The Apotheosis of Disparity (the parallel universe of Carlos Tevez and all his ilk)
“As we collectively laud and lavish, comment and critique our rich and famous, it is worth remembering to look down every once in a while to the poor and dispossessed the world over.”
Yesterday there was a story in the news that would normally evoke my complete disinterest and general intransigence but it so angered, frustrated and eventually saddened me that I now feel compelled to blog about it. On Tuesday night Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez refused to come off the substitutes bench to play for his team in a Uefa Champions League game against Bayern Munich.
The footballer, who earns around £260,000 a week doing a job he presumably loves, is not only representative of the rotten, corrupt and mercantile business that football has become, but paragon of a much wider malaise, which includes the entire milieu of celebrity culture. His self obsessed, narcissistic, pompous attitude may well have reached levels hitherto thought possibly in anything approaching the status of deity, a delusional state of mind hinting towards the onset of a Charlie ‘tiger blood’ Sheenesque mental disorder, but he represents the vanguard of the vainglorious celebrity clique. Carlos Tevez it seems is representative of a tragic outcome of an unfettered unregulated market which allows people to accumulate such levels of wealth as to turn them into professional arseholes.
We often talk about scales of disparity when we talk about the divide between rich and poor, nationally and internationally, how so much of the world’s wealth is concentrated in so few of the world’s hands. It is not that wealth accumulation is an inherently immoral or bad thing of course. What is so tragic and heinous is that and that we in the west spend so much more of our time looking up the wealth ladder and not down it, criticising and yet exulting in these success stories, obsessing over them in tabloids and puerile gossip mags. The youth are barely even capable of hiding their wide eyed idolatry now, their lust for fame and fortune an almost salivating sensation in them, like drool on their lips. This pubescent popstar idolising generation are the legacy of the get rich quick culture and don’t seem to grasp the moral and contextual imperative of looking down the wealth ladder, towards the poor of this world.
Such is the scale of his arrogance and conceit, Carlos Tevez may well now be pilloried to satisfy the annoyance of the fans and viewers who pay his wages, but another modern deity will take his place. So as we collectively laud and lavish, comment and critique our rich and famous, it is worth remembering to look down every once in a while to the poor and dispossessed the world over. Only by doing this can we be reminded of just how high up the ladder we have all risen too.