Thought of the Week: Celebrity politics

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We live in an age of instantaneous news reports, the lives of the rich and famous scrutinised down to itemised lists of what they consume. Though this used to only be the case for pop stars, football players, models and actors, we have seen the political sphere expand to include Emma WatsonAnne Hathaway, and Ashton Kutcher. It would be silly to say that this process is a one way street. We have also seen ‘serious politicians’ take on the role of being teenage heartthrobs *cough cough, Justin Trudeau, cough cough*. How does this actually affect how we as consumers of celebrity news, whether we like it or not, relate to our political systems?

The internet is in love with Obama, Trudeau and basically all the politicians with less than 40% body fat, even Putin. While the internet is too busy admiring Justin Trudeau’s six pack, and Obama’s winning smile, the pair of them have been pushing to accept three oil pipeline projects; Keystone XL, Line 3, and the Trans-Mountain pipeline. Everyone lapped up Trudeau’s participation in the gay pride event in Ottawa, without even thinking about the lucrative arms trade that Canada has with Saudi Arabia, a nation which hangs and stones its non-heterosexual citizens. Immediately after Obama invited David Attenborough to the White House, and just before his interview with Leonardo Di Caprio for Before the Flood, Obama increased funding and support for Shell to perform exploration drills under the arctic.

To think of these liberal politicians as anything but the good guys is extremely disruptive and distressing. It is falls out of our comfort zones to consider the possibility that our ‘best’ electoral option, is still so far from what we actually need or want. Perhaps Trump was the right option? Perhaps this is the wake up call that our generation needs to reclaim the power of the people to question those in power and our systems of power.

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