Reality telling-vision ‘talent’ shows, aside from being another hastily buffed facet of the bread and circus, alpha-wave inducing media trivio-sphere, also, I believe, serve to substantiate and maintain an ugly and inevitably destructive cultural and social paradigm.
The Celebritocrats lean over us from their polished pedestals, purporting to be our salvation, overseeing the next chosen one’s ascent into their domain, casting aside all those deemed unworthy to be stood before their vapid (pay no heed to the man behond the mirror) visage. How easily the discomforting pornography of schadenfreude that parades in the initial stages of these shows, seems forgotten; contestants disposed of, ‘deleted’, mercilessly and without recourse, culturally guillotined whilst the baying hoardes jeer and mock.
The first myth that these events promulgate is that of audience (electorate) participation in outcome, that is bolstered by the temporary feeling of belonging that comes from a large (in this case discomfortingly vicarious) social event. When the babblers return to their workstations in the morning, in thrall to the egregore of the collective experience; the party; the club; the rally, the social rewards of collective experience manifest; jokes, taunts, desires, communications, only now ironically combined with the sense of strength and self determined identity that comes from taking sides.
The truth however is that such limited participation detracts from genuine choice and opinion, and undermines the value of the thought and effort that are required to make such, and much like our stately ‘democratic’ politics, one is voting between what has already been chosen/given.
The second myth which has become deeply pernicious in our post-boomer age of financial clemency is that of meritocracy, and its cousin aspirationalism; the jovial notion that you get what you are ‘entitled’ to, that your talent will be recognised despite any impediments, that you can rise to the ‘top’. On the surface it seems a madness to argue with such concepts, what could be more reasonable than wanting to do well in your life and being rewarded for gumptive observance, but when analysised we discover a deeply selfish, pathological philosophy, mascarading as fairness under reason and even morality. It is in fact much closer to the lottery; that other manipulator of social and aquisitional hope; taxing dreams.
Merit is always awarded and administered by a subjective higher agency in this paradigm, conferred onto a candidate by an ‘expert’ adjudicator, and as such merit is determined by an adherent promiximity to the predetermined notion of excellence, a conformity to a limited ‘usefulness’. In this highly managed heirarchical caste/clique system that we are indentured to, the ladders are few and greasy, the waiting lists are long, and the parameters demanding; the adjudicating experts being more often than not venal, self-serving and dogmatically ossified.
The Celebritocrats themselves are lifted into their guilded positions and held there only so long as they are useful/beautiful/interesting, by thems lurking higher up the media pyramid than they, even though their own fevered egos would decry it. Half-wittingly they are using these shows as a platform to substantiate the carosel of their own image, but more importantly the very notion of the validiy of the Celebritocratic class itself. At least Strictly doesn’t piss about and removes the public from the performance altogether, literally feeding off their fantasies without shame. They are a small caste but they saturate the mediasphere with their tales of woe, abs, petty wants and rags to riches fantasies, distracting the eager, drooling, expectant from anything of import, nevermind concern, whilst undermining the real achievements that people can and have made.
Let them ingest saccharine.