Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Bullshit Right to Know

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are on the verge of a breakup!! Oh no! The world will surely come to an end now!!

Seriously, why do we care so much about the off-screen lives of famous people? Why can't we let these poor people just have a normal fucking marriage without it plastered all over the tabloids? I can't say that the pressures of the tabloid press are the only reason that celebrity marriages break up, but I can't help but think that it has to take its toll.

What kind of idiot has so little going on in their life that they actually feel like it's their job to keep track of Hollywood's romantic interests? Get a fucking life, people, and let our "beloved" stars have their own. The media has spent so long convincing us that it's our right to know about every aspect of famous people's private lives, and that they give up their right to privacy when they decide to be a public figure, that we not only don't question it anymore, but we have come to demand it. Wake the fuck up, people! The reason the media has convinced us that celebrities don't have rights to privacy is because they know we'll foolishly give them lots of our money and time to find out what we have no business knowing. The tabloid media is nothing but one big scam machine, constantly convincing us to give them money to find out things about other people that we really don't have any business knowing.

The truth is that it's human nature to build certain people up, to set them up on their pedistals, and then throw rocks at them to see if we can knock them off, and then feel good about it if we can. We select this small percentage of the population because they can do something better than we can, whether it be singing, acting, playing in sports, etc., and we begin to worship them like our own, private Olympian gods. We give them our attention, our money, our love and our admiration. we hang onto every word they might say, and when they're not speaking, we hang on their coattails to hear the next nugget of wisdom they may empart upon us. Then something happens. We begin to resent the fact that they're a little better than us at something; we resent the fact that we're giving them all of this money and time and treating them like the gods that we need to worship. We resent the fact that we've basically built them up so much that we've lost that human contact with them, and now they seem to have become something a little better than human, a little better than us.

So we need to regain that human contact. We need to find a way that we can safely say that they're no better than the average, low-life, normal population. That's why we love it when we get reports of our celebrities getting caught with drugs, with prostitutes, with bad marriages, with bad haircuts, basically with problems that we can identify with. The tabloid media knows this, and they constantly remind us that it's our right to know.

I say bullshit! They have their public lives, and they have their private lives, just like you and I do. The way they behave in public is what they want us to know about them. The way they behave in private is not what they want us to know about them. That's why it's called "privacy"! Their private life is nothing we need to know in order to keep them a public figure. It's not like they're politicians and we're voting for them based on their ethical background, both on- and off-duty. I don't need a character assessment of Brad Pitt's private life to know if he was a good actor in Troy. I don't need to know if Ozzy Osbourne is doing drugs to know if he can make ass-stomping heavy metal. They're their problems to deal with, and if I'm not going to help them, then why should I be the one to judge them?

"But they're public figures!" you might cry. "The public has a right to know about them; it's the right they give up by being a public figure!" Do you go out in public? Then you are a public figure, too. Just like the celebrities, you have the way you want the public to perceive you, too. That dictates how you dress, how you talk, how you act, what you drive, and how you treat others around you. You don't go up to a sales clerk or a random wacko on the street and start telling them about your drug problems or your marriage problems. You want to keep that private because it's no one's business but your own, right? The same way with celebrities. When you go inside your house, in private, you want to keep that behavior exactly that: private. Leave them alone to deal with their problems their way, without the added stress of how the fucking country is going to react to their decisions.

I would love to see some just average, minimum-wage Joe start harrassing the tabloid news media about their divorce situation, trying to force the tabloids to keep up-to-the-minute reports on their situation because it's the public's right to know about it. I would love to see a Wag the Dog-style movie about that. Could you imagine the tabloid reporters telling the guy to stop calling them because no one gives a crap, but the guy keep trying to convince the tabloids that if the public needs to know about Ben Afleck and Jennifer Lopez or Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston breaking up, they need to know about him breaking up with his wife, too? That just seems funny to me. Maybe that's just the way my mind works. I hate the tabloid media.

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