Sunday, March 6, 2011

Celebrity Idolization

Newspapers. Magazines. Television. Lovelyish. Everywhere you look, there is some new article or photograph or sex tape about some celebrity pariah. And every time it happens, we're all compelled to look. Has anybody noticed that we care about this crap a lot more than we should? 

Is Hayden's boyfriend too tall for her? Oh my heavens, Justin Bieber cut his hair! Is Miley getting fat? How badly did Christina fuck up the national anthem at the Superbowl? And most importantly, what has Charlie Sheen done and said today? 

Do we really have nothing better to do with our lives? There are people today who are famous for absolutely no reason at all apart from the fact that the American public is willing to pay attention to them. What has Paris Hilton ever done to deserve the attention she receives? Why do we continue to perpetuate the popularity of Snooki and her crew when they do nothing but destroy the already limping reputation of New Jersey (since no one is smart enough to notice that they're actually all from other states, mostly New York). 

Debates rage on over whether or not teachers in Wisconsin are being paid too much, though I have yet to see many stand up and complain that there's no reason why Kim Kardashian should be paid millions to appear across magazine covers to discuss her cellulite. I mean, really? You're concerned about whether you might be paying too much to the people who are educating the youth of America and preparing them for the workforce while Charlie Sheen is sitting pretty on 2 million dollars per episode of a crappy sitcom to blow on cocaine and hookers and you don't even blink? Priorities, people.

The fact of the matter is, we idolize people, sometimes for talentless autotuned music, sometimes for mediocre acting, and sometimes for absolutely no reason at all beyond having a sex tape or being able to party harder and get arrested better than anyone else. How many so-called celebrities are actually famous without having done anything worth being famous for? We make them famous because we give them the attention required to be so. We know the name of every finalist on American Idol, but I highly doubt as many people could name recent Pulitzer or Nobel Prize winners. 

But at the end of the day, it's our own fault. We're the ones giving these people the attention they need to continue their ridiculous lifestyles. We're the ones who send the papa razzi after them so that we can see pictures of their ridiculous lifestyles. And maybe it's because we're jealous, and because we want a taste of things we can never attain. But maybe if we weren't so busy putting other people up on pedestals for no reason, we could actually accomplish something ourselves. 

If no one paid attention to Lady Gaga's ridiculous stunts, she would stop doing them. If no one talked about how ridiculously expensive Paris Hilton's useless birthday gifts were, maybe she'd keep it to herself. We're the ones going to their movies, and watching their TV shows, and buying loads of their ridiculous merchandise. Twilight is subpar teen literature that should haunt the shelves of Barnes & Noble's young adult section next to all the other teen vampires, but it doesn't because we're willing to give it a degree of attention far beyond its actual merit. In fact, we shun things that actually might have merit. No one reads the classics anymore. What does that say about us?

It says we have no standards anymore. We're content to let the entertainment industry pander to the lower common denominator, and we're happy to take that place at the bottom of the totem pole and wallow in it with our trashy reality TV and gossip tabloids. And you know what? It's fucking pathetic, and I'm disgusted by it. 

Don't worry, American Public, this is only the first post of the week in which I point the finger at you for allowing the degradation of our culture. But digging into the 65 million dollar debacle that is Spiderman really deserves a post all its own. 


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