Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Opinion: Stop consuming shameful, talentless “entertainment”
Then maybe sleazy celebrities will have to make actual contributions to society.
I am increasingly disturbed by the amount of attention certain celebrities get for absolutely nothing. It always takes me by surprise when, among actual news, I see a headline about what Kim Kardashian wore yesterday. This is expected in tabloids, but why are we being bombarded on all fronts with this useless celebrity gossip? And more importantly, why do we care?
I’ll admit it: I was guilty of keeping up with the Kardashians when that first became a trend. Fortunately, I can blame that on being, well, younger. Even more fortunate is the fact that I was able to escape watching the endless train wreck that is almost impossible to look away from.
We’re drawn to follow the lives of these people because the chaos is not only interesting, but affirming. I mean, I know what we’re all thinking when we watch “Real Housewives” of fill-in-the-blank city: “They may be rich, but I have so much more class than that.” Watching these shows gives us free rein to judge as we please.
Not to say that we shouldn’t “judge” them, because if you can watch reality television and feel fine with the behavior displayed, you may need to reevaluate your life.
These celebrities are famous because we pay attention to them. Entertainment consumers are to blame. We care about what they’re doing, and who they’re dating, and how much their new mansion cost and how many times they saw their personal trainer the week before hitting the beach.
If we’re going to obsess over the personal details of people we don’t even know, can we at least keep the spotlight on those with actual talent? Is nothing sacred?
Oh, wait. Keeping up with real celebrities just isn’t quite as rewarding.
For starters, talented people are awesome. For those of us who get winded going up the stairs to the gym, we’re beyond jealous of Olympic athletes. Spending years taking guitar lessons and then being unable to play a single song makes seeing the success of musicians a little painful. And Adele puts our karaoke trophies to shame.
Not to mention that real celebrities are unlikely to allow cameras into their home and exploit their children, so the all access pass we get with the Kardashians wouldn’t even be available if we were interested in what Angelina Jolie was feeding her family for breakfast.
Finally, we all know that the people who are bringing us true entertainment are not quite as thirsty for attention. They don’t need to act out in order to stay successful.
Let’s do the world a favor and stop giving these people money for doing things that are socially unacceptable. I know it’s funny to see a middle-aged woman throw wine on her mother-in-law, but exercise some self-control and change the channel.
Using sleazy celebrities as a form of building self-confidence is a practice that must be stopped immediately. Just go to Wal-Mart and do some people watching if that’s the kind of affirmation you seek.
Maybe once our untalented stars are unable to make a living in the entertainment industry, they will have to get jobs and make an actual contribution to society.
Thrall is a sophomore majoring in journalism and film.