Sunday, February 10, 2008

Enough's enough

Am I the only one who is revolted to see a virtual army of media - photographers, videographers, cameramen in helicopters - every time Britney Spears drives to McDonald's to get a Big Mac? There's a big market out there for celebrity news. Just look at the magazine racks when you check out at the grocery store. But when it comes to Britney and the other Hollywood tartlets - Paris Hilton, the Olsen twins, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, etc. - we've reached the point of overload. And the only discernable talent Hilton or Kardashian ever displayed was on sex videos. Britney Spears took a smidgen of talent and the fact that she was, at one time, built like a brick, um, outhouse, and took it to the bank. As her looks decline and her mental state crumbles, she becomes less and less marketable as an entertainment entity but more and more valuable to the media's vulture sector as a walking train wreck. The coverage of Britney's woes ranges from that of newspapers like ours that run the occasional blurb about her latest court appearance or meltdown to freelance photographers who use zoom lenses to get snapshots of her unclad crotch, then sell the photos to the highest bidder. Britney is a cash cow for shows such as "Entertainment Tonight" and "Access Hollywood." If they have a choice between a story about a catfight on the set of "Desperate Housewives" and video of a crazy has-been singer attacking an SUV with an umbrella, which one do you think they're going to lead the show with? Even the venerable Associated Press is not above regaling us with the misdeeds of the young, rich and stupid. An AP story that hit the wires recently about a pre-Grammys party had the following sentence about Ms. Hilton: "Hilton shimmied and stuck her middle fingers into the air as the band One Republic performed." And we needed to know that? It's apparent to everyone that Britney Spears is either heavily addicted to drugs or mentally ill, or both. But it would be fruitless to suggest that all the media just back off and at least give her a chance to get her life straightened out. There's too much money to be made, especially if she pulls a Heath Ledger.



Blogger Scott Beveridge said...

I'm not revolted by the photographers, who are making a living from gossip. It annoys me that she seems to enjoy the attention more than being a good role model to her kids.

February 11, 2008 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

What are the chances that those kids will turn out normal? These are the kids she cares so much about that she shows up for hearings regarding her supposed efforts to see them, then bolts from the courthouse before the hearings even start. Who would have thought that K-Fed would be the better parent?

February 11, 2008 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Park Burroughs said...

It's distressing that such enormous attention is devoted to these people whose sense of marketing is formidable but whose talent is marginal and intellect missing.
But there are a few in the media who ignore these celebrities and focus on the truly interesting people on our planet, who you'll find interviewed by Bill Moyers on PBS, and by Terry Gross on her National Public Radio show.

February 11, 2008 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

It's pretty common knowledge that Britney tips off the paparazzi when she's heading out somewhere. I have no comment on her mental state or her seeming addiction to drugs, and I don't feel sorry for her. She ought to collect the royalties, move to an island and do what the hell she wants. Let K-Fed raise the kids; they're doomed anyway.

What irritates me about celebrities who whine about the paparazzi is this: they know these leeches lurk at the hottest places in town. So why do they go there, sans underwear, and complain when their picture is taken? I know they have a right to go to those establishments, but the paparazzi have a right to earn a living too, right?

I have no idea why the American populace is so enamored with these bimbos. I confess to enjoying the naughty photos as any red-blooded man would, but I don't understand the obsession with wanting to know every move they make. I don't care if Lindsay Lohan is on or off the wagon. I don't care who she slept with in rehab. Paris Hilton is a disease-ridden skank, but you have to admit she knows how to market herself. She might be as stupid as that little dog she lugs around, but she has parlayed casual sex and partying into a lucrative career.

Part of the problem here is the 24-hour news networks. They have to fill all that time with go with what sells. News is driven by advertising dollars anyway. Fill the air, get those commercials on, and find some junk to fill the time. For instance, when Anna Nicole Smith's son died, it became a national obsession. I consider myself a fairly well informed individual, but I had absolutely no idea she even had a son. How that story became national news remains a mystery to me, but it was on every network for an entire week.

I think this is a testament to the dumbing-down of our culture and our society. There's a war on terror, the economy is in trouble, the housing market is in the toilet, we're enduring ungodly winter weather (despite the cries about global warming), there's a presidential race going on with the worst selection of candidates I have seen in my life...can't we find something to report on besides whether Britney made it to court wearing panties or if Paris got her Valtrex prescription renewed in time for her latest sexual conquest?

There's good news to report, bad news, serious news, frightening news. This celebrity nonsense should be on the back burner where it belongs.

February 12, 2008 at 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Harry Funk said...

At least these skanks have bumped Jennifer Aniston off the front page of all the supermarket checkout-line "publications."

Nothing against Ms. Aniston (although I have been unable to sit through her TV show or any of her movies), but there's only so many times I want to see her face. Or anyone else's, for that matter.

Except Mrs. Funk's, of course!

February 16, 2008 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Nice catch there at the end, Harry. We old married guys know how to fill in a hole before the missus even knows we've dug one.

February 16, 2008 at 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We get the media and the government we deserve.

February 19, 2008 at 9:24 PM  

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