If the Trump administration proves anything, it's that politics are pop culture. Politics aren't seeping into your favorite shows, your favorite shows are seeping into politics.
You probably remember Anthony Scaramucci, (A.K.A. the Mooch), the former White House Secretary to Donald Trump who was fired after just ten days in the position.
But soon you'll know him more intimately, as a face and voice that appears in your living room more consistently than your teenage children. It's been announced that the Mooch will be a contestant in the next series of Big Brother: Celebrity Edition.
Given Scaramucci's obvious hunger for attention and shockingly poor decision-making skills, this new gig doesn't really come as much of a surprise. While a bragging, gossip-filled late night phone call to a reporter isn't a great look for a high ranking executive branch official, it's exactly the kind of bravado and lack of self-awareness that makes for an excellent reality TV star. We can only hope he'll get drunk and share some top secret information live on CBS, because—treason or not—that's good television.
Scaramucci is actually the second ex-Trump-staffer to appear on the show, after Omarosa Manigault Newman appeared on the first season. As Rolling Stone eloquently puts it, Scaramucci will be joined by a particularly pathetic group of people: "The Mooch joins a desperate cast of has-beens and wannabes including Lindsay Lohan's 'momager,' Dina Lohan, as well as Blossom actor Joey Lawrence and infamous O.J. Simpson houseguest Kato Kaelin. Comedian Tom Green and Real Housewives' Kandi Burruss will also be on the show." The fact that a former White House Secretary is not resting on his laurels in a tenured professorship at an Ivy league, but instead joining the ranks of C-list celebrities empty enough to subject themselves to 24/7 surveillance in the hopes of winning $250,000, is a nauseating reminder of the decay of the boundaries between celebrity and politician.
Popdust asked several real Big Brother fans their thoughts on Scaramucci joining the show, and while most expressed indifference, Erin Murdoch, a long time fan of Big Brother, responded, "You either want to die all the time or you convince yourself reality TV shows aren't deeply evil, and that's the Sophie's choice of our time. Also, Mooch will so quickly be taken down by a dominant Kandi-Jonathan secret alliance. Jonathan Bennett is my pick to win even though in my heart I want Tom Green."
Scaramucci's appointment to the Big Brother house means more than just a sad little man straining for relevance. It means the cycle is complete: the network television to White House pipeline has reversed direction. Working at the White House has become a way to gain experience in order to move into a more important sector: entertainment. In an America where we embrace unstable reality TV stars as democratic leaders, maybe it really has become a genuinely good career move to sign on for a show in which cameras watch you sleep, betray strangers for approval, and wrestle in foam. If Scaramucci wins the show, we may even elect him President! Or maybe not. After all, why run for office if you already have a million Twitter followers?
Most of all, this news indicates that the only sane response to your Republican uncle saying, "Taylor Swift is a singer, she has no business getting political! There shouldn't be any politics in pop culture!" is to throw your head back and laugh a long, hollow, dead-eyed laugh. If the Trump administration proves anything, it's that politics are pop culture. Politics aren't seeping into your favorite shows, your favorite shows are seeping into politics.
In the 2016 election, Americans confirmed once and for all that we ascribe to no true religion or way of life except that which we mindlessly watch at prime time while shoveling lean cuisine into our mouths. In a society that is about the production of content for the amusement and entertainment of an audience—whether that audience is your 200 Instagram followers or CBS' coveted 18-49 demo—politics are just another facet of popular culture: treated as a thing to consume, retweet, watch on TV, and discuss. The cycle is truly complete: reality TV no longer changes to meet reality; reality changes to meet reality TV.
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