The Belvedere Journal
Does The Entertainment Industry Run Society?
by Ciara C
We live such interchangeable and predictable lives that we resort to our screens to give us meaning and distraction
From a young age, I became aware of a defeating fact about society. One that surely influenced my thoughts, elevated my views and perhaps even changed how I saw people. It was something of a subconscious action that every single one of us makes. Throughout adolescence we begin to resonate with these two labels, play into them, live them and eventually die with them. How we chose to spend our years on earth. Whether we want to be entertained or the entertainer.
Undoubtedly, we all fall into this category of life- one we have blindly made ourselves and will continue to feast on until the earth collapses. The entertainer consists of the rich, the dramatic, those that clamour for our attention and usually get exactly what they crave. And we, the entertained, are the ones who live off this entertainment to distract us from the limited life we have. We live such interchangeable and predictable lives that we resort to our screens to give us meaning and distraction. Distraction from work, personal issues and the chance of escapism. Realistically, we are not going to give that up - no matter what scandals take place or what terrible people lurk behind the curtain - abandoning entertainment would mean abandoning all we have. It has become this factor in our lives that we need to survive. This is where the Cultivation Theory is a great example of how much we allow ourselves to consume TV or films and how it affects our perception of the world around us. The theory states that media messaging is so entangled in our lives that we find it hard to separate our values from those that we consume on screen. So, as we're watching America's Next Top Model or Married At First Sight we aren't just being entertained, we're also internalising the messages of those shows to an extent that they have us under a kind of spell.
This spell is one that the media exploits - again and again.
All this media-fuelled drama and gossip gives the entertainers attention, money and glory. If they turn out to be problematic, as so many do, then there is a high chance that most people will either not care or soon forget their misdemeanours. As long as the ever-expanding industry expands to take us far away from the lives of doom and gloom then nothing will change. Recent events involving Will Smith and Chris Rock are a case in point. Ultimately, this was rich people fighting at one of the most ego-filling events of an actor's career - and yet almost all news websites carried this story with greater prominence than the war in Ukraine.
So yes, the industry does rule this world, greatly. It's something we will never give up - blockbusters, best sellers, chart toppers. Just as long as the entertainers' bank accounts grow, they'll continue to run the world.