Friday, August 10, 2007

Celebrity Amoebas

Celebrities share more in common with amoebas than you might at first think. Not only is the single-celled amoeba one of the most basic and simple of life-forms but they also have the ability to replicate themselves and multiply at an amazing rate involving maths way beyond my Arts Honours level, and celebrities share both these characteristics too.

The number of celebrities out there seems to rise at an exponential rate each year. Come with me on a trip back to the 19th Century. Back then the only celebrities were the ones who either went off to die whilst exploring some desolate wilderness, the person who was fucking the queen or the queen who was being fucked. Nowadays you can’t move for the bloody things. It seems anyone can become famous for doing just about anything.

Actually that’s a complete lie. The dedicated scientists who are working hard to further human civilisation and make all our lives that little bit more bearable by facilitating our access to porn get next to no recognition whereas dippy tarts who get lost down straight roads are lauded as the best things this country has to offer. As the number of celebrities in the media increases there appears t be proportional decrease in their collective talent. Of course it all backfires eventually as the Jade ‘I would be racist if I understood what it meant’ Goody fiasco proved, but just flicking through any edition of the god-awful Heat will demonstrate quite how many pointless people we as a nation idolise and look up to.

And it’s spreading downwards. Now people are starting to treat non-celebrities like celebrities. The other night after seeing a student show my mate was too intimidated to go up and chat with them at the bar. The show was good and all with some fine performances etc., but to treat student actors in such a revered way just seems a bit… sad.

One of the wonderful things about the large student element at the Fringe is witnessing your peers putting on great performances and then being able to discuss things with them afterwards in a general sense of “we’re all equals here, learning and creating together” without the hero worship that surrounds celebrities. At least that’s what I used to believe. Then some friends started doing a show (Aeneas Faversham, which in my professional and above all unbiased opinion are the best examples of sketch comedy since Sophocles put rock to wood or whatever it was those crazy Greek used to write comedies) and as a result my attitude has changed completely.

All of a sudden I’ve found myself listening intently after the shows to other people’s opinions, hoping that they liked it and thought my friends did a good job. Of course what I’m really hoping for is that they’ll say, “That was brilliant, the cast were all amazing and talented. That bit with the flying? Hilarious stuff. Anyone who knows those people is also amazing and talented by association and I can’t wait to buy them a pint.” I’m well aware of how pathetic this is (mine’s a pint of Guinness if you disagree) but I can’t help it. It’s the desire for recognition. Caught up in an ocean of peers, each person desperately hopes to be singled out in some way, to be recognised and praised just for being them.

The whole idea of recognition is also one of the main foundations of the Fringe and not in a bad way either. Theatre and comedy of the highest calibre travels to Edinburgh so that we can nod along and say, “Yes, that was good.” And rightly so, there should be genuine recognition of the hard work and dedication that’s gone into putting on these shows. But recognition is an addictive drug; you can never have enough. Certain individuals here have a head start over other members of the public to attaining the ultimate levels of recognition because they’re already leaning towards or on the cusp of a career that may well propel them to international stardom in the near future.

Which raises the intriguing possibility that you may already have insulted/shagged/shot a future celebrity right here in Edinburgh. That’s right, the future faces of Radio Times may be in our midst right now and we don’t know it. Hopefully they’ll end up being the right kind of celebrities, the ones that achieve stardom through proper application of their talent but you never now. Some are already on the road to fame and fortune and for other you feel it’s only a matter of time.

So bare this in mind when you’re chatting to the next stranger in the bar and think to yourself, “Is this person going to be on Parkinson in the future?” (Probably not because Parkie may well have croaked it by then, but whatever the generic chat show host alternative is). If you think it’s highly likely then you have two options: 1) Kill them there and then. 2) Sleep with them. As Lois Griffin said, “You never know who’s going to be famous so just make yourself available.” David Guest has made a career out of starfucking, why shouldn’t you? And if you do end up being famous you probably want to avoid that dreaded mid-career dip by dying aged 27 and immortalising yourself forever. Everybody loves Jimi.

P.S. I realise that some people may be offended with the way I have compared amoebas to celebrities in this article. In actual fact amoebas are incredible things that are responsible for much of the wonders of evolution we see around us today. If an amoeba had balls Paris Hilton would suck them.

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