What do the following people all have in common?
Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lauren Bacall, Richard Attenborough, Harold Ramis, Mickey Rooney, Rik Mayall, Bob Hoskins, Eli Wallach, Tommy Ramone, Richard Kiel?
Maybe obvious to most of you. The answer of course is: the world in which we live in has no way of letting talent like that free anymore.
We have lost all of these people, and more of their type too, in 2014 but we aint seeing the replacement of such iconic and talented people. That is a sad thing and a worrying thing to me as a lover of stand up comedy, TV and movies.
There deaths reflect deaths in society from old age, illness, drug addiction and depression. They were all real people though, they just excelled in a field that wasn’t real estate, welding or flying a plane. We all know who they were and if you don’t you should. They were extraordinary entertainers, comedians, writers and performers but the like of them again is very slim.
The modern entertainment world is owned by people who want the next big thing. Of course the next big thing to them is the person they can promote and exploit for twelve months before the next series of their exploitation ‘reality’ show begins and they can flush the chain and start again. The idea of longevity and real talent has long been replaced with marketability and likeability. It’s creating a creative void where you can’t like something because it’s challenging and opposite to the world that we all live and exist in now. The entertaining corporations serve you biscuits marketed in such a way and for so long that you no longer like pink wafer fingers or ginger snaps, the Rich Tea will do just fine.
Real entertainment and change in society has been driven by people who don’t accept the state of play, they see something different or highlight the wrongs and show them to us with documentaries and parody and fiction. Today – being different or having an opinion that isn’t the popular one is seen as odd or reactionary or trouble making.
The world has gone mad and when avenues for creative people to express what they see and feel are lost and the chances for them to show their ideas are no longer open then the world is truly fucked and poorer as a result. Entertainment spreads ideas and ideas can change the world for the better but the way things are today, nothing will change, certainly not for the collective better.
We will always miss those people who open our minds in an entertaining way and make us laugh and think at the same time but how much longer have we got living in such a world? It seems to me that world is doomed to be dominated by greedy, corporate overlords who want to control what you see, hear, think and do.
It would make you think ay? If you were allowed to do it for yourself anymore.