Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Celebrity Skinned

It's no secret that I like to read the gossip rags and websites. But I think I've finally reached a saturation point.



There was a lot of discussion in the office today about Paris Hilton. She shops in the store once in a while and is always very sweet and easy to deal with, with no attitude whatsoever.

I understand why someone might not be a fan, but I am really confused and fascinated by the fact that people on this planet hate her so much that they're excited by the possibility that she might suffer in jail. There are a lot of people out there who really want her to get hurt and are very vocal about it. Why the vitriol? Is it because people are jealous of her over-privilege?

Shit, I know I am. I'd love to be able to do nothing but shop all day and be a drunken slut all night. I think she should pay the same consequences for breaking the law as anyone else, and I do wish she'd take better care of her pets and maybe donate some of that dough to some worthy causes. But I don't have any desire to see her physically wounded and it confuses me that anyone would put so much energy into hating someone who isn't affecting their own life in any way.


Secondly, Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel's daughter and the constant shit she's getting from Perez Hilton: That poor, unfortunate soul did not win the genetic lotto that should have been her birthright, and instead of looking like her mother actually looks a lot like her dad. No woman on this earth should have Billy Joel's face, it doesn't even look good on him! But there it is.

The first time I saw her photo I squeaked and then forgot about it until I read a letter she wrote to Perez, who has been saying mean things about her looks for some time. The letter was very well written and explained that she was young and just trying to live her life and that she didn't understand why he was constantly being so rotten about her looks, that it hurt her, and she never claimed to be a supermodel. That turned her into a real person for me instead of just an image to giggle at online. I doubt I would have been as articulate and gracious at that age if caught in the same situation.


I thought it was cool that Perez posted the letter, but then a few days later he posted another photo of her, photoshopped to exaggerate her less than perfect features. It was so mean-spirited that it stunned me for a moment, and I've sworn off his site since.


Third, a couple of things hitting closer to home are affecting how I view our cultural fame consumption. One is that fans of Jesse's, people who have met him once or twice or occasionally get to have a conversation with him at shows, will contact me via myspace and say things about his personal life as if they are intimate friends and they really know what's going on. I understand the desire to feel close to people we admire, listen to, watch, etc., and I don't think anyone I've come in contact with wishes him ill or means him harm. But it creeps me out a little and makes me feel more protective of him than I ever did when we were actually together and I just wanted to shove him out a window most days.


The other thing in my personal camp is that the singer in Drew's band is a bit of a celebrity and currently a regular on gossip websites. Today a few sites posted some erroneous information about the inner opinions of band members, supposedly gleaned from an eavesdropped conversation. Luckily they're all good guys who trust each other, but it was potentially damaging. And more than that, it was just sort of gross to know that people are that up in someone's shit that they'll sell any little bit of dirt they think they have, whether it's true or not, and then the rest of us will read it and assume it's bona fide.

And this is on a very small level—imagine what it must be like to be really famous and have people digging through your garbage all day long. It's so depressing and small.


So these things happening in succession have made me determined not to feed into the machine as deeply as I have in the past. I'm not saying I'm never going to read Us Weekly again (a girl's gotta be entertained during her pedicures) but I really want to stop purchasing the magazines and visiting the sites that make money off of crawling up into total stranger's alleged lives.


The other portion of my current thought process is just meanness in general. I am a mean, mean girl. Some of the nicknames given to me from friends and family are Darklady, the Kracken, Mary McKracken, Darth Mare, and Scary. There is a definite pattern there. And I'm totally cool with that. I've always liked Maleficent way better than Sleeping Beauty, Catwoman far more than Batgirl, Veronica more than Betty. But I truly want to free myself from mean-spirited speech and behavior. I want to stop saying every shitty, rotten, hurtful thing that pops into my brain.


It recently came to my attention that someone overheard something I was saying about them that was far from nice. It isn't a person that I can readily apologize to, and I feel badly about it. I'll get frustrated and run my big fat mouth without really meaning everything I say. But once you put it out there it becomes so much more real than a momentary venting. There has to be a way to say things without belittling or wounding people.


And then lastly, I was on gawker.com yesterday and they had posted a video of a breakdancer in Times Square accidentally kicking a toddler full in the face and sending her flying into the air and slamming face down onto the ground. It was absolutely awful, just stunningly painful to see. But what was way, way more awful was the list of comment after comment after comment from people stating how funny they found the video. Not one person asked if the little girl was okay and reading the words made me want to cry. How do we get to a place where we are so numb that we think injuring babies is entertaining?


I know celebrity cannibalism and mean-spiritedness are ostensibly different issues, but they're connecting in my head right now. I guess because they're both small of soul and not where our consciousnesses belong. I feel polluted by both and I want to get clean. I'll never be a sweet little thing, and Lord knows what hell I'm going to be when I'm really old and all filters have eroded away completely. I apologize in advance to all of those close to me.

But in the meantime I'm going to work on becoming more conscious and less hurtful with the things I say and think, and I want to stop obsessively feeding my brain with erroneous bullshit about people I don't know.


All that being said, I'll still be visiting gofugyourself.com on a daily basis. Cause those bitches are mean about fashion rather than faces, and they're frigging hilarious. Every time Britney leaves the house it's internet gold.

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