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Archive for October, 2007

Our Celebrity Obsession

I can’t understand the Western world’s trend toward wanting to know what other people are doing, saying, thinking.

When we’re at home, we sit and watch baseball, or American Idol. Perhaps we leaf through People magazine. Our eyes are assailed with an endless string of celebrities. This, in and of itself, is not a problem. The problem arises when, instead of merely presenting us with simple information on Angelina Jolie, like when her next movie is coming out and who else is in it, the media chooses to throw us some supposedly juicy tidbits about her sex life. This is absolutely none of my business, nor do I care even a tiny bit. I don’t particularly care whether Angelina or any other moderately attractive actress stays celibate for eternity or learns to gratify herself thrice daily with a team of dachshunds by the age of nine.

The only time I am remotely curious about the private details of a celebrity’s life is when the specific details affect – or are explored in – somebody’s work. If Tom Hanks rears llamas in his spare time… I don’t really care. If there’s going to be a new Tom Hanks movie about llama-rearing, then perhaps I’d be interested. I’d have to really, really like Tom Hanks, though. Or llamas. If Derek Jeter has other uses for his baseball bat besides the obvious, that’s entirely up to him. If his game suffers because he’s thinking more about how to use the bat later than how to use the bat now, that’s an issue, at least if you’re a fan of Jeter or the team he plays for. (See how in tune I am? I don’t even KNOW that. Probably the Yankees, though.)

I don’t care about anyone on Big Brother or Survivor or American Idol. I especially don’t care what some or other Idol contestant may or may not have done with Paula Abdul. In this particular case, I don’t even care that much about whether it affects the outcome of the show, but I do prefer to see someone with a modicum of actual talent win.

I don’t care whether Clinton simply said hello to Monica or bent her over backwards on her typewriter. I don’t care whether he inhaled. I think he was a good President, probably one of the best Presidents the country had had in twenty if not thirty years.

I don’t care whether Bush’s daughters go out and get completely sloshed every night of their lives, regardless of their ages. I care about the man doing his job. (How I feel about his performance is an unrelated if lengthy issue)

For the most part, I think I just have a healthy understanding of what things are not my damn business.

I think what I’m trying to say is that I want NEWS, not bullshit. I’m not trying to knock the validity of entertainment news, either. If Eva Longoria gets married (assuming she isn’t already), that’s a newsworthy event. People watch her show, and as such this person is in the public eye. I’m fine with seeing pictures of the dress, too. That is at least newsworthy within the realm of fashion. HOWEVER: if Eva, or her husband, or anyone with appropriate authority, decides that press photography is not allowed at the event, or that certain details of the festivities should be kept private, then I DON’T WANT TO KNOW. And nobody else should have any right to know or tell.

A number of publications have recently sought to defend themselves using the assertion that by virtue of their fame, celebrities forfeit the right to privacy. HOW?! To be quite honest, if I ever become famous, and some prick tries to take a picture of me without permission, I shall most most irritated, and shall likely wish to display my irritation through such methods as removing the offending party’s head and sticking it on a spike outside the agency employing said prick.

I’ll get away with it, after all; I’m famous.

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