Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Oh Behave!

Steve Hofmeyr makes a sensible argument for who, why and what on his blog, but the point is: as a celebrity, as someone who courts/or simply attracts a lot of attention, isn't there a responsibility to...well, behave. This is the same assumption made once upon a time about Charles and Diana. So things aren't peachy; isn't the deal that you make a few sacrifices - for volk and vaderland - and at least lead a dignified existence since everyone is watching? Isn't this the cost of a priviledged life - that you sort of give up your whims to an extent, and do your - very public - job.

The Charles-Diana thing demonstrated that selfishness now prevails over the need/requirement to demonstrate good mores.
Obviously the public sets something of a double standard. Is the man in the street an angel? Hardly.

I do think in the future we will begin to hold our celebrities increasingly accountable to their extravagances. We will be far less forgiving. It is already happening. Tom Cruise, Mr Hollywood, is finding his image is rupturing badly. In large part this is due to his antics off screen. But as the world gets serious - and we are, and have to - about the state we are in, over-indulgences, the Paris Hilton lifestyle, the Playboy Mansion - all these things will appear increasingly vulgar and out of place and will be shut down, boarded up, phased out of our public consciousness.

Irony and sarcasm will initially be fun (as the current Eskom jokes attest), but as the economic rot sets in, it will no longer be amusing. It will be a matter of making some painful adjustments. One of these may include more walking. The world's pace will slow down.

The future is unlikely to be as filled with staples of Entertainment E. We are likely to be less focussed on voyeurism and more focussed on economic survival. We will have to get down and dirty in order to deal with the practical matter of making a living in a contracting economic framework. Globalisation always was going to be just a temporary blip in our evolution. It is set for permanent reverse now, starting with the shutdown of whole airline companies for example, meaning the world is about to get a lot bigger.

Our behaviour will necessarily have to include a whole shift in lifestyle and habits. We will become slow food nations once again, with transitions to farming and agriculture and railways - that's if small mobs don't form and run amuck torching and looting whatever they find, hoping to perpetuate the getting something for nothing psychology that is now way past its sell by date.

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