On Why I Have No Interest in Louis Theroux 

I had a school-friend who thought, acted and even spoke like Louis Theroux. Hopelessly middle-class, self-assured, ‘White’ and extremely popular! I met him on and off over the years and as I grew – he seemed to be trapped in the allure of his own personality – and never really developed much passed 18 or 20! Eventually, I realised what such a poison this type of personality was – as it attracted others – but at a cost of personal growth to the owner. Of course, my friend physically grew and he became more mature, able and aware, etc, but never managed to ‘break-away’ from the infantile ‘cult of personality’ which his affluent and thoroughly bourgeois upbringing gave him. Entitled – yes – but hopelessly inattentive and unable to be relied upon. Always late or not-showing, and never able to follow a plan or direct others effectively – and yet in the middle of all this inadequacy – he managed to ‘shine’ his personality and gain a seemingly endless list of jobs around the country as well as to travel around the world! Oh yes – back to Louis Theroux. I have read two of his books recently and found him to be a bumbling middle-class parasite who ‘shines’ his inadequate bourgeois personality in certain directions and then expectantly ‘waits’ whilst the applause, fanfare and wealth fall at his feet! He has deployed his fumbling inadequacy remarkably well – even uncritically mentioning the (fascist) philosophy of Nietzsche in a disturbingly uncritical manner – whilst continuously demonising the Soviet Union in a dark under-current of persistency that probably reveals a certain conservative streak to his personality. I have found many of his documentaries ‘interesting’ due to their content which is juxtaposed with Louis Theroux’s public schoolboy image of hesitancy, politeness and flippant tomfoolery! It is all an act, of course, as he is as human as the rest of us. The point is that he should not be ‘pleased’ with his ‘class’ or the system he represents – these are the things I can have ‘no interest in’ – so even if I watch and enjoy some of his documentaries, it is because of how certain contradictory elements come into momentary alignment during script-writing and filming. It is a temporary set-up captured forever on film, but which is over the moment the cameras stop rolling. Louis Theroux seems not to understand the temporary nature of bourgeois success and instead wastes his time trying to stop the camera from switching-off and all the actors from going home to their real lives. The bourgeois nature of ‘success’ is entirely superficial and is designed to be left behind. Yes – great things can be achieved – but they exist only in the time and space the event happened – end of story! Trying to ‘live’ in the space of pretentious bourgeois success often creates all kinds of psychological disorders and self-doubt neurosis. As soon as the camera stops – it is time to move on. Just as Louis Theroux is not ‘Jewish’ as he once asserted – he has to apply this logic of ‘revelation’ to every aspect of his existence before I become ‘Interested’ in his presence!

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