Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Destruction of Society due to Celebrity Worship

Celebrity Worship - the overwhelming urge to follow the lives of people more popular than ourselves. To an extent, we all suffer from celebrity worship. Be it an actor, writer or musician, we follow them to some extent. With social networking sites such as twitter, facebook and myspace, the ability to follow celebrities has become easier.
Before social networking, there were the tabloid magazines: Those trashy mags you would see in the checkout line at the supermarket, talking about how such and such a celebrity was caught in a homosexual tryst or some such nonsense. Then, there were television shows like that absolute nightmare they call TMZ.
I mean seriously,who in their right mind cares what the hell is going on with Kiefer Sutherland being victimized in a Ponzi scheme?
Then, there is the internet: the uncontrollable rumor mill that will take a bullshit story and turn it into the be all end all career destroyer. The simple fact of the matter is that celebrity has become so lucrative it has to be everywhere. We are so unhappy with the way our lives are, we have to follow the lives of others to make us feel better about ourselves.
We can't handle the pressures of the day, so we read about Afleck's puppy training problems. We have a fight with our significant other, so we watch a program about Kanye West being a douchebag. Our obsession with celebrity has reached such a fevered pitch that our elected officials have to weigh in on pure crap, simply to get people to pay attention to them.
If you don't believe me, look at Hillary Clinton settling the whole argument between Conan O'Brien and the Mayor Cory Booker in New Jersey. How about President Obama having to talk about Kanye West acting like a total jackass on the MTV Awards. Would someone please tell me when Kanye interrupting a starving waif garnered more attention than the national freakin' budget!
This focus on Celebrity has moved apathy from a social concern to national pastime. We don't give a damn about foreign policy, but if Angelina decides to go all Pokemon (Gotta catch 'em all!) on a South African nation, oh my holy hell! Get a goddamn camera crew down there! The Prime Minister of Germany was assassinated? We'll get a reporter over there after Gerard Butler has finished grooming his new kitten.

Celebrity has become more important than issues that really affect us. We can't be bothered to get out and vote on issues that affect our lives, but if People magazine has a poll on Lady Gaga's latest strip tease, we'll crash their damn servers.

I keep hearing that society is going down the tubes: either it's the conservatives fault, or the liberals, or the gays, or any sort of garbage that people feel they need to point the finger at being "the death of society".
No. The simple fact of the matter is that we want to follow celebrities and their lives instead of what we need to be looking at - our society.


Gilda said...

Interesting, though I might argue that following celebrities improves our society. Because we can publicly ridicule them when they mistakes, we learn as a society what we can do that is acceptable or unacceptable.

Your Learless Feader said...

True, but it only seems to increase the demand for idiotic entertainment. At the begining of the century, it was Jackass, then any reality television show on FOX, and then any reality television show on Mtv. Honestly, I think "Weird Al" Yankovic summed it up best when he said "Next week on FOX, watch lions eat Christians".
The success of such shows as these encourages dangerous, illicit, unthinking behavior...

Now before I go any further, I should point out that I am not against these types of behaviors. In fact, I encourage them, but they should only be performed with friends, not on television. Once you reach a certain age (16 or so) you should be allowed to injure or harm yourself in the stupidest possible way. However, children under this age are engaging in unsafe behavior without the benefit of their friends saying "Dude, this is sooooo stupid! If you survive this, it will be legend!"

I do not however, think that anyone should profit from your own self inflicted misery (unless it is you yourself).