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I Don't Often Say This, But I Really Am Speechless

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | September 10, 2021 |

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | September 10, 2021 |


Ever get the feeling that you’re living through a cosmic joke? A really cruel one, something that must have been orchestrated by a malignant, omniscient entity—because there’s just no way that a purposeless universe born out of chaos, and a world that spawned life by pure chance, would lead to where we are now? I know, I know, with the state of the world as it is, I could be referring to any number of things. ‘Narrow it down, Knava, for fu*k’s sake!’ I hear you say. And that’s totally understandable. As it happens, today’s edition of ‘what fresh hell is this?’ comes to us from the people at Deadline, who are the source behind this bombshell of an ‘entertainment’ news story:

Isn’t that just incredible? So much to parse here. A game show based on pitting activists against each other so that one of their ‘celebrity-championed’ causes will get to be brought before the G20! You absolutely could not write this as fiction and not have it come across as the most hack-y, cheap satire of late-stage capitalism and the degradation of activism. You’d be laughed out of the room. Well, unless that room was the elite halls of America, where apparently this is the sh*t that gets execs and celebs to sombrely high-five each other for so astutely tapping into the zeitgeist. Can you imagine the delights they’ll come up with when the zeitgeist is guillotines and street trials!

As Deadline reports, everyone involved seems very enthused about their genius idea:

Added Jack Sussman, EVP Specials, Music, Live Events and Alternative Programming at CBS. “Combining philanthropy and entertainment, The Activist is a ground-breaking series poised to inspire viewers,” We’re thrilled to have Usher, Priyanka, and Julianne as part of the series, guiding our CBS audience through the journeys of passionate changemakers from around the world.”

Michael Rapino, CEO at Live Nation Entertainment said: “The Activist will spread awareness about society’s most urgent issues while also giving every viewer the opportunity to be part of the solution - an unprecedented example of how entertainment can change the world. Combining competition and compassion, these essential causes will take center stage, as the show proves that there are no issues we can’t solve when we work together and demand change.”

Capitalism has set the world on fire, dooming vast swathes of its population to a life of misery and subjugation and quite probable extinction, and it now seeks to commodify the very acts of resistance against it. It’s truly something, innit?! What a system! Performative surface-level celebrity activism in place of structural root and branch reform. The society of the spectacle brought to beautiful, transcendent climax, right on the eve of our destruction. Of course it makes perfect sense that the money people behind the scenes would champion something like this, and that rich celebrities would jump on the train. Why would they advocate for real substantive change when they benefit so handsomely from the very system that we need to destroy? Their interests must be protected, so this is how we will go out, with blazingly whitened teeth reflecting the light from the fires that consume the world as money is counted behind gated Hollywood compounds.

Twitter, naturally, had thoughts on the matter:

Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for InStyle