Sigh. I found myself inexplicably watching one of those awful “talent” shows on television the other night, a truly horrible display of showiness and unjustified ego (and that’s just from the judges), and it dawned on me: talent alone is not getting it done. Not now. Not in 2013. No no. To really make it, whatever that actually means in the modern age, will be determined by these criteria:
Success in the 21st Century = debatable level of talent + undeniable sex appeal + personal tragedy in any form
Don’t believe me? Watch any of the several zillion talent shows currently being produced, from Australia’s Got Talent, to X-Factor, Masterchef, So You Think You Can Dance, The Voice, My Big Fat Cupcake Fucking Rules and so on, and you will see that the majority of the participants in these horrid competitions won’t just show up with a specific talent in their chosen field of expertise. No. They will have experienced some form of personal trauma or tragedy for you to sympathize/empathize with. And herein lies the trick of it all: to compete in the Twitter era, you must have people pity you and your story. The judges, those without ice in their veins a la Simon Cowell, will buy the sob story and let it influence their judgment, and the audience will see the humanity, with all its tragedy and heartbreak, and feel connected to that person.
This is fine for those that want to enter the field of entertainment, but what about the rest of us? If I go for a job, should I inform them of my cat and his ongoing battle with cat AIDS? My talent for any job I go for is questionable at best, and in this wintry economy I need every advantage I can get. Cat AIDS is a thing, and my cat has it. It is very stressful, both for me and my feline companion.
Won’t somebody please think of the poor cats!