The March of Progress?

Back when I was growing up, back in the transition from monochrome television to polychrome – all cathode ray tube mind, no flat screens in sight – and dinosaur descendants went from being whole birds to selected parts – the undesirable ones converted in school lunch mystery meat – we had celebrities and authorities.

And they were distinct people.

Celebrities were people who did nothing productive. They were either entertainers or play boys/girls. And they got a lot of press coverage because ordinary people who did things thought they were glamorous and so press coverage equaled lots of sales. 

Authorities were people who did things and knew how to do them. They were either knowledge works, academics in the main, or political appointees, but never politicians. And they got no press coverage unless they won a big, independent award or the government got in deep stercus and called on them to do a rescue.

And we were taught that it was alright to look at celebrities but not to be one because they did nothing. And they didn’t know anything except how to act or play.

And in college we were taught – not sure why then, probably youthful arrogance? – that appeal to authority was an invalid argument. That means if we argued “X is TRUE because authority Y sez it is” we were full of stercus.

IOW, don’t trust anybody without testing.

Nowadays, we have celebrities who are treated as authorities aren’t supposed to be. And authorities are ignored, if not vilified. And the politicians are dead set against admitting anything is wrong, and if it is, they call on celebrities to rescue them. 

Because publicity is all that matters? Or because celebrities are the only people trusted?

How did this happen. How did we turn inside out and rot at the same time?

The World Wonders?