Thursday, August 5, 2010

Celebrity Circus.

Celebrity has morphed into a many-headed, fanged, deranged beast foaming at its many mouths.  The spectacle rules supreme.  Famous for being famous feels like the norm though it's merely the case that infamy has become a currency of choice; and celebrity now has a much more tenuous link with achievement.  Who cares what they are saying as long as they are talking about you, right?

Don't get me wrong.  There's nothing I like more than a comeback.  An actress brought back from the dead, made relevant again and cooler than ever by Tarantino.  Robert Downey Jnr picking himself up & dusting himself off and doing his best shit in years.  But I glimpse the beginning of the end when people appear to be leaking their own sex tapes and news of a rehab stint.  What was once an tantilising glimpse of thigh has become mind-numbing fully-fledged porn.

What is the answer to the question that I have been asking myself for awhile?  Why do we hate our stars so much now?  Is it a carry-over effect of the reality TV phenomenon?  Are we just jealous?  Of their looks and their money?  That their lives look so shiny and fun?  That their jobs aren't robbing them of their will to live?  Or are we just repulsed by their plastic surgeries, their 30-day marriages, their very own (torturous) sitcoms, their infomercials, the pretentious names they give their kids, their tell-all exclusives?

Because we do hate them.  And not in that would-you-just-shut-the-fuck-up way (well, maybe a little).  We are OBSESSED.  We hate them the way a stalker turns on their prey.  They are too fat.  They are too thin.  They have aged.  They haven't aged.  They tell us too much.  They give boring interviews.  The venom in some of the women's weeklies repulses me & frankly scares me.  We want them to fall.  We want them to relapse.  We want their problem areas to be marked in a red pen.  We want their marriages to fail.  We want bad things to happen to their kids.  We want to wallow in their guts, be they spilled or ripped.

Why?  I think it's a mixture of schadenfreude and desensitisation.  Not only have we become a culture of haters but the pornification of the media has us needing more - more intense highs, or rather, lows.  We objectify them, finding it harder to view them as human beings.  Merely the source of our gratification.

Culture is fluid.  Culture is merely a collection of individuals agreeing to a common reality.

The beast feeds on attention, cannot distinguish between positive and negative publicity & cannot grasp irony.  It grows stronger with every tabloid you buy, every reality program you watch, every salacious link you click on & every sex tape you watch.  We are not its slack-jawed captives.  We are its master.

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