Money can’t buy class… nor taste, manners, education, and above all, significance.

I have always looked at the thick and rich with derision. Once I accidentally glanced at Cribs, where Nelly was showing us around his gaudy, palatial hive.

The man can barely string together a sentence in proper English. He is so materialistic and vain it makes me want to puke blood. There are x million number of youngsters watching this show, wishing they could borrow an ounce of his stardom. There are x youngsters with real aspirations who either don’t know or care who Nelly is.

This reminds me of a film I once saw where Luke Wilson is involved in an ill-conceived experiment and wakes up 500 years in the future. Most of the film is set in a world where materialism and insidious advertising abound, and people basically bask in dismal crap. The draining away of the human gene pool had contributed to a pretty much entirely stupid society devoid of shared responsibility.

To me this film was edging towards prophetic, despite its open immaturity. I am surprised it wasn’t more successful among subverted cynical types like me. After all, there’s no reason to believe it would take as much as 500 years to get that bad. Kant would have loved it.

I always loved the idiom “money can’t buy class”. This is particularly evident lately, with the relatively recent onslaught of tacky docusoaps. Over a decade ago, MTV spoonfed The Real World to the real world. Herein lies the irony – most of the plucky, impressionable participants were swept in off the streets of Hollywood, or we were meant to believe they were lucky winners of some lurid contest to win a chance to whore yourself all over the network. In fact, they all had uncles or connections to production. Some ended up with bit parts in Scream or some crap. Either way, not very real at all.

A few years ago I first saw The Hills, which tried desperately hard to come over as real – “fly on the wall” was even wrongly chucked around in synopses for TV rags. Alas, the participants all had great legs and no talent. Counter-culture on the West coast having been well documented, MTV then hijacked the awesome blog Hot Chicks with Douchebags, and created Jersey Shore, which glorifies the drunken post-adolescent shenanigans of self-entitled jocks and their bints coating the Eastern seaboard with Ed Hardy flamboyance.

Off the back of that, the UK’s most anti-intellectual TV network, ITV, curled out The Only Way is Essex, a ghastly portrait of the culture of ignorance and showboating that prevails in that part of the country. In a nutshell, rich but not very ambitious young adults are coerced into fake social situations, blending improv with reading from a script at a level a five year old would mock. Soon, we are to be treated to Geordie Shore, apparently a direct response to the New Jersey counterpart but set Tyneside. Does that count as shores? Isn’t it all crime and pestilence? How will it be different from those shows where the cop vans trawl the streets at night time? Perhaps because the participants are willing, there’s no need for pixel faces.

Meanwhile, as if a rebuttal was necessary, some braying toffs from Chelsea felt the need to prove how unerringly jaded rich people are. Made in Chelsea presents us with the life and times of ten or so lacklustre do-nothings who live on or around the King’s Road. They do the usual rich cunt stuff – skiing in Chamonix, clay pigeon shooting, peasant kicking etc.

Short story shorter, rich people shy away from ambition and purpose, preferring a life where success is measured by the amount of tacky shit you pack into your mediocre and pointless life. And we’re meant to aspire to this, and laud over it. Well, the dim mooing masses are meant to – and boy, do they ever!