Ben Stiller murdered the entire concept of the selfie last night
But at least he set a new Guinness World Record in the process
There is little more dire than the phrase “set a new Guinness World Record”. The immediate, kneejerk retort is always, “who fucking cares?” That stupid shiny book reminds me of Scout troops, of people who play board games, and all the Christophers at school who were definitely Christopher not Chris.
But I will say this for Guinness World Records: they are oddly moving. For me, at least. They make me want to reach and stretch for new ways to say “fuck me, this is pointless”. How many lives have Guinness World Records saved? How many children have they put through school? How many refugees have they housed? I don’t have the answers: I don’t want to know the answers. Don’t @ me on this.
So last night that phrase again, set a new Guinness World Record. Can you guess what it was? Did a man from Torquay eat 1,000 biros? Did a woman from Bracknell get more eyelid piercings than any other human being before? No, nothing that weird and upsetting. Though something quite as pointless.
Ben Stiller took a selfie, and in doing so, he has delivered the group selfie’s death knell.
— Zoolander 2 (@ZoolanderMovie) February 4, 2016
That’s it. Ben Stiller got his hands on one of those selfie sticks your nan has heard so much about and he took that picture. Some people sat around and brainstormed, they drank artisan coffee, one of them said something about blue sky thinking and they blue sky came up with this idea.
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) February 4, 2016
There have been plenty of these tired stunts. This is just the latest. But it lacks the polish of the previous efforts: it’s like if BBC3 tried to do Downton Abbey. Both version would be vacuous, but the BBC3 version would also look shit. Ben Stiller wielding a 8.56m (28ft 1in) long selfie stick, staggering about with it like a knight who’s bought a lance that’s far too big to joust with, isn’t the beginning of the end, it is The End. The large, unwieldy stick is a neat metaphor for his overreaching ambition.
I don’t mean you’re going to stop taking obnoxious selfies in the Bussey Building or anything. You’re still going to do that, because you’re a narcissist like everyone else. I just mean that Stiller and co broke the concept of the mass celeb selfie, which for a bit, you quite enjoyed, quietly.
It’s the end of a story that started with Bradley Cooper and Ellen at the Oscars and finished last night in Leicester Square with this blurry piss poor super selfie, where the only person who doesn’t look like a smudge is Mylene fucking Klass.