ok, so that happened.
the daily mail, as you can imagine, was ON IT.
and the new york times.
the thing is, i don’t think this is so much a testament to MC’s temperament- which is what words like “MELTDOWN” and “DIVA” and “lashed out” imply- as a testament to how incredibly amateur the team of people around her has become.
are you watching mariah’s world?
you should be watching mariah’s world. if only because, in 95% of the scenes where she is being interviewed, she is in lingerie on a chaise lounge.
but also because mariah’s world raises many provocative questions about truth, the construction of reality, and the creation of good crap tv.
watching mariah’s world, it is impossible to believe that any major musical superstar could be so badly managed.
it is possible to believe that this is all entirely unreal, a sideshow constructed for the cameras and the purposes of this show. because it is that crazy.
and not crazy as in out of control like trishelle on the real world, season 12. but crazy as in totally, utterly, completely inept.
the backup dancers are fighting with a backup singer and threaten to quit.
the hair stylist is fighting with the manager and threatens to quit.
the only person who doesn’t threaten to quit is stella, the manager, who probably should.
the show assistant appears to have been hired solely for her ineptitude. her greatest accomplishment is her commitment to stella’s command not to cry.
her unsuccessful episode-long attempt to install apple TV makes for painful viewing.
and yes, this is a reality tv show primarily concerned with managing staff. it is like downton abbey without the upstairs. and that is the problem.
mariah’s world is more about the inept people within that world than about MC herself. which (1) is waaaaaaay less interesting (with the exception of kristofer buckle, whom i heart hard.)
and (2) which, ultimately, makes MC bizarrely relatable, because haven’t we all been here?
there’s a scene in mariah’s world where they’re flying to a show in luxembourg.
upon landing in luxembourg, they discover that luxembourg is one hour ahead of the UK, where they have been based.
this apparently occurred to no one prior to landing.
at which point they discovered that they were already late to their own concert.
in the context of mariah’s world, this revelation is both completely ridiculous (how could they not know??!) and almost predictable. OF COURSE, of course they would screw this up.
we live in a cynical world. we’re quick to assume we’re being manipulated. and we gravitate towards simple stories. so it’s easy to imagine that the events of new year’s eve were a publicity ploy.
because that’s a line already blurred when you’re the star of a show about your struggles to successfully mount a stage tour and when there’s a decade-long tabloid narrative already in place about how you’re a “diva” in “meltdown” and wherein your work is consistently diminished.
AND when you have encouraged that narrative because it’s a certain kind of glamour that you have built into your brand.
the diva is a template for being a woman in public.
it stirs our emotions and it sells.
it also represents a faustian bargain of sorts.
if you are a diva, you are known for being a diva. and being a diva, always always always eclipses the work.
i’ve written about this before in relation to carey. back in april, in particular, with these headlines.
we always get the simplest story possible and the simplest story here is that mariah carey had a diva meltdown on new year’s eve.
the more complex story is that of a woman trying to do her job, who has somehow (through plenty of fault of her own) surrounded herself with people who do not help her in that. the question this leaves me with is: WHY?