes when I’ve ignored the internet for a little while, I find that it’s rather like having left a toddler unsupervised in a zoo with a box of crayons: there is a HELL of a mess and a lot of random noise going. Take yesterday morning, for example: Lily Allen’s comments about Band Aid 30 were going viral, Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen’s theme park closed after a day and people are still sounding off about Kim Kardashian’s ass photo.
Let’s focus on the Kardashian issue for a moment: lots of people are understandably very annoyed by her behaviour, and are saying that viral photos on the internet should be of woman like Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie and Sylvia Pankhurst, i.e. women who made a very obvious contribution to the world we live in today. This is an absolutely understandable and excellent argument. People are also making noises about nudity on the internet, offensive and anti-feminist notions, etcetera. This is a complicated issue concerning censorship and freedom of speech (and freedom of ass, I guess).
If you’ll allow me to return to the toddler similie, the Kardashians and other like-minded ass exhibitionists are just like small kids making a mess in a zoo: why are we even paying attention to them? Who gives a monkey’s if people want to “break the internet” with silly and superficial imagery? Like most spoilt brats, they will be most likely to change their behaviour if we do not reinforce their sensationalist stunts with any publicity at all.
Do you know what else? I don’t have the faintest notion why the Kardashians are famous in the first place. And what is more, I cannot be bothered to Google it. I will quite happily spend the rest of my life not knowing why those strange, sad people are in the public eye.
Don’t pay attention to the crap news. Lily Allen’s opinion of Band Aid 30 will not change your future, and Kim Kardashian’s ass has no effect on your career. Pay attention to the news that affects your life and the people you love. Read up about what’s going on in Syria, sign a petition against the privatisation of our nation’s assets, or even write a heartfelt email to Putin telling him that we’ll still love him when he eventually comes out of the rainbow-painted closet. Don’t waste your time sharing petty little pittances of “news” when there are so many fascinating, world-changing and historically significant things going on.
Could someone help me down off my soapbox, please? Cheers. Shall we go and get some brunch?