My name is not Jon Savage. I don’t care if you don’t know what I’ve been doing for the past five years and I certainly don’t care if you want to read this piece or any of the others that I write.
What I am concerned about is expressing an opinion about the South African entertainment industry, an opinion that some of you will share and that others will despise. South Africa has been a fairly interesting place to live in post 1994. We’ve always been better than the rest of the 3rd World but yet not quite fully 1st World enough to get invited to the International end of year office party. This has meant that we’ve consistently done our best to emulate what we considered to be the crème of the global crop in our local entertainment industry in the hope that the rest of the world would sit up and take notice of that not so little country at the tip of Africa.
A rapper is arrested for gun possession in the UK… Jub-Jub ploughs down a group of kids in his Mini-Cooper in SA and stands trial (eventually). Mel Gibson goes on a religious and racist tirade in the US… Steve Hofmeyer, well continues to be Steve Hofmeyer. This same trend trickles over into the rest of the entertainment industry with our local A-listers (I use this term very loosely- like fat pants loose) thinking that they reside in their very own version of Tinseltown Hollywood. And that’s where I am going to play the metaphorical married wife and feign a headache to avoid engaging in 3 minutes of listless humping. ALL of you are NOT celebrities.
A rather irritating trend of people thinking that they are celebrities and that their opinions count, spreading their very own versions of the gospel of entertainment, has been creeping up of late. Case in point a certain Jon Savage from 5FM and Cassette and some other indie band (for more details on Jon Savage’s many other achievements see his Rolling Stone online post entitled Local is Not Lekker over HERE). I get that you are a dj on a local radio station and have been in the local music scene for a good number of years but I really don’t think that you should be writing for a publication like Rolling Stone (even if it was only online, it was still just enough rope provided by the entertainment heavyweights). The point you were making was a valid one but the way it was presented made no sense- it was essentially just one long advert for yourself. The shameless self-promotion extends all the way through the local industry with everyone who’s ever been on tv for even 30 seconds writing a book or publishing newspaper articles that make you question why anyone even cares enough to have given them the opportunity in the first place (much like Jacob Zuma did with Julius Malema).
So why do we care? These people are really just normal individuals who have got caught up in the idea that when they wake up in the morning thousands of people will be waiting outside their house waiting to take pictures of them, entitling them to spew their opinions across all media. This is not Hollywood. Hell this isn’t even Nollywood. You are not a celebrity until someone tries to take a sample of your excrement to sell on Ebay.
And you’re definitely not a celebrity if you make a “living” from writing about “celebrities”. Yes and I am talking about all of you entertainment bloggers and “journalists” who see-saw between the two sides of every issue worth talking about, just so you can get invited back to the next cool launch of the next cool album or whatever. Take yourselves with a pinch of fucking salt. You only need to look at my bio on Twitter to know that I don’t for one minute take myself seriously- “curator of urban culture” I mean really- all that makes me different from you, is a knack for writing, penchant for partying and a charming smile (whoa, this really is contagious).
South Africa only has one real celebrity and his name is Nelson Mandela. Everyone needs to take a bit of a break from pretending to be awesome and just carry on their lives like normal people. Be thankful that your voice, face or online avatar is more recognizable than others in the country you live in… stop making an ass of yourselves and do something positive to make your country a cooler place.
PS. (Local IS Lekker. Motherfucker).