A starlet appears on screen. The vacuous talent hole of celebrity culture celebrated in physical form. The latest in a long line. A natural desire to perform seized. Exploited by the vulture circle. One wing promotes the other. Plucking feathers until the idea of this particular non-existence proliferates. Now naked, featherless, and unable to fly. Ordinary folk across all channels generate a good buzz. On quiet streets you hear her name in the wind. That certain something alone has no dollar value. It’s bigger than that. Life is a list of commands now. A series of press opportunities and forced smiles. Well executed and inescapable. Trapped by ambition. Locked into the merry-go-round of bondage. No choice but to keep spinning. It’s all in the inter-personal relationships of these gaping abysms, that’s the selling point, the something we can all relate to. To keep us tuning in.

“We love going around the world and telling people we’re British”

The walk to the podium is just a little too long. It’s like when you are waiting to meet a friend and you see them in the distance, you accidentally make eye contact far too early and you spend the next few seconds feeling awkward as they approach. At what point do you say hello, do you maintain eye contact, do you look at the floor and wait it out. There are several options and none feel appropriate as time stands still. Your choice will define you. First impressions count. The starlet walks on the spot, smiling sparkles of teeth. The podium remains in the distance yet still they walk. The starlet carries a radio mic, and after meeting a laboured punchline, cuts to a montage of nominees. Each one receives varying degrees of rapture from the cheap seats. The level of rapture in no way correlates to the winning of the award.

“A chiselled beard is the new chiselled jaw”

It drags its claws to the envelope and scratches out a name. The Emma Bridgewater biscuit tin goes to the Olympics. Intrinsically linked to the collective sense of national pride. Dame Emily Blands music wrenches tears out of tradesmen across the land. Plastering runners, jumpers, rowers and magical horse whisperers across the inner walls of their brains. Her songs evoke images of sporting victories, of our success, and we feel good by association. Like a caged mouse we've learnt which door hides the electric shock, and which one hides the cheese.

“I’d like to thank my fellow nominees, my parents, my friends. I’d like to thank god for major money backing. I’d like to thank major money backing for the network of pluggers and called in favours, the team that no-one see’s, the one’s who don’t make the album sleeve. The suits. The machine. The team that get paid regardless. My success. My failure. The bankruptcy claim. My pride. My shame. A regular wage regardless. Finally, I’d like to thank the Beepy Eye for the broom and this glorious looking carpet. It’s really going to tie the room together”

Mastercard. Muse for sale in Walmart. We all have Mcdonalds in common. Shiny phone. Fucking meerkats. Car advert. Caradverts selling lifestyle choices. Cardverts selling dreams. I am Gatsby’s Yellow Rolls Royce. We all have friends. Muse are “what stadiums are built for” ...and we’re back.

“Confetti is the herpes of professional stage shows”

The Duke of Stoke has sold 71 million albums. That is more records than there are people in the United Kingdom. I imagine everyone I’ve ever seen as copies of Angels climbing down from charity shop shelving units, brushing the dust off and filling the commercial centres of market towns across the nation. Blindly bumping past each other towards coffee shop chain stores. Arms outstretched. Moaning about the weather. Moaning about the preoccupations that are specific just to them. The preoccupations that become the most important things in the world specific just, to, them. The Duke of Stoke is covered in ruffled feathers, pushing out his chest, a self confessed personality over talent performer he walks from stage left to stage right and back again. Working the room with pointed finger and pouted lip. Shouting ‘Come on’ like the room of serial hospitality abusers will just jump onto the tables wild and free. Like they don’t care if they get asked along to the next event in the calendar. Like they can shed the layers of social noise like an onions skin. Like they can feel anything at all.

“At what point can I talk about his penis?”

Cut to Grave Drole, the legacy fucking paradox of a man, sharing fake laughter like a slap on the back with the presenter as he plugs his products. Dead behind the eyes, his laughter cuts glass, a long way down the road from the kid chewing gum at the back. Ruthless networkers run the motions one more time like they mean it. Endlessly showing teeth. The selling tools slip the volume up a notch louder than the ever growing hum of a bored audiences small talk. Look at that dress. Mastercard. James Bond defines Britain. Another phone for the road to the supermarket. Cardvert. The lifestyle choices. The aspiration layer. The first one breaks the wall and the others plant seeds in the rubble. Smash and grab.

“Sponsored by that guy sitting next to the guy, next to the guy you recognise”

Timberflake appears in Dexter’s Kill room, like the Duke of Stoke and the hobbits before him, he spends most of his time walking. Or posturing. Or walking to a new stop to do a spot of posturing. Flake is a charismatic vehicle. He’s a Lexus. Ignore that pretty face, avoid those blue eyes, he couldn’t even name the guys responsible for his success. Money men circulate cigar smoke and stereotypes, holding the profit. I don’t feel like I should pretend that I gave a shit when the Lexus was Mark Owen in a boy band, or when the Lexus enlisted Jacko’s songwriters. He’s that guy from your class at high school that you give the nod of acknowledgement when you pass in the street, but you never stop to speak, just because he was part of the popular crowd back then doesn’t mean we have to be friends. The Lexus is your choice of lifestyle. The window to your soul. Our reflection of a perfect picture distorted like raindrops hitting a puddle.

“Saying nothing in the thousand stuttered words of this picture”

The Beepy Eye certifies its investment in Thomas Oh Don’t after missing out on democracy across the board. Like a wasted generation before him, he is a man who deals in the innocuous, heartfelt and wholly forgettable love song. Self effacing, yet stuck in a perpetual chorus of paroxytones. Defining himself with an embellished accent, an extension to the legendary MOR quirk of voice that sells so well, or at least sitting in that school of thought. A caricature of what popular music is, or at least the idea of what will sell to the silent Radio Two majority. The real black art is to pitch to a demographic that doesn’t tweet. Not everybody knows to sell their secrets to electronics. This alone justifies his existence.

“An awkward moment of honesty as that one time he smoked brown caught up with him”

Mastercard. Muse-tercard. Average FM, Do It Yourself make-up. Chocolate. Endorphins. Fast food. A lifestyle defining car. A series of choices. Tame Impaler on a phone ad. Films in bed. Phones that connect us. Babies are cheap. Leave it late. Breed. More food hype. Forget your decisions. Each chain plays a role. Suicidal thoughts. Release more endorphins. Put wings on your shoes. Stay at home. Turn on your television. We have a product. We are for sale. Mastercard. Or Mastercard. Or Mastercard.

“What do you mean she didn’t change costume?”

Towards the end of the evening Bryan Ferry trotted out to give away an old Emma Bridgewater tea towel. It’s the only appearance of anyone remotely ‘old guard’, the Duke of Stoke aside. Who doesn’t count as old guard as long as his record label are still utilising his arrogance to render him ageless. Which, despicable as it is, becomes preferable with hindsight to the nondescript personality vacuum of today’s breed of starlet. Neutralised by all the things you have to do to get get asked back. Pacified by tomorrow. Professionalism has overtaken innovation, it’s overtaken character, heart, spontaneity, free will. You’re invaded by a glossy two hour advert. Uninvited. Its reach extended. An advert for a product so refined and well practised that it is left completely free of substance. None of it means anything. Nothing sticks. Nothing cuts and nothing digs. I could recall things that happened over the years at these Beepy Eye awards. Those unscripted moments that stand out, but I could only recall maybe a handful of artists that have won these awards. The institutions, and the roles these people play in the overall dynamic, stay the same. It’s like a window at the zoo. You look through it and dwell on the natural state of these faces in an unnatural habitat. It’s all in the way they interact together. That’s the something we can all relate to. To keep us tuning in.