Celebrity news is not news.

I was watching the news last night, catching up on what's been going on in the world. There are a couple of wars going on in the Middle East, a heatwave is causing blackouts, some kid has been shooting random people, and some pop singer came out of the closet. Guess which one of these items isn't news.

This is the kind of thing that convinces me that at any given moment I'm surrounded by complete fucking idiots. It blows my mind to know that enough people care about the trivial details of a stranger's life enough that they can report on that sort of bullshit night after night, taking valuable airtime away from actual news. I'd like to have a higher level of detail in the stories of actual things happening, or hear more real news in general, but instead I'm treated to "news" about which celebrity is getting married today.

Every time I buy groceries, I can't help but notice the magazines at the check out line. It's incredibly rare to find any reading material of any substance there. I was wondering aloud if only idiots buy groceries, because there are only shallow celebrity gossip magazines where you pay for your merchandise, and my friend Lew pointed out a key fact: the kind of moron who cares about celebrities is the same kind of moron who makes impulse purchases at the cash register.

There's a particular celebrity whose name will never grace my page, but whose superstar status disgusts me to the point of rage. She has absolutely no discernible talents, but we've been hearing about her antics for a couple years now. If she makes a public statement that she's going to eat a fucking sandwich, it will make the news. People eat this garbage up. When "news" about her is posted on fark.com, it's usually with a tagline making fun of her, but it doesn't matter: even mentioning her name keeps her in the public eye, and extends the length of time we're going to be hearing about her. If the people posting that shit really were tired of her, they wouldn't post it. So it goes with all celebrity news. It serves as advertising. Instead of continuously entertaining us or fading into obscurity, many celebrities opt to do a little bit of entertainment and a lot of staying in the public eye, carefully crafting public personas that are probably completely different from their actual personalities.

And it works. Because people are fucking idiots.


Lew said...

Of course you know I agree with you, but there's also another reason that we get so much celebrity news. I was watching some news show the other day and they were reporting on some stupid sitcom like it was news. Then it hit me, the news show and the sitcom are owned by the same company. I think a lot of the reason we get so much celebrity news is shameless corporate self promotion. Also, people are idiots.

The Blogging Alchemist said...

I think you guys are totally off base. Celebrity news in an integral part of the fabric that binds this society together and keeps things running smoothly. For example, if I were to watch the news and all I saw was coverage of various wars, corrupt politicians, and the constant intolerence of various people by various people, I might be stirred from my catatonic state and forced to become engaged in what goes on around me. Luckily, I currently watch coverage that is counter balanced by news items that explain that any given celebrity has had a baby and named them "Lemon-meringue Teakettle". This serves only to remind me that everything is as it should be.