What makes them so attractive in the leaderboards? Lists of the best movies, the best Marvel movies, the best stars of the Marvel movies, the best Stan Lee cameos in the Marvel movies (although the best could be in that of rival DC. Teen Titans Go animation), a leading actor saved from certain death by Tony Stark in the Marvel movies – they’re everywhere.
Almost every media website has them, including this one because they guarantee views, especially during coffee breaks. Or the informal five-minute breaks we all take. (Note to my editors: Of course, I’m naturally glued to serious financial and other information at all times during work hours, and I never dreamed of spending time surfing without doing anything about it. the Web to search for a ranking of the best celebrity lawsuits. Except for legitimate research purposes.)
Many people spend that five minutes – and possibly longer – creating their own dissection lists on social media sites and discussion forums. I’ve never gone this far, but if you want my ranking of the most beautiful multi-colored vinyl releases – The Blue and White Edition of The Chills Stunned, which looks like rough seas, is my current favorite – I’m sure I could oblige.
On that note, China would now appear to be a slam dunk for first place in any ranking of the most ridiculous examples of regulatory overshoot of all time. He would try to regulate the ranking of celebrities, who are very popular in the country.
At first glance, it seems even dumber than even some of the EU rules Boris Johnson mostly crafted when he allegedly worked as a journalist. Is this just another feverish dream to annoy the supporters of a future prime minister or president somewhere? It seems not.
The move is part of a concerted attempt by China to bring an “out of control” celebrity culture into line.
Now, it is not just the micro-managers of the Chinese state who are grappling with Internet culture and its disturbing ability to veer into a crazy city. Exhibit A: The UK’s Online Damages Bill, which attempts to regulate social media companies and address some of the troubling issues that have recently been raised.
Labor is among those who have targeted the weakness of the bill in the face of foul racism experienced by black footballers in England. If you ever needed an example where regulation in the face of a fan culture becoming extremely toxic would be invaluable, this is it.
So this may not be quite the example of regulatory overshoot that it might appear to be. All the more so when you consider the sanity of the predominantly young stars who end up being ranked and liked – or unloved – as they live their lives in a goldfish bowl online. And then there’s the bullying and harassment that has been observed as part of the country’s intense fan culture. Fundraising is also a problem. Yes of course.
Seen through this lens, the idea makes more sense. Or does he do it? In order not to overemphasize it, there may be an ulterior motive at work. Celebrity culture can seem mundane and throwaway, just like the rankings that are a part of it.
But celebrities themselves can achieve real power through it, right down to political power included. It has propelled people into governors’ offices – even in the White House. The most recent example of this comes in the form of the worst highest ranked president of all time, and clearly No.1 in any list evaluating the biggest morons ever at the Oval Office. There is certainly competition out there, but I imagine you can guess who I’m talking about.
The Chinese Communist Party wants to be at the center of the lives of its citizens, especially by playing the role of their main influencer on social networks. Celebrity culture is potentially a threat to this. Banning rankings doesn’t seem silly or smart in this context. There is another “s” word to describe it: sinister.
I was going to jokingly sign on the top 10 scariest horror movies of 2021 before the release of Candyman, before the movie itself left me shaking too much. But at the center of the Chinese countryside, there can be something even more disturbing.