Know what I hate? I hate entertainment news. I hate it because it's no longer informative of the art that is entertainment. There was a time—in a galaxy, far, far away—when entertainment news meant the latest information about books, movies, theater, music, and an artist's art—not the bull'ish that currently passes for entertainment news. Now, pausing to scan the entertainment headlines means getting a load of what Li-Lo (Tipsy Lindsey Lohan) did this time. When did the lives of celebrities become breaking news? Shouldn't we have stopped caring when Zsa Zsa Gabor married her 23rd husband?
How did America get to the point where anyone gives a flying (pardon my French) what Britney does in her spare time? It's not like she was ever a promising talent in control of her own destiny. I think we all know she was screwed in the head when she cheated on then dumped poor Justin Trousersnake. I mean, how do I even know about all that?
An oft given explanation is that human beings like to build each other up in order to have someone/something to tear down. Goddamn, what does that say about our supposedly intelligent species? That doesn't sound particularly (explicative) sharp for a species that has only gotten as far as it has by cooperating more often than not. Yet a market appears to exist for just this kind of "journalism." Rags like The National Enquirer, People, and Star magazine sell the dirty laundry of a privileged and usually famous class. AND MAKE LOTS OF MONEY DOING IT! Do people without money hate the rich so much that they can rationalize buying these kitty box liners so that they can have deep and meaningful discussions about what Jamie-Lynn should do with her baby? [I'm pro-life in a perfect world, but the world is not perfect.] I'm pretty sure what some gossip-slinging douche-bag on the street has to say about the Spears family is not going to change who they are (demons). Actively seeking news about Brit's wild ways does not make Britney a loser. It makes the reader a loser. As in, L.O.S.E.R.
Then there's the Watching-A-Train-Wreck defense some attempt to invoke, but that plane doesn't fly with me. I am not the kind of guy who slows down to see how many people died in that collision between the two drunk soccer-moms driving unwieldy SUV's—I have places to go. Such a justification tells me one thing, that you don't think your life is so bad by comparison. Well, guess what, you're dead wrong! Your life does sucks, which is why you even have the time to slow down and take a look in the first place. Oh, but I know poor dears, I know. What would your wretched lives be like without the vital information that Li-Lo spent 84 minutes in jail for her thirteenth DUI? Imagine not having access to that information. Why, you might get something important done, like cooking the kids a meal! Uh oh, scratch that. Parents today don't know how to cook because they're too busy either trying to be like Paris or drooling over the skank. Put the yippee dog down and give it a chance to run away before I kick your teeth down its throat. At least the dog stands a chance of still making something of itself. Simply accept the fact that some people are above the law, that you are not one of them, and get on with your life. Oh-bloody-kay?
When news broke that one of my all-time favorite singers—Rob Halford of Judas Priest—was gay, I thought, "So beeping' what? The SOB can scream like a mother beeper." I care about his talent, not his personal life. Why should I care If Lance Bass of N'Suck is reportedly gay? Like no one had that figured out already! What bearing on my life does the news that Lance Bass is gay have on my life? NONE. I don't give a damn what anyone outside of my circle of friends and family does with their personal time unless it directly impacts my life. Marilyn Manson getting divorced does not impact my life. Miley Cyrus upset over leaked photos does not impact my life. Just learn never to name your daughter "Miley" and move along.
So make a New Year's Resolution: When tempted by headlines of Britney having another meltdown, show some, SOME will power and skip it. We all know it's going to happen, so the details aren't really important. Leave Britney alone? I'd love to leave Britney alone! You should too, all of you. If we're lucky, we'll once again know when a new Radiohead album is going to be released (this Tuesday, had no clue). I'm not even a Radiohead fan, but I'd rather hear about their new album than another Amy Whorehouse relapse.
Of course I could be wrong. I therefore challenge anyone to make a compelling argument in favor of celebrity gossip. No? Didn't think so…