met gala 2024 palestine
© John Shearer/WireImageActress and singer Zendaya at the Met Gala/ Palestinian child.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the theme of this year's Met Gala event (purportedly the world's most prestigious fashion show) in Manhattan was "Fashion from the Capitol of Panem," with celebrities on the red carpet looking like they had stepped straight out of The Hunger Games. This year's display of wealth was livestreamed across many social media platforms, TikTok included, and I took some time to watch some of the show and see the outfits.

The theme of 2024 was 'The Garden of Time', which is inspired by the J.G. Ballard short story of the same name. For those interested the story is about a 15-minute read and can be found here.

Interestingly, the story is about a rich couple living in a lavish mansion surrounded by beautiful gardens with crystal flowers growing inside. When one of these flowers is picked, it turns back time for a period. A huge angry mob is seen advancing over the horizon running towards the villa, and in the evening the man picks a flower to turn back time and have the army retreat back, buying them a day or two. The number of flowers dwindles and the army gets closer and closer, until the last day when the couple spends their time cleaning and securing their material possessions. When there are no flowers left, the mob breaches the walls of the villa and time catches up on them. The villa is transported into an abandoned state, ruined and ravaged by time, and the couple are turned to stone, immortalized as statues beneath the balcony.

I can't help but think that this is symbolic of the elite feeling the pressure of time running out before the masses turn on them out of desperation. The celebrities who attend the Met Gala exist in a lavish, artificial bubble as the world is burning around them, while a dark reality - which they had had a hand in creating - advances closer and closer and threatens their comfortable lifestyles.

The disparity between the haves and the have-nots was not missed by many on social media. A ticket to the Met Gala reportedly cost $75,000 and tables range between $200,000 and $300,000. South African singer Tyla wore a dress made of sand glued to her body (representing the 'sands of time'). So fitting was the dress that she could neither walk nor climb the main stairs - a team of men had to carry her into the event.
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Singer/songwriter Camila Cabello carried a $22.5k "ice purse" which was a Swarovski crystal-encrusted rose embedded in a block of ice (the handle of which broke off before she even reached the red carpet). The message she was attempting to convey was that "everything is fleeting," a flagrant display of wealth at the same time that most of the population is struggling to put food on the table.
camilla cabeyo
The event was - like the concurrent 2024 Eurovision Song Contest - also an opportunity to push all things satanic:
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© John Shearer/WireImage/Getty Images & Jamie McCarthy/Getty ImagesLeft: Wisdom Kaye "leaning into the theme of bloom and decay"
Right: Queen of all things satanic Doja Cat in a giant wet Tshirt
And to promote the trans, non-binary-whatever agenda:
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© Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images & Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesLeft: Cole Escola (man) in bridal couture
Right: Jeremy Pope giving his suit a "playful feminine twist"
But the 'highlight' was model and influencer Haley Kalil, who livestreamed reports on the event while dressed in a Marie Antoinette-themed dress. Kalil posted a video on TikTok of herself miming to a trending soundbite from the 2006 movie Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst, where she says the famously (mis)quoted line "let them eat cake." The video has since been taken down, but here is a clip (along with part of her "apology" video):

From Wikipedia:
"Let them eat cake" is the traditional translation of the French phrase "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche",[1] said to have been spoken in the 18th century by "a great princess" upon being told that the peasants had no bread. The French phrase mentions brioche, a bread enriched with butter and eggs, considered a luxury food. The quote is taken to reflect either the princess's frivolous disregard for the starving peasants or her poor understanding of their plight.

Although the phrase is conventionally attributed to Marie Antoinette, it can actually be traced back to Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions in 1765, 24 years prior to the French Revolution, and when Antoinette was nine years old and had never been to France. The quote was only attributed to her decades after her death, and historians do not believe that she said it.
This ignited the anger of many people online, who were disgusted with the "tone deaf" post, prompting responders to voice their protest against Israel's genocide in Palestine. Thus the trending #blockout2024 movement, which calls for social media users to block celebrities and influencers who are remaining silent about this issue.
With the blockout movement gaining traction across social media, it appears that celebrities and high-profile influencers are losing followers. In a video report by TRT World, it displayed the plummeting numbers of followers through the profiles of several A-list celebs and influencers such as Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift and Haley Bailey."
While the number of followers lost by these celebrities as a result of this seems like a drop in the ocean compared to the millions of people (and paid bots) who still follow them, it's a sign that more and more people are fed up and close to breaking point.

This year's Met Gala was a truly narcissistic celebration of hubris and self-importance, a fitting display of "panem et circences" for our times, and yet another in a continuous stream of media distractions from the epic failure of NATO in Ukraine, Israeli barbarity, totalitarian government, the increasing natural disasters, widespread food insecurity and the rampant array of preventable diseases taking their toll.

Things are certainly shaking up.