Jesus, Muhammad, Isaiah, Jeremiah. Nostradamus and… Andy Warhol! You of course would be correct in coming to the conclusion that I am actually talking about Prophets, but what does Andy Warhol have to do with this distinguished group of people, some of whom claimed to be ‘the voice of God’?
While a lot of Faiths have interpreted prophecy to their own advantage and for their own time and place, (sometimes no matter how stretched that interpretation was). Warhol gave us a prediction that is the Twenty First Century phenomenon of our time. Now Mr Warhol is, of course, most famous for being an Avant-garde artist of the Twentieth century. But he also loved talking a lot (mostly poking fun at the people who did not fully understand his brand of Art.)
In February 1968 Warhol exhibited his first international retrospective exhibition in Stockholm, and the catalogue for that exhibition contained the now famous line “In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” That was exactly fifty years ago! And since then no words have come to be proven so right as Andy Warhol’s. Little did he know how unequivocally true his words would ring in the near future.
One must remember that back in 1968, there were no ‘TV Reality shows’ no ‘Celebrity culture’ and most of all… no internet! I bet that persons under the age of fifteen can’t imagine how we possibly could have lived under such conditions! Alas today we live in the very fulfilment of that ‘prophesy’.
Look at much of the television programs today that focus on some unfortunate family’s day to day life. (Preferably a dysfunctional, swearing, smoking, drinking interbreeding mess of a family). Thousands of people follow their antics, talk about them at home, at work, and anywhere we happen to flitter time. They are for ‘fifteen minutes’ truly made ‘famous’. Till the next one comes along, that is.
And then came the birth of the Internet. And with it came Facebook, Instagram,
You tube, and a thousand other social media Apps that can connect us all together. One thing I notice is that to become ‘really famous’ all you have to do is count how many ‘LIKES’ you get. And how do you achieve this? Well mostly if you’re female it’s by, 1. Taking your clothes off and shaking your ass, 2. By ranting about some social injustice to womanhood, 3. Having your kids or pet do some silly (but cute) thing and capturing it on you iPhone and posting it somewhere and everywhere on social media. Of course if you’re male it’s much easier. All you have to show is how stupid you are and get your friends to do the rest!
There are good things that have come out of the internet age. You cannot run a business successfully if you don’t have a website because now all the world can look at your wares and decide if it’s for them. And this is also where putting your stuff on social media is helpful to achieve your goal of a successful business. The first thing people ask you when you tell them you have a product for sale is: ‘have you got a website?’
So one way or another we are all fulfilling Andy Warhol’s prophesy about being ‘famous’ (or in some cases ‘infamous’) for a period of time. Whatever we think about technology, however we behave when we have the occasion to be part of the world wide web of social media, we have a responsibility to respect it. Unfortunately, we also have come to the age of the ‘Selfie’.
No longer do we use our iPhones just to talk, communicate, or even voyeur others. First and foremost it’s become about us! The ‘Selfie’ has become the number one ‘look at me world’ weapon in our hands. It seems that the more apps we get in order to interconnect with the world, the more we have become obsessed with our own self. It is not just a matter of us being in touch with the world; the world has to be in love with us. All it takes is a simple touch of a screen, and hey presto. Andy Warhol himself could not have imagined how accurately his prophecy was to be fulfilled!