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For Pete's sake, will someone tell these idiots to shut up?

Opinion

The world would be a happier place if there were fewer sub-par “celebrities” shouting over each other for attention, writes Michael Blucher

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I have a confession to make. And I trust, given my voluntary honesty, you won’t judge me too harshly.

I have no idea who Pete Evans is.

I’m aware he has something to do with cooking, and that he’s in trouble for something he’s said or done, but that’s it. No more somethings.

I don’t know where he comes from, or what he’s done in his life to become a “celebrity” – just that he is one. A big one. Now, somehow he’s goosed himself.

I wouldn’t be writing about this if I wasn’t worried about it becoming a trend, spiralling out of control. I fear it is.

Maybe it’s a stage of life thing but I hardly know anybody in “the news” anymore. Except Donald Trump, and more power to those who can digest his incoherent ramblings on a daily basis without wanting to dig their eyes out with knitting needles. I can’t.

Take away the Trumpster and COVID and reports of our politicians, erring monotonously, and what we’re often left with is updates on an endless conga line of disenfranchised young women who, it seems, were once hooked up with one – sometimes more – of our nation’s sports stars.

Whether voluntarily or involuntarily, these “sub-celebrities” have become a major focal point of our “news”. During the week, for instance, the world’s best golfer Dustin Johnson wins the US Masters, and we zero in on what Paulina, his partner is wearing when she embraces him beside the 18th green. Where exactly do we go from there?

As a member of the community, I feel it’s part of my civic duty to take an active interest in what’s going on in the world. Not to know everything, you’ll understand. Just enough to get by. Sufficiently versed to hold a conversation over dinner, or at the pub, if and when we’re ever allowed to stand and chat with a beer in our hand.

But increasingly, I can’t watch or listen or read, through fear of joining the race to the bottom.

At dinner recently, thrashing this very issue over with a bunch of similarly cranky middle-aged types, we consoled ourselves by compiling a list of people who just needed to SHUT UP every now and then.

The Former Prime Minister’s XI, we called it. No guessing who was captain.

I’m not going name names, at least not all of them, but crikey, in a matter of 10 minutes, we had enough players for a three-day carnival. Somebody threw in the name Peter Evans, which is when it dawned on me … I didn’t know who he was. But good choice. I slotted him in as opening bowler in the First XI. Some woman in Sydney called Roxy – she was anointed as captain of the 2nds.

I’m sure these “celebrity folk” are all in some way very nice people, but do you know what? We don’t need to know that the Paddington poo jogger has dropped a No.2 outside your office. Or that you’ve fallen out with a rival celebrity.

It seems there are still plenty of people subscribing to the age-old theory that “any publicity is good publicity”. The Mae West approach to life – “better to be looked over than overlooked”.

That might have been true back in the dark ages when there was just the mainstream media, and nothing else. No narrow back street to celebrity and stardom. But now everybody is in the media. Everybody is a broadcaster, so we’ve got “wannabes” everywhere shouting over the top of one another, in an effort to be heard and noticed.

There are probably no more idiots in the world, we just have a greater number, alerting the populous to the fact they are idiots.

I’d like to propose a buddy system, where everybody is allocated a special friend, with whom they can consult, openly and honestly. When they’re contemplating going public – “putting themselves out there” – they can ask their buddy. “Do I go with this? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Or do I shut up? Shut up? OK. Good. Thanks.”

I believe the world would be a much happier place. More room for good news stories. Fewer idiots.

Now, who wants to be Kevin’s special friend?

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