Poor substitutes

The World Cup has begun, and the world is coming together… in their lounges watching telly.

If you really want to get in the mood (in the mood for what exactly though?), then you might want to watch this inspiring video by Beats By Dre.  Well, it’s not a video, it’s an ad.  I managed to find the version where you don’t need to watch another ad before you can watch the main ad, so here you go:

Unfortunately, when I watched this ad hype, it made me feel sad inside (I hope you only bothered with the first minute).  The slow, tragic crumbling of a culture has never looked so stylish.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our kids could have role models present in their actual lives, living in their own towns; real people?  Our real role models, if they ever drag themselves away from their tellies, would probably not fluff us with inspirational images and noises so that they could sell us headphones on the sly.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could participate in our own dramas, rather than have our pinnacles consisting of watching other people’s?

And now look – my cherished role model has been caught shagging a prostitute.  And the tournament has now finished and I feel strangely empty (just like I did after the Olympics) because I’m not actually doing anything heroic myself.  And I can’t hear the birds any more because I have to walk around wearing these bloody headphones like everyone else is.

But the video is packed full of celebrities though, that’s cool.  I saw Nicki Minaj for 2 seconds.  And it was fun rewinding 5 times the bit where the Spanish girl is pretending to have wild sex.

We are reduced, while Dre and Apple (now part of the same corporation) and Panini and UEFA rake it in while they can, laughing their arses off.

And all because I sent my own story off to the bench and brought on some very poor substitutes.

This is just the latest example of everyday mainstream consumer emptiness, a padded cell filled with beguiling, numbing distractions.  But the door is not locked:

Switch off the telly, allow a bit of space to shelter from other people’s marketing messages.  Once our own dramas have inevitably begun to write themselves, we might become role models for people in our orbit, especially the younger ones, by following those dreams.  Maybe one day we might be able to make a phonecall like that geezer at the beginning (but without trying to sell anything).

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