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  Derek Twat - Blackpool Rox - Musings (2006)
By Derek Twat - Blackpool Rox 9 (2006) submitted

Cast your mind back, I dont know say twenty, twenty-five years and see how many people from that era you could name that were famous for being famous ? A media whore for want of a better description. Back then famous people were famous for a reason. They were possibly talented artists, sport-stars or musicians. They may have been noted thespians, writers or even surgeons. They may even have been famous just for killing someone famous, but they were famous for a reason. With the advent of BIG BROTHER and other minor celebrity reality television programmes, attention seeking no-marks have a vehicle with which to thrust themselves into the nation’s living rooms. By just acting natural, and everybody acts natural with a camera trained on them constantly, these contestants can short-cut the road to fame and fortune in about the same time it takes Garth Crooks to ask a question. If we take the example of Jade Goody, and we all know who she is, there is a hefty ( no pun intended) pile to be made from appearing in HELLO magazine and talking to Richard and Judy. She has recently released an autobiography ( surely that should read biography unless its about her car) and is rarely out of the tabloids and Sunday supplements. Why is this? When I convened a focus group on the subject of Miss Goody, not one of them could give a tiny rats ass about what she was wearing or who she was shagging. (it’s Keigan Parker of the Seasiders by all accounts). The sad truth is people buy newspapers out of habit despite all the crap that lies from cover to cover. Newspapers, and I refer mainly to tabloids, are becoming increasingly lazy. Illegal wars waged in our name where thousands of innocent people have been slaughtered do not carry the same heavyweight billing as the next plotline in Eastenders or who is favourite to win Cock Idol. As Billy Bragg once said " They’d rather you believed in Coronation Street capers". How many of us can find the time in a working day to read a broadsheet? Not many of us, apart from certain lazy bricklayers. Politics has always relied on sound-bites, saying the right thing rather than doing it, but this trend is becoming increasingly evident in other areas. With so many T.V. channels to keep rolling twenty-four hours a day it makes economic sense for television companies to stick human offal in front of the cameras and switch them on. The whole notion of reality television is symptomatic of the lazy nation of voyeurs we have become. National sporting success seems to have stagnated while everyone’s sat at home glued to Sky Sports. All these armchair experts are too busy learning the language of the pundit, while piling on the pounds, to ever get out and play a bit of sport. I think its about time we touched on the subject of music (I think thats what the magazine is about) (Yes, amongst other things Derek – you twat ! - Ed) and particularly punk. The basic ideal of punk was that anybody could get up and have a go, not to stand back and watch. I dare say that without the punk ethos this fanzine would never have started. Staying with music and the fetid stench of reality T.V. once again fills our nostrils. We are all aware that with media asphyxiation it is very difficult for good independent bands, and there is a rich crop of them in Blackpool at present, to scratch at the surface of music press and radio recognition. That being given it is still no excuse for young people singing karaoke to Simon Bowell in exchange for fifteen minutes of fame. You may wonder where I am going with this cynical little rant and to be truthful I’m not really sure, but if we return to sport and the recent World Cup, the England performance seems to encapsulate the whole style over substance argument. More airtime was given to what the " Showbiz eleven" and the WAG’s got up to in their spare time than the lethargic performances on the pitch. Still, and Max Clifford will back me up on this one as long as your on T.V. and in the newspapers the Pepsi ads will keep coming. Success- it matters not! What can we do about this? I am not sure. What I think would be a nudge in the right direction would be to turn off the reality T.V., go out, maybe go and see a local band play live. If you are feeling adventuorous maybe take up a sport or a hobby or even go and watch your superb local football team in action. I firmly believe if we continue with this obsession with the vacuous cult of celebrity then we are all going to hell in a handcart. DEREK TWAT

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