The Drug of Entertainment
“Deep down, no one really believes they have a right to live. But this death sentence
generally stays cosily tucked away, hidden beneath the difficulty
of living. If that difficulty is removed from time to time,
death is suddenly there, unintelligibly.”
― Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories
One of the ramification of the advent of capitalism was that the public sphere instead of being the place for critical decussion of the world’s events and the issues of the day as it was in the 18th century after the a mixture of things like The French Revolution, Napoleanic Wars, etc, dethroned the entrenched representative form of government and its means of control, got co-opted as a place to sell product and the basis for the mass consumption.
Mass consumption in many ways enforces a reality that keeps us blind to the hidden sentence that stays tucked away behind the difficulty. For our entertainment we are given to music which as one write has aptly described in the followign scence:
…Still he had been touched in a way by there brand of music, where they, too, try to get away from the weight of routine and the crushing misery of having to do the same thing every day. . . While it’s playing, they can shuffle about or a whole with a life that has no meaning. …..[...]… Nobody can resist music. You don’t know what to do with your heart, you’re glad to give it away. At the bottom of all music you have top hear the tune without notes, made jut for us, the tune of Death.
So Now the Question:
Why does America give a fuck about Dick Clark dying?
Dick Clark the Symbol
Since the mass majority of us did not know Dick Clark personally, it is clear to me, especially by all the media attention that he was an important symbol, his presence on the TV symbolized something the mass majority of us identify with.
To me Dick Clark was a symbolic representation of the deep seated American fear of its own mortality individually as well collectively. He was America’s oldest teenager meaning he was the person who represented a steadfastness to keep one’s head in the sand while the world around hims changed and moved onwards.
I remember being a teenager. In retrospect I can describe it as being perpetually stuck between two extremes: the blissful ignorance of childhood, and the bitter cynicism of adult responsibility and empty pleasure. I wouldn’t want to be called America’s oldest teen. [Btw- I hated being a teen, no one took me seriously, no lady wanted to open her frontal orifice up for probing or exploration for the simple fact that I have a winning smile.] Dick Clarke symbolize our being terrible stuck at a crossroads. He was for me a scene from Waiting for Godot perpetually stuck at a crossroad.
We (the USA) are at a point where we haven accepted and embraces ourselves and our history for what it is and most of us want to be left alone. We don’t want to see the fallout victims of the wars we are waging. We don’t want to talk about the poor and hungry Americans. We just want our tunes to drown out the sounds of our hearts and soul dying as we consumer more and more without stopping to breathe. Why? because life has already passed us by but like Mr Clarke post-stroke we force ourselves to continue on when here is no need to.
I’d Pretty much come to the point, the age you might say, when a man knows what he’s losing with every hour that passes. But he hasn’t yet built up the wisdom to pull up sharp on the road of time, and anyway, even if you did stop you wouldn’t know what to do without the frenzy for going forward that has possessed you and won your admiration ever since you were young. Even now you’re not so pleased with your youth as you used to be, but you don’t dare admit in public that youth may be nothing more than hurrying to grow old.
In the whole of your absurd past you discover so much that’s absurd, so much deceit and credulity, that i might be a good idea to stop being young this minute, to wait for youth to break away from you and pass you by, to watch it going away receding in the distance, to see all its vanity, run your hand throught eh empty spac eit left behind, take a last look at it, and then start moving, make sure your youth has really gone, then calmly, all by yourself, cross to the other side of Time, to see what people and things really look like.
-Celine Journey to the End of the Night
Dick Clarke The Man
RIP, Rest in Peace!
BTW- Because I am a NY’er it doesn’t mean I like the ball dropping New Years Eve thing. Outside of battling the advances of a dark deep-seated loneliness with absorption ability of a tube sock, I don’t like watching the ball drop on New Years Eve, unless that is the name the girl I’m with that night used to dance under, then let the ball(s) drop irresponsibly, chin and all.
The Question from TheSandyTongueBlog here
- RIP Dick Clark – See Him With His Legions of Celeb Friends Over the Years (popsugar.com)
- Dick Clark Passes Away at 82 (popsugar.com)