Friday, 6 July 2012

Pop politics: Some thoughts

if dude doesn't remove his right hand from my crotch, I'll marry him and make him buy me a yellow lambo, then I'll take him for all he has- YOLO BITCHES!!!!!

*****This post was originally written on, uhm, somewhere in October 2011 I suppose. Didn’t re-read so it’s as pure as on the day it was conceived*****

One of those days when the birds seem to be chirping a bit louder, the rent statement comes and the amount due is 0.05 bucks, even babies are smiling at you in the street and white girls seem to find your crass and very vulgar ‘I need head’ t-shirt (which is more stupid than funny) amusing as they do the smile-and-pass (it’s an actual technique, used by dudes in clubs everywhere). David Kibuka calls these ‘hot days’ which is both true and false since it’s not really about how hot you look but how hot you feel. ‘Nother post for another day.
I would firstly like to say that, although I try my all to be, I am by no means an exception to the sh*t I’m about to spew right now. I usually ponder a little when I spend my hard-earned cash (not ‘hard-earned’ by me of course- don’t you just loathe useless people?) to fuel the machinery that is pop culture.

1. Are we really okay with the fact that pop culture’s sole responsibility is providing entertainment, despite the amount of money we pump (directly or indirectly) into it?
2. Should freedom of expression really be a valid foot on which this pseudo-culture can rest?
3. Why the f*ck is Kenny Kunene famous?

This is an extract of Tom Matlack’s post “Pop culture is killing us” on the good men project on October the 17th, 2011 (by the way the content is more important than the form- on gameless)

“Pop art is a way to critique reality. It’s a way of seeing a deeper truth in the mundane as well as the most famous, but it was never intended to stand in for the thing itself”

I have to admit that I never thought of pop culture as more that what it is today. A celebrity building machine. I’ve never thought of it as having or needing to have any other purpose since it was as Tom says “not meant to stand in for the thing itself”. In other words I saw it as mimicking reality and I did not really anticipate it surpassing it in our minds. I come bearing bad news though, it has.
Tom goes on to say;

“America of 2011 is a world where fantasy and reality have traded places. Where popular culture has become our center point of gravity, our common language, a replacement for the grave problems of our time that are too ominous to take seriously. We get our news from John Stewart and Chelsea Handler, while the New York Times and Walter Cronkite’s old CBS have become a joke. The feminist movement of the 60’s and 70’s have culminated in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills delivering 2.2 million viewers after the show induced the husband to one of the stars to commit suicide.”

South Africa’s problems are a bit different of course (but not completely opposite, with the government trying to gag the media and all). We have government officials splurging like it’s the end of days and not even hiding it from the millions of unemployed youth who in turn live vicariously through those Sunday paper images while on some level ignoring their state of affairs. When reality finally smacks them in the face they then see crime as their only way out since in their minds it’s too late to go to school.

Those who were lucky enough to go to school and then on to college see this celebrity lifestyle their “role-models” lead young as they are and decide that being corrupt is the only way to get that far, that fast, which is true in a sense and the cycle of hypocritical debauchery continues (that was a mouthful).

Here’s the thing, in a country like South Africa especially (where celebrity and public representative are this conflated) pop culture should shoulder a lot more responsibility since, well, it is funded by our taxes. Celebrities must be role models since uhm, we don’t want to die (see the unemployment reference above), seriously, there are still so many asses to plough and shitty blogs to write.

Thirdly, (what happened to firstly and secondly?) Kenny Kunene being famous, real simple- he’s interesting. Let me elaborate, he is interesting and extremely rich. If every guy on earth were to make a list of what they wanted to be, I guarantee that twelve times out of ten one of those two things would be in the top three. To sum up, he’s rich because he’s rich, and he’s famous because he’s interesting.

Gameless on politics, a lot more to come. I’ve reached my quota of 600 words now, and probably overshot by about 50 (give or take 50) I’m out... (doesn't this just sound like some shit R Kelly would have said in '93?)