Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Proof that there is a God, and that he is angry and spiteful, part II

For part one scroll down, or you lazier folks can click here.

Where was I? Oh, right.

"I heart Britney more than I heart world peace"

OK. I know. I know, ok? I know whoever this twit tween is, she doesn't really love Britney Fucking Spears more than she loves world peace, whatever that is.

Does she?

Honestly? I'm not so sure. Look, there are a million ways one could go with commentary about a statement so in(s)ane.

I could talk about the rampant vapidity of young people, hell, of the majority of people in the world today.

I could talk about the sad state of affairs when people spend more time on the internet writing useless crap to strangers (ahem), rather than get out there and actually do something useful. And no, I don't mean go out and save the whales or aggressively recycle or protest the war. I mean go out there and play in the sun or make a friend or fuck, learn something. Read a book. Although, stopping the war and saving the whales would be useful too.

I could talk about how pathetic it is that a young girl, probably in middle America somewhere, is so blinded by our cult of celebrity that she latches onto a drunk, white trash, pathetic no-talent who can't keep her fucking underwear on, and cries that she just wants to be someone, and that she has so much to say, despite the fact that she can't fucking SPELL.

And the truth is... it's all of that. It's more than that. It's none of that. All I know is it's sad and it's frustrating.

The truth is, in a sick way I'm as guilty as the next person. While this random girl (and I hope it's a little girl - I suppose it could actually be a grown man *shudder*) is obsessed with Britney, I am occasionally equally obsessed with her, but in reverse. I'm fascinated by the train wreck that is her life. Which is no better, really. Honestly, sometimes those of us who criticize those douchebags* for being douchebags are just as guilty as those who obsess over them. I mean, aren't rants like this another form of obsession?

On second thought... no. No they are not. Because I'm not obsessed with Britney Spears, or any celebrity for that matter. I think that George Clooney and Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are fucking brilliant actors. I think Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman and Catherine Keener are beautiful and amazingly talented. But fuck if I want to meet them. I could care less about what they'd be like in my world. Look, here is a random sample, in no particular order, of famous people I think are awesome for various reasons:

Christian Bale
Barak Obama
Tom Brady
Trent Reznor
Lebron James
Nelson Mandela**
Steven Soderberg

Truthfully, with the exception of the 2nd to last one, I have absolutely no desire to hang out with any of them. I could care less what their dinner conversation would be like. I just admire their talents. And if/when one of them starts acting like an asshole, then I suppose it gets interesting and becomes something to talk about. But to be honest, posts like Chez's, which I linked to above, aren't obsession, because he talks more about substantive issues than the majority of other bloggers out there. Certainly more than me. Fuck, most of my posts are about music, my dogs, being drunk, or weather-control conspiracy theories. And more importantly, he talks about other things besides celebrity worship.

But that's not the case for many people. I remember listening to NPR a few months ago and Robert B. Parker was on. You know, author of the Spenser novels, etc. I actually enjoy his books, as much as one can enjoy such mindless machismo-oriented brain candy. But there were callers who were, and I'm totally serious, calling and saying how someone like Spenser should be fucking President!

How did it come to this? When did we as a culture become so obsessed with strangers on the television that we ceased to recognize reality anymore? There are probably a million causes, ranging from The Beatles to that fucking bitch Oprah. People who became larger than life, and so prevalent that people began to think of them as a part of their lives. Harry Knowles is actually a lesser example of this - someone who came out of nowhere, but gave normal people a common link, to the point that now they think of him as their friend. Hell, he hosts giant movie gatherings that people fight to be a part of. People, just get a few friends together and rent a fucking movie. Jesus.

As usual, I don't have a point. I guess I'm saying that we spend far too much time thinking that the strangers we see on the television and the newspaper and yes, on the internet are actually a part of us. They're not. They're actors and musicians and frequently they're assholes who just happen to have a gift for which there is a high demand. Somewhere along the way we lost sight of the people around us, and became more fascinated with the strangers behind the glass in front of us.

Do I have a solution? Of course not. But then, I think I'm doing ok. I have a life - a wife I love, a home I'm thrilled with, a job I feel is important that I enjoy, and great friends and family. I've got shit to occupy my time, so I don't get sucked into the cult of celebrity. Yes, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, writing rambling nonsense like this... but I'm ok with it, because it's not an obsession. In fact, I think blogging is, for the most part, a good thing. It's basically a digital diary, and I've read some truly amazing stuff and actually encountered some truly amazing people through it. But they're real. They're not around me, but they're not behind the glass, either.

That's the important part.

*Chez, please don't take that as a criticism. It was a brilliant piece, and worth writing. I just used it as a launching point.
**My sister, lucky bitch, actually did have dinner with Nelson Mandela once. True story. Some other time I'll tell it.

Finally, in case anyone cares, if I had to pick five strangers to have dinner with, it would not be anyone famous I've mentioned here. It would be him and her and him and her and her. That's right, buckos. I'm gonna start e-stalking you. Sleep tight. Keep a light on.


slouchmonkey said...

My jumping off point is this: we are programmed to be envious of people who have what we do not. Thank the advertising industry. So, we pretend to ourselves that we know these people so we can have just a little imagined piece of what they possess. On another note, we do know these people because we see so much of their shit. All the FRIGGIN' time!

Don't forget, you also have a lawn.

Anonymous said...

We are jealous of people who have what we do not? wtf. I am jealous of twitney spears because she hangs out with that ugly hilton skank while wearing no frikken underwear? Holy crap. As for people to meet, Barak Obama is a righteous dude. Damn preferable to that stick-up-his-ass law school classmate, aka, Brad Berenson who worked with Ken Starr in the effort to nail Clinton for nailing Monica. How about Cotton Mather? He was known to hang around here and there...oh, you can blame the bowl of stupid for my appearance. Well, not the haircut. run4chocolate.wordpress.com

TK said...

Slouchmonkey - you covet my lawn, don't you. It's ok. And I think what you say is true - to a point. I think that a large portion of the no-brain morons that populate this planet envy those things, but there are those of us who have learned to be satisfied with what we have, or what we can reasonably attain.

Anon - as you can see from my above comment, I'm with you. Again, to a point. I agree that Obama is righteous, and I love the guy. But seriously, why would I want to meet him? Would we talk about movies and books and drinking? I enjoy political discourse, but... other than leftist politics (and I'm actually farther to the left than him), I don't think we'd have much in common.

Lora_3 said...

Very good post.
Trent Reznor hmmm I really want to ask why.

Be safe...

TK said...

Lora_3 - why I think he's awesome or why I don't want to meet him? He's awesome because he's amazingly talented, and virtually created a new genre of music. But... well... I don't care what he's like as a person.

Lora_3 said...

I heard one of my kids say once "my mom's cool. She's seen Nine Inch Nails." LOL I don't think I would say he created a new genre of music but he was better promoted.

Do you like Front Line Assembly?

What you said about Oprah is so wild and I would never have thought about it that way.

I can't think of anyone that is someone that I'd really like to meet. Now I have joked I'd like Gerard Butler to read to me but it his voice that I'm in love with. I love Maya Angelou's voice too.

I thank you for making me think and laugh today.

Be safe...

TK said...

Lora, You're right - he didn't create a new genre, but he did popularize one. Well said.

As for Front Line Assembly - never heard them. But I'm always on the lookout for something different, so gimme a good album to start with.

A Bowl Of Stupid said...

Nice rant, T. Seriously. And thanks for the shout-out, too.

Ironically, this issue came up for me too, yesterday. My friend who crews on a 75' boat told me that Beyonce and JayZ are renting it out for weekend. Sadly, my first instinct was "cool, can I come?" A split-second later, I caught myself and realized there's no reason I'd want to meet either of them (well, one reason ...).

Unfortunately, I think it's just something that's thrust upon the public from a very young age that takes years of logic to get over (much like organized religion).

Maxine Dangerous said...

I'm famous! I'm famous! Seriously, I would say something wildly intelligent if it wasn't -- holy crap! -- 12:30 AM and if I wasn't (weren't -- crap -- I've forgotten how to write!) so flippin' tired and refusing for some sick-ass reason to go.to.bed.already it's a damn school night.

Anyway, I think you're keen and we should definitely go out and drink beer. When I'm, um, in your state. That would help. :D

TK said...

Yes, Maxine, famous and fabulous you are. Although, perhaps being linked to from the ole' Uncooked Meat factory qualifies as more "infamous" than "famous".