Tuesday, April 05, 2005

hot air

Did anyone else read Shelley Gare's article (no link available) about the rise of "airheadism" in our culture in the Weekend Australian magazine?
A lot of what Gare writes is probably true, but one thing that struck me was the irony of the Oz magazine editor putting a picture of coquettish Paris Hilton-as-Barbie on the cover. Um, why do airheads rool? Hello? Could it have something to do with the fact that we're letting them? I mean we're not splashing a picture of Dr Joanna Blow-who's-working-on-a-cure-for-cancer on the cover, are we? Instead, we're happy to use airheads to sell the newspaper.
Another thing I didn't agree with was Gare's claim that shows like My Restaurant Rules are proof of a cultural obsession with idiots. I think that's a little unfair. True, it's a reality-TV gameshow, but the contestants on MRR do actually have to build and run a profitable restaurant. Sure, it's not brain surgery, but surely we all agree there is is a certain amount of skill and nous and business acumen involved in running a restaurant.
Personally, I think it's a no-brainer that people love airheads, because that's entertainment. But it's not new--what about old shows like "I Love Lucy", or the Marx Brothers, and all that kind of stuff?. It's just higher profile now, because the media is more pervasive than ever before. Maybe it's all just an example of that saying "empty vessels make the most sound". I don't know that I think civilisation is in danger of falling over because of Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson. Or is it?