Friday, February 09, 2007

The Relentless March Of The Cult Of Celebrity

Something strange happened to my downloaded podcasts this morning. My podcast client (Juice) is set up to download half a dozen news programmes from around the world so I can listen to these whilst I walk Amy the dog. One regular download is the NBC5 morning news programme from Chicago (I find it very good for the weather forecasts but more of that in a later posting). However, today I discovered that the normal 15 minute news podcast had been replaced by a recording of a telephone conversation between a reporter and a fireman in Florida. It emerged from the course of this conversation that the fireman's colleague (another fireman) had responded to an emergency call from a hotel to find a women dead. The woman is seemingly famous for being an ex strip-club dancer who married a man sixty years older than herself. The 15 minute telephone conversation was full of questions such as "what would you normally do when you find someone not breathing?". It was banal, trivial, boring - the kind of thing they edit out of Big Brother Live. My first reaction was to assume that the tapes had been switched in error. Instead of uploading the morning news file some hapless technician had uploaded an internal file of some journalist. I decided to do my civic duty and report this error to the station concerned. Going to their website to get some kind of contact address I discovered that this was no mistake : the normal news programme had been replaced by this "mega breaking story". It is yet another example of the relentless march of the cult of celebrity. As a society we have become obsessed with the lives and deaths of people whose only claim to fame is that we are obsessed with their lives and their deaths. It is strange, but as news has become more global it has become more parochial. Oh, and thanks to all those people who have been asking, Amy's paw is much better and the antibiotics have done their trick. I will be posting an updated picture of her scar on my daily photo blog site.

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