AS selfies go, it certainly won the award for selfie to end all selfies until, that is, the next big selfie. Oscars presenter Ellen DeGeneres nearly broke the internet yesterday when she snapped an A-list selfie that not only captured the most famous movie faces on the planet, but did it without chopping off half their heads.
She instantly joined the photogenic band of selfie superstars led by Barack Obama (slightly tasteless selfie at a memorial service), the Pope (surprised-looking selfie with young disciples), Kim Kardashian (pouting selfie featuring bottom), Justin Beiber (baby-face selfie with freshly inked tats) and those two chummy dogs, one brown, one white with toothy grins that clog my Facebook feed and who clearly did NOT take a selfie.
Of course, for those of us raised in a dark age when the arrival of the instant Polaroid picture was like something beamed from Mars, getting our old-fashioned heads around this desire to stick our ugly mushes online for the world to sneer at takes some figuring out. Even more so now that the selfie has evolved into something infinitely more weird than just a photograph of yourself: take the bizarre selfies snapped with Puerto Rican boxer Christopher Rivera Amaro who, having left this mortal coil, was dressed in his boxing gear, propped in the corner of a makeshift ring and photographed with his mourners.
Worse, perhaps, was the student who during a visit to a university anatomy department figured the cadaver lying on a slab presented an ideal grinning selfie opportunity, and the New York tourist who quickly snapped a selfie as a man behind her prepared to plunge to certain death off the Brooklyn Bridge.
That Oscar selfie may have been staged for the cameras but here in Edinburgh social media buzzes with our own, unique take on the selfie. For as trams take to the streets – and get set to star in new Traverse play Bloody Trams, all about the rocky road it’s been getting them here – there’s only one good-looking multi-million pound star that snap-happy folks have been busy capturing and posting online in their masses. Someone tell Hollywood: “trammies”, folks, are the new selfies.