Opinion Columnists

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Celebrities are a dead Cert for Awareness Raising

Rihanna
Rihanna

Liam Fay

As another generation of school-leavers ponders its career options, inordinate attention has again been squandered on the promotion of dead-end jobs in medicine, law and IT while nobody advocates the merits of the only occupation that actually matters nowadays: "raising awareness".

Here, then, is the careers' guidance you won't hear anywhere else. Awareness Raising (AR) is highly specialised work and should never be confused with menial labour like "generating debate" or "discussing ideas". Before you can qualify to become an AR practitioner, it's essential to attain a measure of celebrity, preferably in pop singing or reality TV. Having distinguished yourself in either discipline, you will be perfectly placed to exhort the unobservant masses to wake up and smell the coffee.

Examples of the AR industry's achievements are legion but its most dedicated exponents have excelled themselves during the latest Gaza conflagration. Without breathless updates from the likes of Rihanna and Selena Gomez on Twitter or Instagram - ideal platforms for opining about Middle Eastern affairs - most of us would have no idea what's going on over there or how unpleasant it is.

So far, most Irish celebs have refrained from direct engagement in the brokering of Israeli-Palestinian peace. As is traditional, however, hordes of minor showbiz luminaries have been making their presence felt throughout media coverage of the Leaving Cert results ritual. More often than not, the selfless VIPs have used the opportunity to outline the many ways in which they have done spectacularly well for themselves despite their modest academic accomplishments.

To unsophisticated ears, many of these contributions might sound like shameless bragging. For those of us who understand the intricacies of AR, however, it is an inspiration to witness skilled professionals operating at the top of their game.

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