“When some protesters destroy cars and burn shops, they symbolically attack a private property that is the basis of capitalism. When they attack police officers, they symbolically reject and challenge repressive state forces – forces that primarily protect the capital.
I despise violence … but what is the violence of all these people and burned luxurious cars, compared to the structural violence of the French – and global – elites?”
This was a reaction to protests in France, written on Twitter, not by Lena Dunham, Malala Yousafzai or Oprah, but the former Baywatch and Playboy star Pamela Anderson. The situation came from the ”rising tensions between the metropolitan elite and rural poor, between the politics represented by Macron and the 99% who are fed up with inequality, not only in France, all over the world”, she added.
What a time to be alive.
The Left wing and Pamela Anderson
Pop politics is no news, especially not on an American political scene which was always the leader in politics of fun and fun politics. With its glitter, it charmed and wooed the rest of the world: from the Cold war ”jazz diplomacy” that popularised American musical and ideological individualism, to the explosion of celebrity activism in form of Bono Vox and Live Aid, Angelina Jolie and UN ambassadors – which have turned the USA in a world cop and a judge, balm and savior, the firm hand of the father and the gentle hug from the mother.
In this relationship between the Hollywood and the Congress (which is nothing but a gleaner and more exposed continuation of a thousand-year-old mesh of culture and politics), there is nothing especially new or exciting and yet again, the world has gone mad because of the idea that celebrities are also citizens with opinions. Sometimes those opinions are authentic, more often than not they are corrupted or manipulated, but they are the most controversial when coming from – a woman.
As long as activism is a field to play for celebrities like Bono Vox, who are not fighting against capitalism, but its ”side effects”, and as long as they fit within the frames of anxious provincial taste (nice gestures, stylish clothes, civilized manners), the media will gladly accept and Emma Watson, Beyonce, Cynthia Nixon, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Eva Longoria, Alicia Keys… But, the same rules are not applied to Pamela, whose political views are immediately discredited by downplaying her persona as ”a bimbo”. The Left – that is, like always, never satisfied with anything – welcomed her with mocking nicknames (”comrade Pamela”). Apparently you can not take Pamela seriously since she is a starlet.
But, ”comrade” Pamela has been an activist for years now. After the Baywatch she turned to environment and animal protection, saying how she needed to shift her attention to something more meaningful, being fed up with talks about her boobs and boyfriends. At the beginning of this year, she visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy while publicly protesting his treatment – she compared it to torture and slow and painful death, saying how it’s the responsibility of the USA and the UK. She showed sympathy with Ecuador and emphasized Assange’s important role in uncovering war crimes of Western governments. During her meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, she criticized the situation in the USA where ”Americans are programmed to be Russophobic’‘ and reminded how ”sometimes, people just don’t want to be told how to behave by the West”.
These meetings would usually end up in rumors about love affairs with Assange or Putin. I guess it means that a woman can not be politically engaged or motivated to do something that will not result in sexual intercourse or at least man’s pat on a ”pretty and smart little head”.
Recently Pamela mentioned the situation in Italy too, saying how it reminds her of 1930’s Europe. She claims this is a reason to become worried about ”sliding towards ‘a new form of fascism”. When she pointed a finger to a Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, he reacted how only a person of his caliber can: ”Today I was attacked by an important American politician: #PamelaAnderson. She was better in a swimsuit”.
An attitude that – disappointingly – can be seen among many on the Left, especially in the comments on social networks. As if her embracing and manipulating with a ”sex symbol” title is not ”feministic” enough. Pamela is aware of that but unapologetically calls it ”bullying on another level”.
Madonna-whore complex on the Left
Some comrades were thrilled to welcome political statements coming from all directions: punks without a school/job, or politically engaged footballers who speak about the ”money industry” they are part of. Because, you know, they KNOW what they are talking about. Then why can’t somebody like Pamela criticize the foreign policy of a country she lives in, demonstrations in France where she spent part of her life, or industry that she was a part of?
Some comrades are full of understanding and class awareness when it comes to socio-political context in which members of the lowest class grew up in – even though the latter would beat the crap out of them in the streets (you know, it’s hard for a common man to get out of his homophobic, racist or chauvinist surrounding and own skin when circumstances determined him…). And yet, they don’t acknowledge – I will use a word so pretentious but ok – the ”revolutionary” step from the comfort zone made by a good looking, boobylicious, financially stable blonde. If she wanted to (again, the rumors) reanimate her career, she could have done something else that doesn’t require so much critical thought.
In all the fuss and noise about political correctness, you can’t say anything about Beyonce and her strategical Afro-American/feminist marketing prostitution, WASP Lena Dunham and her phony pro-Hillary feminism, all blessed by the NGO ”Marxists”.
Yes, Pamela’s activism can sometimes look infantile or annoying, and her views on #MeToo movement can sound surprisingly shallow, but how can we expect from women to find courage for political – or therefore, any kind of – engagement, when they will be attacked even in their traditionally comfort zone: the Left?
Pamela became famous not because of the politically correct and sophisticated apostles of academic discussions (if we are to believe their words because we don’t have an insight into their four walls). She became famous thanks to the truck drivers and workers who kept her pictures in garages and warehouses – the same people Left claims to be fighting for, while at the same time looking with disgust upon their taste, wondering why aren’t they showing any interest for Gramsci’s views on cultural hegemony. Her statements, even when they come dressed in a red bikini (and maybe just because of that!), will draw attention from a crowd Left has abandoned, and in that way, one Tweet written by Pamela is worth more than five years of academic chair sitting and leftist Facebook activism.
The battle of already discredited and corrupted titans was replaced by the glittery battle of Hollywood stars a long time ago. Unfortunately, in this arena, the Left is not the judge, not even the last seat observer, but the poor ignored demonstrator that is giving out brochures in front of the stadium. Fears of politics trivialization and cries over the working class that no longer reads books (?) are so useless because we are witnessing nothing new. Newsflash: pop politics of such direction can maybe benefit the Millenials whose icons will be their introduction to activism.
Mass media development has turned politics into showbusiness now more than ever and our choice of political candidates is no different than the choice of the toilet paper in a supermarket. Everything is politics: to determine who has the right to political judgments is a Sisyphus work, and to try and stop it is just blatant crazy. The secret connection between politics and leisure is a pretty notorious historical rope since always, but it seems like the Left who placed that very same critic in the first place, doesn’t know how or doesn’t want to exploit the subversive potential of politics popularization and finally – hang those who sold them the rope.
This article was originally published in Croatian media: Libela.hr