Sunday, 28 September 2014

"We're all part of the same sick little games"

Anybody who knows me at all will be extremely aware of my unfortunate obsession with All Time Low’s music. However, those who know me just a little better will have realised by now that my seemingly never-ending love for the band is not because of their looks or the punk-pop image they promote. It’s the lyrics that I’m desperately, hopelessly struck by.

Anyway, I had an inane thought today when I was listening to my iPod and ‘Sick Little Games’ came on. Let me be honest and say that while I do really like ‘Sick Little Games’ and its message, it wouldn’t be the first song I’d play to somebody who’d never heard of All Time Low before. At first listening, it’s not deep enough to be considered meaningful, but it’s also not incredible enough to become somebody’s favourite song immediately. Regardless I was listening to the lyrics rather intently today, and something clicked.

If you’ve never heard the song before, I recommend listening to it now. I really couldn’t care less if you don’t like this type of music. Just listen to the lyrics.

I’m going to assume that you took my advice, even though I know most of you wouldn’t have. *sigh*

In essence, the song is about how the artist is obsessed with watching celebrities, and truly aspires to be one of them. He wastes all his time playing the “sick little games” of the rich and famous, and watches all his friends slip away as he becomes more and more obsessed with the fame. The most disturbing part of the song, in my opinion, is the bridge: “If I play my cards right, I can make the big time. I could be a reason to stare. Caught up in the spotlight, shaking from the stage fright, how did I end up here?” The lyrics suggest that fame is not about talent, but “playing the cards right”. It is all just a game.

Sounds a little familiar, right? Think about it: isn’t our entire society based on the media, and the information we receive from them? And given that about forty percent – or even more – of mass media these days is based on useless celebrity news. So ultimately, we’re all caught up in the observation of people who are more talented, more likeable, more attractive, and consequently more famous than ourselves. Aren’t we all, in some sick way, a little crazed by the very idea of celebrities? (Hell, you just have to look at the way this very blog that you are reading right now was inspired by a song by a vaguely famous band.) Don’t those glossy magazines with creative names like ‘People’ and ‘You’ sell billions of copies every week? And why? Because billions of people are obsessed with other people whose biggest issue in life is how to spend their excessive money on a wedding that’s not too bland, not too flashy, but just right (and yet still cost more than it would to build twenty hospitals in Zimbabwe). That is messed up.

As a teenager who is significantly less interested in celebrities than other people my age, I’m probably a little more confused with the obsession my counterparts seem to have with the celebrity world. I think I’ve been personally shunned at least fifteen times this year because I don’t dedicate a small part of my life to watching ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’. It’s seen as a sin, an absolute crime, that I as a teenage girl do not waste my precious time watching another girl cry for twenty minutes about how she lost her diamond earring – which probably cost about the same amount of money as my house. Seriously? Seriously?

Let’s take one step back, shall we? Kim Kardashian – the star of afore mentioned ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ – is one of the most famous people in the world. Not for her kind-heartedness, not for her charitableness, not even for rescuing a kitten out of a tree. She’s famous for a sex tape that went viral.

I like to think that if aliens were to invade our planet right now and take a look at our society, they’d obliterate the entire human race simply because we’ve idolized a woman who took a poorly-filmed video of herself having sexual intercourse with some male, and is now one of the richest and most famous people in the world.

This is crazy. It’s sick. It’s even worse that thousands of humans are desperate to be famous, and are molding themselves after people like Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Not the best role models out there… The value of simple talent – and not just for the things that get you on TV – has been lost almost completely. As human beings, we’re more interested in what’s going on with the people on our TV screens than we are about helping other people.

But, you know, I’m not an Oscar-winning actress, or a rock star, or a supermodel. I’m not famous, so it’s not like what I have to say will give any more meaning to your life.

Just something to think about.

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