Was I off the day the celebs took over? In the last few months it appears that Myleene Klass has become the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Russell Brand has become a political spokesperson and Stephen Fry has become the Philosopher Laureate. The last one I’m fine with, the man can do little wrong in my view, but why do we look more and more to celebs than to academics or politicians.
I know it’s easy to find fault with our politicians and the political system in general – but ultimately the politicians are our fault because we voted for them, if we want change then it’s easy to make happen. If we want a revolution as Mr Brand promotes then it doesn’t come from vomiting thesauruses all over our tellyboxes it comes from you and I getting involved and voting.
Myleene Klass is a prime example of someone who has found herself in a position where, because she made Ed Miliband look like a confused Aardman character (not a difficult achievement), she is now being listened to. Today she thought it was a good idea to publish emails she received about a kid’s party and the expected present. It’s being discussed on Radio 2 for the love of sanity. Last time I checked she was a pop star for a couple of albums, a DJ on Classic FM and an occasional Loose Woman not a political commentator.
Brand continues to surface on Question Time, Newsnight and other media outlets professing to be the saviour of society demanding revolution but when pressed cannot formulate what that would actually mean. He is not a bad comedian and should stick to that.
Stephen Fry seems to be the “go to” guy for the media when they want opinion – mostly because he has read books, something which many of the journalists have never done. I am a big fan of Fry and his response to Gay Byrne’s Question about God was brilliant. As he admits himself though these are opinions that many have held for years and can be found in any decent Philosophy 101 textbook. Just because he’s intelligent doesn’t mean he is the only voice on this subject; media outlets appear to have the same handful of famous faces for the carousel of news soundbites.
Instead of the news on TV and on Facebook we tend to see opinion from famous people and not experts. Be it gun control and Piers Morgan, voter apathy and Alex Brooker, Scottish Independence and Bob Geldof or Sting and the rainforest we seem to prefer being informed by a famous face rather than someone who might actually be fully informed on the subject.
Look at the current issues in the West with the increase in Measles: In the US and across Europe we’ve seen a sharp rise in the illness due to parents being idiotic and not vaccinating their children against it. If you did ten minutes research online, you’d discover that the negative press about the vaccine was disproved years ago – dismissed by everyone. No links to autism, aspergers or mental illness. But we listen to uninformed people like asking politicians what they would do with their kids or what a celebrity would do, why not maybe ask your doctor who will have the facts.
There are real experts out there with years of knowledge and research yet people would rather listen to reality stars and comedians. Everyone has the right to an opinion – I wouldn’t have a blog otherwise – but we need to be careful whose opinion we take in future. Is it better to have fame or facts?