Who are the arbiters of taste? Is taste a construct of the media, facilitated by a hunger for merely the next fad, and are people just sheep waiting to be herded in that regard?
I've been thinking about that notion for a while now, what resonates with those who make the decisions over what is 'noteworthy', and why? Do cultural shifts come into being as a distraction from the interminable mundane, or something more relevant going on behind the scenes? Are they chosen for their excellence and potential to expand minds or are they just so much flotsam and jetsam in the endless cultural landfill, appropriated to distend the mind like junk food.
So what does Lana-Del-Rey have to do with this?Miss Rey-formerly Lizzy Grant, daughter of a domain investor, is a self constructed phenomena herself, and came into prominence in what could be said the most democratic means these days-the viral video through her song on Youtube called without an inkling of a nod and a wink- 'Video Games'. And what a lovely 4 minutes and 47 seconds it was, a pristine pop song all crackly 70's cinefilm glamor, with a voice, sound and a look that could have come from the soundtrack to a David Lynch movie.
Everything was fine and dandy, the media smitten, covergirl-next big thing assured...that was until she appeared on SNL, and did the unthinkable, stood in a white dress (not a meat one) looking fragile and sang without the aid of backing dancers, fireworks or autotune.
Here was a product of artifice performing authentically. The arbiters went tittylipped and threw a tantrum like it had been sold a pup. Pop will build them up and eat its own. Still,bad publicity is better than none at all.
And whilst the Twittersphere and Blogoverse went apoplectic over a singers tv performance, the lower column inches hummed almost inaudibly with disdain for daily irrelevancy's such as Iraq, Wall Street and the machinations of policy makers.
So,here we have the lovely miss Rey-because you know my weakness for redheads-cast as Joan of Arc (played by that other Ray, Gabrielle) - a witch and pariah to be burned in the place of a war.
Video Games indeed.