Friday, 21 November 2008

Celebrity Rant

I know it's insufferable when parents go on about how perfect their children are and what their amazing little darling did today. I know. Because we all know, for a fact, etched in our hearts, that OUR child is the only amazing little darling on the planet (make that plural as required!) . But we politely nod and coo and agree with other parents about how wonderful their little darling is because, well, we know how they feel! So I make no apologies for glowing quietly here on my blog. Turn away now if you're not in the mood!
During a number of recent conversations with the beautiful boy, other people have asked him what he's going to do when he grows up. Generally he baffles them because he doesn't know the job titles for the things he wants to do and generally these centre around his heroes like Simon King (wildlife film maker), James May (all round mechanical boffin) and Ray Mears (survival expert/ knows how to build a good bonfire).
Betty Crocker Spoon Trebuchet

So, recently in conversation, I asked the question myself;
"I want to be famous" came the reply.
I was mortified.
I was sad
I was very very worried.
As 'older' parents of an 'only child' we probably fit a lot of the stereotypes. Over-protective, unfashionable, highly academic (but only when it comes to his homework), and, of course, highly controlling when it comes to the media's input to our little darling.
Outside of cBeebies (pre-school channel) his TV viewing includes Open University films about engineering, documentaries about the world, history, culture etc., and the many many excellent wildlife series that we all love.
Whilst I'm happy to live and let live, we don't watch 'x-pop star wannabe can't sing' TV and we don't watch soaps, especially weeny-bopper soaps, UGH! I have huge misgivings about what is called the 'cult of celebrity'. I think it's great to look up to fine actors or great comedians. People who have a gift for their craft. My concern is that, generally, there are more practical things which society needs. Who will fix our plumbing when we're 75 if everyone goes to University to study Drama? Who is going to install a washing machine if everyone wants to work in Media. Why don't we have more respect for engineering and craftsmanship as career choices in this country? Why is University seen as being the icing on the cake, as though that somehow makes you better than a person who chooses to train on the job to become a master carpenter? Have you ever seen a man do the mental arithmetic involved in building a roof? Breath-taking!
The mini workshop with unspeakably dangerous things in it.

So... you see I warned you there was a rant in here.... back to the boy. You know that voice you do to cover rising panic? Use it here..
"Lovely darling, and what will you do to be famous?

Are you ready for this? You need to be sitting down..

"I'm going to turn water into petrol"

Well Hurrah to that!
(The eco warriors amongst you will be glad to hear that the conversation continued around the possibilities of inventing a car that runs on water but apparently someone is already famous for having done that....)

That's me, glowing happily.
Clarification - (often needed after a rant) Oh lovelies! I don't mind at all people working in Media - my boy wouldn't have his beloved heroes if they hadn't moved into television and there were not production teams to make it all possible. It's the 'flash in the pan, high exposure, no talent' I dislike and a state educational policy that seems to belittle practical aspirations!


thriftymrs said...

I agree with everything you have said. Especially the university bit.
My brother always says he feels 'lesser' that his friends and some family because he is 'just' a builder. It angers me so much! He is a damn good builder, well trained, well educated and well respected by many people in his field. His friends are all trying to peddle the celebrity career bike.
I myself did go to university, but it did seem whilst I was there that many people were just there to spice up their CV because the BBC and the like are unlikey to employ non-grads and they all want to work media. They are all now working angrily in a job that they could have done fresh out of sixth form(without the debt and living on beans), whilst I work in the media (not even something I wanted to do, just something that seems to be my calling, if you see what I mean) because it's something I'm good at and not in any part to do with fame.
Modern versions of fame sicken me.

thriftymrs said...

Wow that turned into a bit of a rant, sorry.

clare Carter said...

I love your rant! Wanting to be famous has no substance to it anymore thanks to the horrors of reality tv and trash films.Being a film family,we have seen up close(sometimes way too close!!) the petulant behaviour of people with mediocre talent who got lucky.You'd think it was brain surgery.There is true talent out there but there is such crap to wade through before you find it.I loved his true desire!! Henry tells me he is an artist (my mind swells with pride and images of my middle aged son knocking on the door for his laundry and a good meal) yet it always ends with scientist.Actually he loves building so I imagine him going that way.My mother teachers at university and says that ,as apprenticeships have been cut so much,people who don't want to be there are ending up at university because they don't have a choice.xx

Kitschen Pink said...

Well said ladies! t.xx

sesga loves 1950s said...

My little tresure is 3 and she wants to be a Superhero !!!!

Im was so happy to read that your little darling wants to be famous for such a good cause .

Is that his Tortoise??? I adore them .

love from sesga xx

Kitschen Pink said...

Hey there sesga! it's a baby tortoise! - the lady we saw is a breeder and had an 80 year old tortoise too! t.x

dottyspots said...

Well that's the sort of famous with substance (turning water into petrol).

I think it's important for people to remember who it is that builds their houses, makes their funiture, etc. before they belittle pratical professions (I'm a wife of a plasterer/decorater and sticky situations he's got people out of have included a young man who threw a house party whilst his parents were on holiday, dh patched up a hole in a wall - heaven only knows how it got there - then painted and generally made it as good as new, much to the relief of the young man!)

We home-ed so generally opt out of state education (although my eldest is at boarding school).

Kitschen Pink said...

Hi dotty spots - I'd like to have been at that party! t.x

MarmaladeRose said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your rant. You deserve to be glowing!