entertainment

OPINION: "Geoffrey Edelsten and Gabi Grecko are caricatures of all our vices."

Geoffrey Edelsten and Gabi Grecko

By KATE LEAVER

You may have seen this couple around lately.

Who are they? And why, oh God why, have we made them famous?

Geoffrey Edelsten is an apparently bankrupt, charmless 71-year-old man who once thought it was a good idea to run 24-hour medical centres with chandeliers and mink-covered examination tables. When he was de-registered as a doctor, he bought a football team, started a company, made millions in the ’90s, and finally declared bankruptcy in the US this year.

Gabi Grecko is a buxom 25-year-old woman with no discernible talent other than posing provocatively in leather corsets and “DJ-ing”. She lists her vocation as model/fashion designer.

Last week, moments before this photograph was taken, Edelsten got down on one knee and proposed (for the second time? The third?) to Grecko. She accepted. For reasons unbeknown to me, the nation cared.

GabiGeoff

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Let’s look a little closer at this phenomenon – because I need to understand why these people are everywhere I look. As far as I can tell, there is no rational reason for them to be famous. None. And frankly, I find their omnipresence in the Australian media – yes, including on this site – offensive and exhausting. I don’t like what it suggests about our collective conscience that we’ve elevated these deeply mediocre human beings to a position of any influence whatsoever.

By all accounts, these two are superficial, mercenary, and utterly devoid of charm. They turn up at funerals in deliberately inappropriate attire, they air their infidelities on national television, they tell us about their sex life when nobody asked for that information.

The way I see it, the Edelstens are below the Kardashians in the food chain of the rich and famous. At least the Kardashians are an enterprising family who appear to adore one another. This is just a pair of people plundering for fame. They’ve forced themselves on the Australian public and they’ve made us all complicit in their bizarre, empty public identity.

Edelsten and Grecko are caricatures of all our vices. They’re all flash, no substance – which makes them the ultimate mascots for the age of superficiality. The Edelstens (as they will be known when they marry, though Gabi has already changed her surname on Instagram) are shameless exhibitionists who profit from our inexplicable obsession with them.

Are we hate-watching this couple’s existence? Or are people still weirdly invested in the spectacle of a hot young woman dating a man three times her age?

Look, I get that we need distractions. We need to judge shiny, ridiculous people to make us feel better about our own existence. The Edelstens are probably just the latest novelty in an otherwise dire news cycle – something to look at instead of famine and war.

But can we please find a better distraction than these two? Or at the very least, give them their own reality show so their love story is contained to an hour-long time frame instead of a constant stream of banality?

Thanks in advance.

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