Saturday, November 20, 2010
Made You a Moron
While Groundhog Day for many of us, these type of "stories" nevertheless are seized upon by a media that loves nothing more than ready-to- consume fodder to pull in the punters and keep the advertisers happy.
This week's boilerplate was the announcement of the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton - an event that generated the most predictable - almost robotic - coverage in the sense you could look at it with the sound turned down or flip the pages without reading the words and know exactly what was being said. It was 1981 all over again. Chuck and Di: The Next Generation.
There were Kate and Bill holding hands on the Chesterfield sofa and telling the world about their "fairytale" engagement, the first of several setpieces that surely will extend to intimate explorations of Kate's former love life and lower middle class background with parents in the service industry. ('My Fare Lady: Kate's Downstairs and Will's Upstairs') and the braindead riffing of the Australian media on either the constitutional consequences or what it means for the perpetual tabloid soap opera (Princess Mary vs Princess Kate: Who's Our Dinky Di Royal?").
As for the media itself, you can almost hear every jaded and overworked news editor in the Anglo-Saxon world salivating over a story that isn't about either collateralised debt obligations, quantitative easing, sovereign default or man-made climate change. What a treasure trove of pre-fab, pre-digested tabloid fodder for bored proles. Woman's Day just was delivered a franchise that should keep it in front covers for another 20 years.
Here, fully formed, is a story that involves asking no hard questions, that has two pretty people at its centre and that saves the front pages from more turgid musing on our crisis of democratic legitimacy, our broken financial system and our imperilled planet. And most of it comes from the wires or the English tabloids (where facts are an after-thought). Joy.
Locally, the press gallery can riff off monarchist Tony versus republican Julia or New Idea can run stories for the six months on what Kate will wear and who'll do the catering (Shock Horror: Kate Shuns Harrods). High-Brow Lateline, meanwhile, can double team David Flint and Malcolm Turnbull in top hats.
What a perfect opportunity to go beige for six months or so. Where's Johnny Rotten when you need him?
Posted by Mr D at 8:03 PM