Friday, May 18, 2007

Now, it seems, we’re at the point with "rehab" where celebrities can parody other celebrities’ use of "rehab" as an image cleanser because it’s been done and done and done so many times – to death even. There was Amy Winehouse's song "Rehab", which has particular satirical poignancy and Jay-Z is now re-working her satire and making fun of stars who go into "rehab" by actually naming them. All I can say is, it's about fucking time.

There is a natural trajectory for cultural phenomenon like "rehab". You have the clever parodies, then the novellas, perhaps a film or a short film, then a mainstream short film or film about a celebrity using "rehab" as an image cleanser. It keeps going until you then get the fictional retelling of the same "rehab" themed stories but with a slight twist – like those total rip offs of Harry Potter; the children’s books about a school boy Wizard named …oh, I don’t know Barry Totter or something.

The end of the first wave of the cultural narrative is the infrequently arrived at contemporary, atonal opera about “rehab” written by a sensationalist and ambitious young composer who bases the libretto on the actual Page Six transcripts.

Then, skip 40 years.

Then, at the start of the second wave, 40 years later you have the historical retrospective on what “rehab” meant in the early 21st Century. Future contemporary artists are influenced by conceptual fragments of the notion of “rehab” in their work and future film makers make clever underlying references to “rehab” that only the really old people in the audience understand.

Then, in some interview show on the future version of 20/20, an actor or musician talks about how their favourite old star Lindsay Lohan used rehab to keep her appeal mainstream. People talk about it at dinner parties and everyone nods and thinks it’s interesting.

Finally, a movie star has been drinking on set and they get in trouble. America starts to hate them and a manager remembers that dinner party he went to a while back where someone talked about how they used to use “rehab” as a way of cleansing an image. He suggests it at a crisis meeting one morning, they all go with it, check the star into "rehab" and the cycle begins again.

So, thank you Jay Z, for taking us to the next god damned level.

Incidentally, Jonathan Rhys Meyers wasn’t really ever a drunk who needed "rehab" although he did go into "rehab", this is really just another excuse to post a picture of him.

[source] [song]

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