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.
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:
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.