Monday, August 4, 2008

Kind of ranty

If I was Brad Pitt I’d be doing a lot more than selling the rights to the first pictures of my newborn babies.

The old saying goes, when shit becomes valuable, the poor will be born without assholes. I, for one, think it would be funny if people, all of the sudden, stopped having assholes, so come on Brad! I’ll bet you can get a pretty penny for that first full diaper! And you had twins my friend, double your income! I wonder what you could get for a genuine, full of celebrity baby shit diaper? $20K? $50K? Half a million per huggy?

Look here Pitt, it’s not your fault people are fucktards! The public can hardly blame you for making more money from taking a single picture than most people make in an entire year—and they certainly couldn’t blame you if you made even more with a poopy diaper, baby’s first spit up, the first bottle used—and think of how much you might get for the afterbirth! There has to be a market for that, no?

Honestly, I don’t blame a celebrity couple for selling baby pictures and I wouldn’t blame them for selling any of the other stuff either. Only a fool fails to serve the demands of the market. It’s the people who create that demand that I have a problem with.

This celebrity shit (figuratively speaking now) has gone way too far. The first celebrities of the modern age were admired for their looks, for the regality and pageantry of their lives and they were placed upon a pedestal. Much like the characters they played and the songs they sang, they were almost fictional.

Today though, people are obsessed with celebs. We have such tremendous access to these people that some of us think of them as friends, we think we know them; we care far too much about their personal lives, their politics, their goings on.

Not to rail on Brangelina (and worry not dear reader, I shall flog myself for using their media-friendly nickname) but these people are celebrities for the following reasons:

They are good looking
They are (arguably) good at pretending to be other people

That’s it. I’m sure they are noble people. I’m sure they deeply care about more than the self-importance that comes with their charity work and humanitarianism. I’m sure that Angelina didn’t adopt a brown kid because she wanted to outdo the tiny dog that Paris Hilton carries around in her purse as a fashion accessory—and earth tones were in style that fall. I’m sure it’s all 100% genuine.

Even still, it seems silly to idolize them for a celebrity forged from good genes and make believe skills. Doing good things in the public eye doesn’t make you a good person. In fact, I’d submit that a person who does good behind the scenes is far more noble than the one who does it in front of the camera.

But without the camera, that celebrity could not generate awareness. Ah, awareness, the only reason a celebrity ever does good in public! It’s not self promotion, it’s about awareness. We of average looks and less than the highest caliber make believe skills could not possibly be aware of the issues of our time if not for the awareness we are given when we witness the example of our golden calves!

I am simply incapable, without the assistance of Bono, Madonna and Angelina, to ever fathom the trials and tribulations of the poor and downtrodden. The persecuted and the victimized would be a mystery to me if not for Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. I am a simple man. I, sadly, am not quite good enough at playing make believe to be knowledgeable of the plight of those less fortunate than myself. Without celebrities to tell me what to be concerned about, I would flounder in my efforts to care.

Again though, it’s not the fault of these good looking make believers that we idolize them for making us aware. We give them the stage, we present them with the microphone, we listen with rapt attention and hang upon their every utterance. We have decided that the opinions of pretty people are worth hearing. We have resolved to seek our guidance from them.

We tune out our government and allow ourselves to be led by clowns and half wits and focus instead on the incessant ramblings of people who get paid to pretend they are like us, or fantastic beyond our comprehension, or miserable beyond our belief, but paid to pretend none the less.

We care more about who gets voted off American Idol than we do about who gets elected to be the American President. Why? Well, because we idolize the celebrities, and we glorify their lives. Politics aren’t interesting until a pretty person tells us they are and only then do we care.

I know, I know, is there a point to this never-ending diatribe you ask? And let’s face it, I’ve traveled from paying for shit filled diapers to brown kids in purses to American Idol voting, so I certainly won’t be accused of staying on target here, but let me sum up for you in this way.

Once upon a time, this country was good, if only for a moment—and even then, at best, it was misguided about much. We were once torn apart and set to war against one and other because we cared so deeply and so passionately about our country and about what it was to become.

That passion is now wasted. We are the market. We demand pictures of a child and magazines pay through the nose to be the first to deliver them. Meanwhile, we allow our government to crumble around us without so much as a whimper escaping our lips in any kind of real protest.

We set the priorities. We have prioritized fantasy and make believe over reality. It’s all fine and well to be a little enamored of the life of a celebrity, but when it becomes so important it eclipses the true problems we face, it’s time to say that enough is enough.

It’s that average looking face looking back at you from the mirror who is to blame for the problems in that average looking person’s life. That person can fantasize and wish all they want to about the life of celebrity, but it will not accomplish anything. Most of us will never have an opportunity to become a celebrity, but we can all be people who have made a difference.

But circulation of the magazine with a picture of two babies made by two pretty people will increase dramatically and circulation of news magazines and current event periodicals will suffer and somehow, we will have the audacity to wonder why things aren’t better.

1 comment:

~Laura said...

Here's my thing - one celebrity newborn doesn't look all that different than any other celebrity newborn.

It disgusts me that 1. someone was willing to pay an obscene amount of money for the pictures, and 2. the public went wild over seeing them.

Seriously? It's an alien-esque newborn.