What’s it all about?

Les Guignols d’Info is one of the great pleasures, among the few, of French television. They are there in the best of Spitting Image tradition and all other spinoffs worldwide. Whilst they appear to mainly focus on a parody of the political word, it is far more broadly speaking the world of personality. That is what I am wondering about.

Are we really so bored that the latest news about Kim Kardashian being pregnant really means a thing to anybody? Well, the media seem to think so. So they pack columns, screen time, internet pages and probably hot air balloons with all these world stopping snippets for us all to savour. Yippee. Errrr! Why? What do any of us get out of it? Ms Kardashian is mainly famous for being famous and most of her other ventures in acting, modelling or fashion design are not at all world moving. But she is very rich and does what she does, which appears to be very little in terms of what good, upstanding working people do. I am not picking on her though. Oh no, I am just using her as an example, there are many more. We probably do not need their names, they have already been thrust in front of our faces by their publicists and the media who lack more important things to report like wars, natural disasters, the environment…

As ever, here in France we probably know exactly what time of which day Johnny Hallyday cut his toenails, exactly what length they were and the colour of socks he then put on before donning his carpet slippers. In fact, he has done very little of note for decades bar being a tax and whatever else exile who occasionally pops back into France to be noticed – little else. At present a chap called Depardieu who does not like paying tax, well what he considers too much anyway, and spends a lot of time being drunk and irritating is getting the limelight, before he pushes off to Belgium once and for all. I exaggerate a little perhaps, not much. Just embellish a few details to make it slightly more interesting. Yawn!!

Why, oh why do we care? Actually, do we care? There appear to be many of them. We could do it country by country. In each of those countries these ‘personalities’ are imagined to be enormously important international names. In point of fact, we usually do not know who or what they, nor care either. The internationally well known ones are no better. Some had a hit record in 1972 or a box office smash movie in 1964 and are still riding the crest of that ripple. Many of these people do absolutely nothing except swanning around being rich and either doing things of no consequence or the opposite, such as making porno films that are put on the Web or hitting people, in any case probably ending up in court to be enriched by massive and disproportion settlements or paying out to the victims of their excesses similarly.

How many SFN members can live up to such exemplary standards? Stand up and be counted people, give us materials for our own SFN gossip column. Hmmm, perhaps not, that’s not what this is all about. Give me a network with real people any day, however if any of you does have an important announcement such as having brushed your teeth, I am sure we shall all be enthralled to read it here. Happy New Year!

Glad to be able to make you smile Lucy, but you would be smiling if we wern't conversing online, because I was distracted shortly after posting the last text and I STILL havn't brushed my teeth. That's the advantage of online relationships I think!!!!

:-) Jo - that made me smile! A challenge this morning for some reason! :-(

oooo! I forgot to brush my teeth, thanks for reminding me ;)

RE; depardieu and the general argument that the rich should pay the same rate of tax as the poor, or even the reasonably well off. If Depardieu wants to use his vast wealth for the good of his community, aside from his personal gratification, luxury and to enhance his already bulging bank coffer, he can surely invest it in social enterprises, private nursing schemes and fund the huge charitable sector on which vast millions of French people depend for care, welfare and social contact with others. If he did that, he would avoid tax in a socially responsible way because he would be putting his wealth to good use and no government with any sense would introduce a tax law to prevent this kind of advantage. Even if he were to be less generous and simply create jobs by investing his profit into any enterprise, however trite or useless, he would still not have to pay a penny of tax.

But If he wants to keep it for himself and be so wasteful as to ignore what opportunities his wealth might provide for the good of his community, I say tax him to the hilt or say bye bye and good riddance.

Thanks Brian - that is exactly what I was trying to say! FB can sometimes become a way of sharing that level of irrelevant detail! :-)

I too hate the 'I have just brushed my teeth' type of FB posts. Why do people bother?

I am not aware of "celebrity" on FB either particularly :-) But there can be the same tendency on FB as there is on Twitter to share inane details of daily life!! That was the comparison I was trying (inefficiently) to make!

Do agree though that FB is a wonderful way to keep in touch with family and friends around the world! :-)

Facebook for me has been a Godsend with two kids living in Dubai, family in Australia...friends all over the world...I love it....! email I use much less now, mainly for business or more formal contacts...or contacting those not on fb. I have much closer contact with old friends now and because of social sites am now in contact with friends from primary school....who have become close friends all over again...would do without tv and radio before ever giving up my macbook...but the cult of celebrity isnt something I am aware of on facebook, I guess its the way its used by the individual...much like twitter.

For as long as the 'media masters' dictate that it should last, Chris.....sadly

Nothing wrong with Facebook per se, but overused and trivialised. As for "celebrity" -well,how long will this phenomenon last, of "being famous for being famous"?

Agree with that Annie. I started on FB because I was doing a City and Guilds Course and wanted an easy way to show my friends what I was doing - and Photo Albums worked well! But it is SO easy to let it take over! Perhaps 2013 will be the year of discerning FB usage!! :-)

So agree with you Lucy! I'd rather be with real people!!!

However facebook has been a godsend for me with the arrival of the first grandchild, there are new photos and videos every day, I dont feel so far away. So I guess it has it's uses, it is up to us to be discerning?????

Think Facebook and Twitter are also part of the problem! They seem to encourage people ("Celebs" and "normal" people) to think that others are interested in the minutae (? sp!!) of their day! I don't care if they are having a cup of coffee in some over-priced American coffee chain, or who they are with! I feel life is too short to waste time on FB or Tweeting about what you are doing! Just get on with it! :-)

OMG - am starting to worry that I may be turning into one (or both) of my parents ..... I need help!

With you there Lucy, just like being famous for being rich but not actually doing 'anything'!

Have spent some of the Christmas / New Year back in UK - and there is SO much "Celebrity" TV there! Most (almost all) of them are people I have never heard of and don't recognise! I do feel that the word "Celebrity" needs to be re-appraised and used MUCH more sparingly so that people who are identified as such genuinely deserve it. It should be somebody whose life or achievement really deserves celebrating. It shouldn't refer to any old actor who has appeared in an episode of a soap (for example!) Also - please note that when I say "any old actor" I am most definitely NOT talking about their age! :-)

Shirley, but that is a meaningful nobody type day. Fancy having to be rich, swan about and be watched, photographed and have to smile a lot. What a tough job!

A nation of great drinkers, that fits the bill. A great deal for somebody not wanting to pay a large bill!

End of story with Depardieu - it's just been announced that he has been given Russian citizenship!!!

Courtney, I read a couple of days ago, that parliament, in a stinging rebuke to Hollande, had rescinded the 75% tax. I agree with Depardieu's decision for the reason you state. He is still nearly in France. All he has to do is step across the border. No telling what the bureaucrats will come up with next. Being outside their grasp is probably not a bad position.

And David, I'm with you. I have no idea who the Kardashians are. Nor do I care. I am always mystified by the online Daily Mail web pages and their long list of the doings of the beautiful people. I've never heard of most of them. I am blessed.