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Life in the 21st Century is a Celebration of Wanton Self-indulgence

Ellen DeGeneres broke the internet with a singular photo. A single tweet. She isn’t the first celebrity nor will she be the last to break the internet. But there is a deep social message here. Social commentators have labeled the 21st century  the age of the pop culture. A culture characterized by the ubiquity of immediacy. The microwave culture whose untold story is the sacrifice of the collective at the altar of a pervasive self-first mentality.

Little wonder it is then that noble humans, gone and present, who’ve shunned obnoxious, exhibitionist, narcissist  self indulgent behavior rot in the back pews in the modern cathedrals of fame. We are talking about social media platforms where toddlers who’ve contributed zilch to humanity command thousands, even millions, of fans and followers.  The 21st century is the age where the sages, masters and gurus ceed the pulpit and the preaching to the gods. You might wonder, gods? We are talking of the #babiesofinstragram and the likes.

So when the epitome of this ‘me’ worship, the obnoxious selfie,  stole the 86th Academy Awards headlines ahead of Lupita Nyongo’s inspiring speech or “12 years a slave” director Steve McQueen’s wisdom, I was reminded of the Swahili proverb: Skio la kufa haliskii dawa. The English equivalent: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it .”

Ellen DeGeneres Gives us the Oscar’s best photo ever

Enough of this party pooper business. Five reasons why this selfie is the best photo ever

  1. You  can tell that guys are having genuine fun. No celebrity bull crap airs to sullen the mood. Everyone’s comfortable no sourpuss here!
  2. No selfie stick? Why would Ellen DeGeneres wish for Bradley’s arm to be longer? This is the art of the original selfie per-excellence. Finding a way to get everyone into the photo while getting your arm out of the way.
  3. Bradley isn’t a superstar.
  4. The star of the moment (Lupita Nyong’o ) took the back seat.
  5. President Frank Underwood


It is safe to say that this Ellen DeGeneres photo tweet of a selfie with the 12 Years a slave crew is the world’s most famous photograph having been retweeted over 2 million times occasioning a twitter breakdown at the time. Now it’s been retweeted over 3 million times and liked by over 2.4 million tweeps!

Nonetheless, a picture is worth a thousand words which brings. This selfie brings to focus the power of a 21st century tool: the mobile phone (and others forms of portable computing power); and its sister the internet, which just celebrated its 25th birthday. In effortless fashion, in barely no time, the story of the 86th Academy Awards had been told by that Ellen DeGeneres tweet. There is all probability, having gone viral, that it is the most consumed version of the tale of the 2014 Oscars.

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