06 March 2006

People are Boring. Celebrities doubly so.

I think it was good old Winnie Churchill who said "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on". I don't think, I know. I just copied this off a webpage somewhere. But while the wording may be off, the truth of the statement is fully clothed.

Global communication being what it is, we info-consumers now have larger info-voids to fill than we used to. It used to be that one could fruitfully spend ones life reading the paper and then going round to friends houses to discuss this and that and whatnot over a snifter of brandy in the library.

Now there is less latency in the reporting system, there is more space for information. However, supply has yet to meet with demand, which is why the slack is taken up with talking heads and "entertainment news" and lifestyle mags for bored housewives. All of which leads to the inescapable fact.

People are boring.

And if people are boring, Celebrities are at least twice as boring. Turn on your idiot box at any hour of the day and there will be some made-up person who has some level of fame being asked questions to which we already know the answer. And that's not because we heard the answer before, it's because the questions are formulaic and those of you who "do" mathematics will know that for a formula, there are a limited number of correct1 answers.

Take the Oscars2. I haven't watched any of this years ceremony and I won't watch the "highlights". Because I don't have to. They will consist of:

  • Some wiseass comedian presenter, who is the most interesting and talented person there

  • A tearful acceptance speech by an actress you hoped would know better

  • A boring acceptance speech by a middle-aged actor who could only be interesting and amusing with the right script and several million bucks dangling in front of him, or his cobblers in a vice

  • Close ups of losing nominees trying to look happy for the winner and turning up much better performances than in the films for which they were nominated

  • Post-ceremony interviews with nominees saying they didn't mind not winning, especially when the person who did is so beautiful / talented / whatever!

  • Some sort of wardrobe malfunction

  • Random starlets with their tits hanging out (which I whole-heartedly endorse, by the way, if you're reading this.)

  • Vacuous interviewers with lower dresses, higher hems and fewer brains trying to pry backstage goss from movie-types who would only indulge if there was a pre-backstage-shenanigan agreement in place

Its all very formulaic and you can basically toss the whole lot in the air and it'd all fall back roughly into place and voila! Next years Oscars.

Showbiz appears to be the place for people with no conversational skills and some other random physical attribute to go and be made to look interesting. Bob de Niro may be a great actor, but you just know he's dull as shit to talk to. He, at least, doesn't try to be interesting. The worst people are those who are dull and try to act bright.

But there's a lot of that about, and it's not limited to famous / celebrity people either. We all know someone who hijacks parties and conversations and tries to fill it with stories of their brilliance. We, the witty, urbane, sophisticates that we are, stand there casually, nodding at their inanities and rolling our eyes at each other.

If you're not interesting, be realistic. You're not going to be, especially if you try. And if you think you are interesting, newsflash; that's a sure sign that you aren't. It's like telling a joke; if you can, do. But, and be truthful, if you can't, please don't. People like the truth. If you go to a party and say "Who wants to sleep with me? I'm the most interesting person here!", you'll be sharing the cab home with a kebab as per usual.

To paraphrase, it's better to keep quiet and be thought boring, than to speak and remove all possible doubt. At least keeping schtum means you can be the conundrum, the "mystery guest". Don't be famous. Being an unknown is way more interesting.

1 By "correct", I mean "not career-threatening".
2 Please. Far away.

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