Monday, August 11, 2008

who CARES about these people?

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Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you have certainly seen the John McCain/Britney/Paris ad and all the ensuing criticism. Now don't think this is going to be a "political" post. I'm not really bothered by what this ad may or may not do to either McCain's or Obama's campaigns. What really gets me is that a presidential candidate (or more correctly, his flacks) have fallen into the celebrity hate/worship culture, which simply needs to stop. Now.

Why does anyone find these "celebrities" interesting? I understand the trainwreck principle. For some reason, humans get off on human suffering. This is nothing new. Public floggings, hangings, stocks, etc. But the endless paparazzi coverage of a lot of twenty-somethings whose only claim to fame is the result of Disney machine marketing or Daddie's bank account is puzzling. Why do we want to see Britney buy her 10th Starbucks coffee of the day? Why do we want to see Paris do anything? And when someone who has some actual talent self-destructs (Amy Winehouse) do we need to watch it moment-by-moment? This is a sad, but all-too-common tale.

I understand why we like to buy magazines and check out sites that show the rich and famous, Brad and Angelina's cavorting and adopting, etc. I wanted to hear what crazy name the babies were given, too, but I hardly cared when they were actually born or needed to keep vigil. Magazine culture has changed. The Internet is a huge factor. Supermarket tabloids can't keep up with the 'net's ability to post almost immediate updates on these folks traipsing through Hollywood. And it allows the rest of us to post at will our opinions of those coffee-buying excursions.

This is for me the most disturbing aspect of the hate/worship culture. Most gossip sites seem to be outlets for folks to vent and post, mostly in obscene terms, their opinions. Is everyone in the world really so angry or jealous of these twits? Sure, most celebs may very well be undeserving of their fame. But if you don't like it, don't watch. Paris Hilton understands that there is no bad publicity, just publicity. So if you are sick of her, then stop cruising sites to see her latest move. I love pop culture, but I am sick of the negativity, the vulture-like waiting for the next celebrity disaster, the posters who all claim to "know" someone that can prove that so-and so's preferences lean this way or that. The Internet can be a great connector, but it also allows everyone to sink to the lowest possible level. I don't care what Paris or Britney are up to. Join me and we can not care together.

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