Inspired by an article in today's Guardian I've been spending some time researching the child beauty pageants revered by the white-boots-wearing segment of British and American society. This is all work-related, of course, as the beauty pageant is of course a perfect illustration of the standardisation processes of the "Kulturindustrie" described by Horkheimer and Adorno in Dialectics of Englightenment. Which I'm rereading as a part of reworking a lecture.
However, it being another tropical day, I'm currently more inclined to turn H&A's ardurously rendered ideas into a visceral emotion of cultural pessimism by recapping on topical BBC3 fly-on-the-wall documentaries.
So there is "dumb" (her word) Sasha Bennington from bluddy Burnley, who desperately wants to be Katie Price (according to herself, the most important person in her life):
(Dad is a right alpha male, too, isn't he?)
If you think that's a freakshow, go stateside, where you find the vicious American munchkin who "channels" (my favourite item of "cool" patois from the Snaily Grail) Eddie Izzard.
My favourite, however, is Moira, the born-again pageant mum - who simply channels ... Jesus:
Talk about the "obsessively mimetic relationship between consumer and cultural commodities" (Horkheimer and Adorno). Talk about "opium for the people."