Scanning through the available shows on the TV Guide channel is infuriating. Not just because, regardless of the number of channels, there's nothing that i really want to watch; what's worse is Hollywood 411, which is probably the most mind-numbing jackhammer of media drivel in existence. Just recently, it's been worse, because--even after the guy's been BURIED--they're still talking about Michael Jackson, or how the rest of the Jackson family is handling the situation . . . SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY! Of course, there's something suspicious about his death . . . the guy was completely messed up and, in latter years, had started to look decidedly creepy. And, anytime somebody "important" dies, well of COURSE there's got to be something suspicious going on, and if there isn't, by golly, Hollywood will MAKE it look suspicious, just to milk every last dollar out of a decaying corpse.
Having not seen anything i wanted to watch, i shut off the TV and decided to vent in my blog. I suppose i could create a good "rant" poem out of it, but i actually began to think about articulating my rage in prose. Reason being, the whole concept of Celebrities. Now, most of America somehow seems to believe that Celebrities (capital C added for ironic purposes) are different from "normal" people (i.e., people who don't have anyone chasing them down the streets with cameras or shoving those phallic-looking microphones in their face), and therefore should somehow rate more highly than the rest of us. People watch them play their dramas out in public scrutiny, and then try to ape their fashions, parrot their one-liners, or engage in other utterfly futile attempts to make believe that they're one of them. In other words, it's not only phony, it's faking somebody else's phoniness. I mean, honestly, do you REALLY give a shit what product thus-and-so is pimping on TV, just because somebody paid them an amount of money that makes what most of us make look like chump change (and, for most of us, that's exactly what we do make)? Do you actually think that those people are any DIFFERENT than you? Why are their flaws, foibles, quirks, mistakes, and failures any less a quagmire than the ones you're snared in, or somehow more INTERESTING than yours? Think about it this way: how would YOUR life look if it were scrutinized daily, if all the skeletons in your closet were dragged out, the bones gnawed by hyenas with camcorder-lenses for eyes, if you were nagged and hounded and picked apart constantly by pundits and media whores who get paid to do just that?
Personally, i'm tired of people who get paid so much just to parade around in somebody else's fashion lines, to advertise this brand of lipstick or motor oil or non-stick cooking spray (all probably made from the same petrochemicals), to trot across stage and display their talent so they can be elevated to some demigod-like status . . . oh, phaugh, run-on sentence. Whatever. No, i don't think it's wrong for talented people to get paid for their talents. I'm sure that performing a string of concerts or filming the same scene 50 times a day just because the director's got a bug up his ass that particular day--or any of the other things that Celebrities do that put them in that particular category--is tiresome, exhausting, and just as much a "job" as any other. But there's a limit to the amount of information or speculation about one particular person that should demand our attention. I'm reminded in particular of the shooting incident i heard--actually HEARD HAPPENING--at the end of the street i lived on while in the Bronx. A kid, couldn't have been more than 15 judging by the photos of him at the little "shrine" set up at the bodega up the street, was killed. I searched the papers the next day, and not one mention of this incident. It was as if the life of this child meant nothing. NOTHING. But on the front page of the papers was some Hollywood scandal (something so inane i can't even remember what it was now), about someone who--if they were shot--would have rated the same kind of Media Zombification that Michael Jackson is currently undergoing.
To regard Celebrities--regardless of their status or level of talent--as anything more or greater than the rest of us, is to devalue human life itself. After all, it doesn't take much to become a "media sensation;" if all else fails, grab an automatic weapon or a power tool and go on a rampage, or call a politician a liar to his face when he's making a speech, or what have you. Anybody who can do anything with a higher degree of skill than most is probably going to have the same experience as so many have: be all the rage for a certain length of time, then be vilified and hated and ultimately fed upon. And then after they die, everybody will be crying about how much this person is missed, and have gaudy tombs or shrines built in their name. And there will always be Media Hyenas around to suck as much marrow out of their bones as possible, people whose only "claim to fame" is how much profit they can generate off a corpse. Kennedy, Elvis, Reagan, MJ . . . people who were put on a pedestal and promptly fell off, only to be stuck up there again after they died. LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR OWN DEAD.
And shut up already!
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