Saturday, 23 October 2010
“What’s wrong with a monthly salary check?,” Phil Hilton has asked, almost rhetorically, in his brilliant article “Save our kids from the X-Factor” (The Guardian, 23.10.2010). Well, it simply isn’t enough. Masses of people from the middle and lower classes have been experiencing a gradual decline of actual income, purchasing capacity and quality of life over the past decades. Consolidated corporately owned mass media have helped the excessive consumerism and greed for material goods displace more traditional social values like thriftiness and diligence. Among disproportionately overpaid financial and management executives money-making has become the one and only valuable professional skill. Work ethics and loyalty to one’s employer have become obsolete and ridiculous. With the gap between rich and poor hardly possible for anyone to climb across it is celebrity culture, reality TV, and games of fortune fame that play the role of a social tranquiliser. They construct the fictious image of the ‘dream world’ of wealth and richness and - more importantly – sustain the illusion that it is still within everyone’s reach trough access points like the X-Factor.