The Null Device

Kate Moss (A Modest Proposal)

If you think you've had a bad week, spare a thought for Kate Moss. 48 hours ago, she was a supermodel; now, her career is over (three sponsors have dumped her like a hot potato; most recently, Burberry dropped her from their campaign, presumably to keep the evil of cocaine from being associated with the wholesome chav/townie culture), and now it looks like she stands to be prosecuted (after all, there is photographic evidence of her committing a crime, and not prosecuting her would send the message that celebrities are above the law, or at least above the drug laws), and possibly lose custody of her daughter. And now that the party's over, Pete Doherty is apparently no longer interested; I wonder if he helped himself to a few valuables on the way out the door.

Of course, the argument for not treating Moss leniently is that celebrities, being role models, should be held to a more exacting standard of conduct, and those who fall from this standard should be made examples of to deter impressionable youths from following in their errors. Of course, the current scheme, which depends wholly on tabloid newspapers sneaking in to studios to take surreptitious photographs, is somewhat patchy and inadequate. I modestly propose a better solution: random drug testing of celebrities.

Under this scheme, anyone who is a celebrity (defined by making more than a number of media appearances in a certain period) would be subject to random drug tests, much as athletes are. The tests would be administered by a new agency, which would be called something like the Celebrity Drug Authority or the Public Conduct Authority or somesuch. Testing positive for drug use, or failure to show up for testing, would result in disqualification from a number of professions, including top-tier fashion modelling, acting in films over a certain budget or performing in venues over a certain size; additionally, any recordings by those disqualified would be struck off commercial-radio playlists, and the press would be prohibited from giving publicity to them (so now, if the NME editors ran another piece on Pete Doherty, Dionysiac Genius of Rock, they could be prosecuted for contempt of court). Which sounds harsh, but it may be the only way to protect impressionable youth. Won't someone think of the children?

There are 7 comments on "Kate Moss (A Modest Proposal)":

Posted by: datakid http:// Thu Sep 22 13:04:15 2005

the problem with yr admirable solution is teh bill hicks clause - if you think drugs are evil, go home and burn all yr records...

while I agree that some ppl (p dohertey included in a big way) are fucked up by drugs, others do really well on drugs re music - witness <insert random drug addled groover here>

and you can't fight that...some of the greatest albums I own, if not created on drugs, make drugs easier to take..."taking drugs to make music to take drugs to" and all that...

Posted by: acb Thu Sep 22 13:24:12 2005

My "admirable solution" is in a rather Swiftian vein (see the title). It's basically extending tabloid logic into How The World Ought To Be Run, According To The Sun. Along similar lines, it's an outrage that the judge in the Michael Jackson trial didn't have the discretionary power to confiscate his porn on the grounds that he's not of good character, &c.

And Baxter Dury would dispute your assertion about drugs and creativity:

Posted by: dj http:// Fri Sep 23 02:11:25 2005

Tony Blair would be in trouble i think, which can only be a good thing.

Posted by: Paulo http:// Fri Sep 23 13:29:08 2005

Blame the parents! ;)

Posted by: Kowalski http:// Fri Sep 23 21:45:34 2005

I'm quite sure that is the single most ridiculous post I've ever seen on a blog.

Please tell me you're being sarcastic.

Posted by: dj Sat Sep 24 09:10:08 2005

The problem with satire is that it sometimes assumes a little too much of the audience. In this case, expecting they can read is pushing it.

Posted by: acb Sat Sep 24 09:39:54 2005

Do a Google search for "a modest proposal" some time, and read what it says about Jonathan Swift.