HOLLY MIRANDA SMALE

Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.







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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Fame

The paparazzi just won't leave me alone. A year ago I was on telly for eight minutes - bitching and glaring and saying exactly what the director told me to say because I'm nice like that - and the media are apparently still hungry for my blood; twelve tiny months later and they've tracked me again so that they can suck me dry with all their unwanted attention.

This time, it was embarrassing: the way they tried to force me into any context so that they could compromise my privacy and sell more papers.

First, they didn't tell me they were going to be there. That was the first sign that they wanted me in their newspaper. Then they didn't mention me by name at all; that was the second sign that they had organised the entire article around me. Then they didn't mention me in any context whatsoever, even slightly, and talked about something else entirely, and that was the third sign that they were just going to keep trying to force me into the media limelight whether I liked it or not. Then - shameful, shameful journalist - they put at least twenty five people in front of me in the photograph, and waited until I was facing the wrong way and half way through a sentence before they immortalised me: they clearly weren't even going to pretend that anything in the world mattered but me. Blood sucking immoral scum, that's what the media is.

"Where?" my friend said when I showed him the picture. I have five, in case four of them get ruined.
"There," I said, pointing.
"Where?" they said again.
"There," I said a little bit crossly, getting a pen out and circling my head which is bobbing around somewhere at the back of the group.
There was a pause.
"It looks like you've been photoshopped on."
"It does not."
"Yeah it does. Look: you're not the same colour as anyone else at all."
"That's racist. You're racisting me."
My friend laughed, the bastard. He's clearly in on it with the media, trying to suck my life into an egocentric void. I won't let it happen. I'm real, you know. My dad was born in Hatfield.

So I took a copy to Baba instead.
"Doko?" she said, and even I know what that means, so I pointed to it a little more crossly.
She went to get her glasses, and then - after a few minutes of peering - she laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed until I grabbed the newspaper back off her. I think she's racisting me too.

They didn't stop there, though: oh, no. The local media all got wind of it, and twenty minutes later Baba was sticking herself to my spare room window like one of those little gummy toys you throw from a distance and yelling "T.B" at me, even though I was sitting just the other side of it.
"T.B!" she shouted. "T.B!"
So I followed her to her house to watch my fame blossom further.

It defied belief, really. Different journalists - ones with filming cameras this time - had filmed exactly the same story that had nothing to do with me whatsoever and then (how they can look themselves in the mirror at night, I don't know) failed to put me in it. At all. I was in the staffroom at the time, tie-dying bits of paper. I didn't think they would sink that low, but they had: they had made the story all about me again, because what was everyone in Nichinan going to be thinking except: where's that white girl that looks photoshopped on? Exactly. How horribly upsetting for the people the feature was supposed to be about. Sidelined because of my glory, once again.

It's shameful, really, the way the media hounds and hounds us until we're driven to our own obliteration. It's a good thing I'm so grounded, really, or God Only Knows what would happen next. As it is I'm that close to falling out of a Nichinan nightclub with my skirt tucked into one of my three remaining pairs of knickers, just so that the media can take another piece of me. And - if it wasn't for the fact that there aren't any clubs within a 200km radius - then I probably would do exactly that.

Luckily, the slippery slope of fame and glory out here isn't particularly slippery or slopey: there aren't any clubs to go to or drugs I can abuse when the attention gets too much, and there isn't an rehab to enter myself into when the drugs get too much, and there isn't any magazine I can sell my story to when the rehab gets too much. There isn't anywhere to slide into, frankly, which I think might be a restriction of the inherent freedom I should have to destroy myself in public.

The next time the media wants to coast off my fame, if there aren't at least thirty five people in front of me before they take the photo, I'm going to sue.

Those soul sucking paparazzi bastards are just going to have to try harder if they want to try and make fame change me.