Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Mutual Wankjob By An Author and a Popstar

A couple weeks ago, the newspaper pullout on Sunday had a pretty intriguing interviewer-interviewee match-up that caught my eye. It had this so-called acclaimed best-selling local author interviewing a Taiwanese American-born prettyboy pop superstar, which I thought would be a pretty good story, despite my personal dislike for the author's so-called acclaimed book.

Unfortunately, the fucking story turned out to be nothing but a mutual jerk-off session between the two. Half of it was filled with pseudo-intellectual questions by the author no doubt designed to show off what an intellectual genius he is, and what creative and profound opinions he has; while the rest of it was just the popstar agreeing with whatever diatribe the author brought up, with some opinions thrown in.

I'm not gonna repeat what was in the article proper, but for the most part, I could just imagine the author talking like this throughout the entire 'interview':

"Hey, you listen to Classical music... I do too! I think your music is so much like it, and is so inspiring because you use such obscure cultural influences, the way I like to do in my books!"

"Hey, you were inspired by that story. So was I! I think it's great that people like us can understand these things and use them to inspire others!"

"Wow, you read that book. I did too, and I thought it was so inspiring the way it inspires me to talk about it as if only people like us can understand it. Who cares if none of those uneducated masses don't care to read about it?"

I don't blame the popstar. He's trained to answer whatever questions are thrown at him, and judging from what I know and heard from him so far, he IS a pretty deep character if you saw beyond the pretty-boy looks and the celebrity status. It's just that even after reading that bloody 'interview', I still knew next to nothing about him as a PERSON. All I knew was he liked a bunch of obscure intellectual cultural stuff, which the author was more than happy to agree upon.

Anyway, as if that mutual wankjob of a story wasn't enough, the NEXT week, there was a letter from some professor in Australia who was praising the bloody piece to high heavens, and saying that the author had 'done his homework' and wished that all the interviews in the paper were like that.

Oh gee whiz, you want proper non-tabloidy pieces on musicians or actors? Go check out the stories and interviews in Q or Empire magazine. Some of it may be quite fluffy, but the way they are written is compelling, interesting, well-informed and does not sound as if the interviewer is trying to show off that he is awesome and SO well-informed. You'd learn more about the PERSON WHO IS BEING INTERVIEWED than the interviewee, their music, their life, their character and inspirations, AND you wouldn't fucking want to throw up on yourself from all the mutual jerkoffs the author puts in.

Fuck, TWO HOURS with the guy, and THAT was all he came up with - a piece that was just as much about himself than the popstar. If only we could get that much time with one person. Most of the time when we interview celebrities, we're stuck with what, 10, 20 minutes, 30 minutes max. Sigh.....

Bitter? No, hardly. Just upset that such a brilliant interview opportunity was wasted on such a fucking self-indulgent story...

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