An obsession with celebrity does not lie quietly beside the other things we value; it takes their place.
So says George Monbiot in his essay, Celebrity isn’t just harmless fun – it’s the smiling face of the corporate machine.
His assertions – made in the wake of Trump’s win – are eloquently expressed.
More tellingly, they are supported by evidence.
For example, one paragraph ends with this:
Virtual neighbours replace real ones.
The rest of that paragraph refers to a UK study which found:
those who follow celebrity gossip most closely are three times less likely than people interested in other forms of news to be involved in local organisations, and half as likely to volunteer.
Note on the plastic celebrity, pictured atop this post:
As far as I know, no “street artist” created or curated what so startled me one afternoon on the platform of a suburban railway station.
I did not in any way “set Barbie up”.