Why do people care?

Of course, you’ve seen this. We’ve ALL seen this. There’s really no avoiding this.

It must be important, right?

I mean, there’s other stuff going on, like this war thing for example. Yet, despite having been a no-show musically for years, the media (and, evidently, everyone who watches it) follow her around like a lost kitten that smells tuna. And they report on every little twitch, belch and fart.

Why is it so fascinating? It isn’t as if her shenanigans are really all that interesting, outside of the fact that she’s the one doing them. People have been shaving their heads for ages. It’s been a fashion of sorts for almost ten years now. Sure, men do it a lot more, but women do it too.

To be honest, I really didn’t understand all the hoopla about her in the first place. Being an avid music fan, I have to say that the Top 40 doesn’t interest me one whit, and hasn’t since the moment I saw that Farrah poster and  plummetted headlong into puberty. But I can’t see that her music has anything to do with it anyway. After all, I’m a bigtime Jeff Beck fan, and I couldn’t care less what he does in his personal life. I care about two things; when the next cd comes out, and when I can see him perform again. When he passes on (hopefully not for another 30 years or so) I’ll care. That is IT.

I’ve been told about two reasons why people are so interested in stuff like this. They both sound like crap to me, but here they are.

First, there’s the I-don’t-really-care-but-I-like-to-know-because-it-makes-me-feel-better-about-my-own-life reason. I’ve heard the same excuse for watching Springer or the Anna Nichole Smith reality show.

Frankly, if I said that,  would feel like the most pathetic, sad excuse for a hominid ever. If your life is so bad that you need to suck up the misfortunes of others to make yourself feel better about being you, then I humbly submit that it may be time to get off your ass and do something about it. Watching Britney’s every move cannot possibly improve your life. It can’t even make it better than hers, since she has had success and riches in her life already. She could do a nosedive at age 25 and still have more to look back on than most people will given 70 years. Not having undressed in a nightclub or having shaved your own head does not make you superior when all you do is watch and talk about someone who HAS. If you want your life to be better, you have work to do . That’s why I took up the mantle of education once more. I felt bad about myself, having been too lazy and undisciplined to have done it in my younger years. It may never help me career-wise, but the effort and attainment makes me feel much better about myself. Self-esteem is a do-it-yourself project.

Another aspect of this excuse is the “Well, she was popular for so long as a ‘good girl’, with her vow of chastity and all, so she’s a fallen angel now” line of “thought”. She’s not a “fallen angel”, you’re a “dupe.” The first I ever heard of her was a newspaper article about her getting breast implants at age 17. I’m sorry, but outside of a horrible, scarring accident, there is no reason for 17 year old nubbins to need help. Not unless, of course, they belong to someone who wants to be the next sex symbol. And yes, she took a vow of chastity, and then learned something that a lot of us learn. She learned that sex is more fun than chastity. Oh, heaven forbid.

The other “reason” is this: “We fans support her by buying her discs and her concert tickets, so we have a right to know everything about her.”

Frankly, I think it should be legal to bitch-slap anyone who lets that come out of his/her (usually her) mouth. Bitch-slap right into next Sunday.

So you bought one or two cds. Big whoop. You spent $30 and got some music to listen to. Then you bought a “concert” ticket. (I put the word concert in quotes because I don’t consider lip-synching to a tape to be a concert. I’d call it a dance recital.) What you paid for is admittance to a performance. It says so on the ticket. Nowhere does it say you have a front row seat to the performer’s life, despite the fairly obvious fact that you lack one yourself.

Imagine sitting at work and having a client approach you and ask who you slept with over the weekend. Perhaps this client might inquire about whether or not you spank your children. Maybe ask if you drink, smoke pot, or use battery operated toys when you masturbate. None of his business, right?

But why? After all, he pays the company that pays your wages. He “supports” you. Doesn’t he have the right to know everything about you?

“But, Mr. Troll….. I’m not a public figure. Britney is. She’s the one who wanted to be in the limelight. Don’t you think she asked for it? If she doesn’t like it, she could quit, you know.”

Didn’t you ask for it when you took that job at XYZ inc? After all, you went and applied for the job. If you don’t like it, you can quit, too. Music and movie people do jobs, and part of that job is public appearances and dealing with fans. No one signs up to have their garbage sifted through and made public, or to be hounded through every shopping trip and dinner out. Everyone deserves some privacy. If someone were following YOUR every movement with a camera, I daresay you’d call the police the first day. Your ticket stub and two cds does not give you ownership to Britney’s, or anyone’s,  whole life.

I, for one, would like to see the movie and music stars go on strike. Not for more money, that would be even dumber than the baseball strike. I’d like to see them strike for a little respect and privacy. I know it won’t happen, but it would be a sight to have all the big stars refuse to put out music and movies, and just go enjoy the millions they’ve already made.

Then we’d see who really needs who.

UPDATE: A New Mexico author has something to add.

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7 Comments

  1. I am definately not one to fawn over stars. Never had the posters on the wall etc. And if I were a star I’d certainly go the Russel Crowe way and hit someone eventually. Stars are P E O P L E first. So ya. Give up the garbage pickin’.

  2. Choosing (or falling into) the celebrity/public life comes at a loss of privacy. Whether the “celeb” feeds it further or not is a choice. The media and the masses often overlook the big issues to focus on what’s meaningless. The big issues are harder to point and laugh at.

  3. As usual, I agree and disagree. I agree that it’s ridiculous to care about what antics Britney & Co. get up to, but I don’t think peeps who have sought the limelight have any right to privacy. Maybe in their homes or while driving their kids to school, but certainly not in nightclubs, shops, or other public places.

  4. Britney Schmitney. I saw some stupid shrinks on TV today actually attempting to delve into her psyche and give us the reasons why the B-woman shaved her purdy widdle head. I guess there’s nothing better to do or care about.

  5. NO. NO. NO. The media has the power to create what we believe we want to see. If noone reported it, who would know the difference. Really. It’s ridiculous. Trash mags like the National Enquirer prove my point without much effort. It’s all useless crap. Entertainment about the entertainment=boring lies. Of course people will pay attention. That’s what we do. So. Those who are supplying the things to pay attention to, do hold at least half of the responsibility. Unfortunately, the average person does not have an apropriate filter. Hence the Top 40. Pop music. Pop art. Pop film. While there may be some that slips through with integrity, the rest is what it is because it apeals to a majority which is not necessarily good. I could go on. Oh how I could go on.

  6. Your excellent post is like a toothpick against a tidal wave, Joe, and Kat’s comment explains why.

  7. I don’t think I ‘care’ or that either of those scenarios you mentioned apply to me. I just think it’s fun to watch an annoying star “fall”. And if (when) it happens to Paris and Lindsay too, I’ll be extra happy. It’s not that it makes me feel superior. I’m just sick and tired of hearing about these Hollywodo twists constantly, and knowing that Britney is losing all of her fans this because of her recent behavior rocks my socks!


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