Mad World: Our society is obsessed with Celebrities. Are you interested in celebrity news and information?
Marriages are causes for contrived joy, divorces and inappropriate speculation. Death brings about an odd mixture of artificial remorse and barely-contained excitement. When everyday things happen to famous people, there are those who want to know all there is to know about it, whether it’s who’s broken up with whom or which tragic pop star has hit a new low.
The celebrity obsession of the culture we live in is a strange one indeed. Our obsession with famous people desensitizes a portion of society when it comes to basic human emotions like empathy, causing some to view very real painful human experiences – from death to divorce to addiction to a bad haircut – as occurrences in a soap opera conducted for our own selfish entertainment, just because it’s happening to a celebrity.
Maybe it’s the lack of self-examination and self-awareness inherent in this culture. After all, how is it that someone can report on the ups and downs of Jessica Simpson’s weight with complete and utter seriousness? If the celebrity obsession was used as a lens to examine ourselves and the world we live in, perhaps anyone could believe that the obsession has a purpose, but those who report on the comings and goings of Lindsay Lohan seem never to pause and wonder how and why, in our society, they can make their living (a better living than most) by holding a metaphorical magnifying glass to the life of a stranger.
Tabloid headlines never ask any harder questions than ‘Do you know whose un-photoshopped cellulite this is?’ Perhaps that’s part of the appeal for some. Indulging in the pointless and shallow world of a celebrity-obsessed culture where famous people are American royalty can be an honest effort to escape the more demanding realities of life, where divorce, death and addiction have real-life repercussions and are not just blog fodder for the entertainment world. Perhaps there are times when it’s just nice to point and laugh at someone else’s train-wreck of a life instead of getting caught up in our own.
Celebrity obsession just seems like a national waste of time. Everyone loves entertainment, but I have a hard time writing off the shared obsession with celebrities that this nation nurses as a completely harmless phenomenon.
It’s not even the existence of those so-called “news” shows full of completely irrelevant information about the lives of celebrities – it’s the fact that many of those shows seem unaware of their own pointlessness. Reporters have been known to detail the divorce proceedings of a 1990s adult contemporary singer in somber tones that would perhaps be better suited to topics that actually affect the public at large. While it is baffling how anyone can report on such things with an earnest belief that one is doing very important, totally legitimate work, Ryan Seacrest has certainly made a career out of it.
What values are we teaching the youth of our society by focusing on such ridiculousness without ever indulging in deeper thought on the matter? While it’s true that strangers will judge you for the way you look and what they think of your life, why leave such behavior unchallenged? When the way things are isn’t questioned, it implies that the way things are is not only normal, but acceptable.
Ideally, more people should have more conversations with kids about why people care enough about Angelina Jolie’s eating habits to put them on the cover of a magazine. No one is calling for mass burnings of “People” magazine, but a little widespread self-examination never hurt anyone. Really, a society where the cast of “Jersey Shore” can become so financially successful is one that could do with engaging in a bit of reflection.
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