We are living in a karaoke media culture – everything we see is a pale, recycled copy of something that’s gone before and, worse still, this sincere flattery of icons and iconography past is being actively encouraged.
Miley Cyrus is heading off down the well-trodden path of over-sexualised image that has been presented 1000 times before and is well known to end in ruin at least half the time. Even Kylie has got in on the act, kissing Ana Matronic from the Scissor Sisters; a direct echo of Madonna and Britney’s “lesbian” kiss.
Prince Albert of Monaco is doing a karaoke version of his father by marrying an American celeb, who is a pale imitation of Grace Kelly. And then there’s the Princes, William and Harry: William is currently back with Kate Middleton, whom the press insist shares much in common with his mother, Princess Diana; Harry is off clearing mines in a bid to be like his mother. A Freudian could no doubt get some considerable mileage from the undercurrents created by the media’s presentation of them.
And let’s not forget the endless stream of politicians, like Al Gore and Chris Huhne, running off with younger women in a karaoke of every powerful or rich man before them. Late mid-life crises of this sort have been karaoked for centuries, as any good history book will show you.
Add to this litany the pale imitations that are the current England team: a karaoke version of every footballing failure there’s been in this country. This is the most damning indictment of them; they couldn’t even be bothered to fail with originality and style. And goalkeeper failures are hardly new either. Nor are Frank Lampard and Christine Bleakley, who’d like to be the next Posh and Becks but don’t really have the ability to sing the song in the right tune.
It’s a culture of cliché piled on cliché piled on foundations of quicksand. There’s no better example of this than Katie Price, who has got married again thanks to the largesse of OK magazine and surrounded by the same old tired celebs and who is now a karaoke version of herself.
Does nobody worry that so much in the news has been done before, usually with a little more wit and style? I wonder if the media has been run so ragged it now has the attention span of a goldfish, albeit a goldfish that has embraced the concept of “don’t break your neck trying to be clever”? Karaoke ideas are king.
Perhaps I am being too critical. Perhaps we are simply too busy to be original in this time-compressed age and are, thereby, all allowing complacency to suffocate originality. It’s par for the current course.
Karaoke media culture might irritate me – but it’s only because I know we are all capable of so much more.