I watched a documentary last night on the societal effect of glorifying celebrities. (streaming here for those interested: topdocumentaryfilms.com/starsuckers) Has anyone else seen this? It illustrates a disgusting epidemic that I’ve been concerned with for the past few years. I have made it a point in my life to avoid discussion of celebrities. I would like to challenge any of you HEthens who haven’t already done so to do the same. By all means, enjoy the copious amount of art that our world produces, but focusing on the personal lives of artists is for the small minded. The next time someone comes to you with the latest celebrity gossip, ask them their opinion of the accomplishments of a recent Nobel laureate.
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." -Eleanor Roosevelt
When I was younger I’d get so engrossed in their lives that I forgot to really focus on my own- point being, had I begun focusing on myself, I wouldn’t need to look elsewhere for mindless entertainment and negative validation. I think this celebrity obsessed culture we have is just escapism- their world is so different and so seemingly exciting that it takes us out of our so called “mundane” lives for the few hours we indulge in those gossip magazines. Plus, it’s this belief that runs through the very veins of society that to have money means you are important and you are happy. And while some probably are, it does give us a great guilty pleasure watching celebrities fall off their high pedestal.
Having said that, I do like noting what charity work celebrities get up to- whether they’re doing it for the right reasons or is a publicity stunt…through their bringing attention to certain parts of the world, it’s helped me tune my attention to areas and topics that are often glossed over in the news. George Clooney’s work in Darfur, Sudan made me sit up and take notice of the daily killings and mutilations men, women and children are going through.
As I get older, their personal lives simply don’t interest me as I’m too busy living my own. And it must be said, I’m healthier for it!
Just look how many of those “celebrities” are totally screwed up and have spent time in jail or in detoxification clinics because they are addicted to alcohol, drugs or sex. Charlie Sheen is a “shining” example. Even Nicolas Cage got arrested this week for domestic violence. Don’t emulate them. Live your own life.
I agree, I think that many people in our society will do whatever they can not to have to think. I think obsession with professional sports (another thing I do not like) is also an example of this.
I find greed and obsession with wealth and material possessions the most disgusting. I really don’t understand how so many people can be so self serving. I often wonder how so many humans can be nearly identical to me physiologically, yet so different when it comes to sympathy and compassion for others.
I hate how much focus is on celebrities. Especially hearing something happened to a celebrity that happens to people every…single…day! or who wore what to the grammys. They are normal human beings doing a job just like everyone else. Shit like that makes me want to make my own news station and have real, unbiased news, and focus on the good in the world.
I love it! Thank you for posting this. I am a working actor in Canada, and I have been doing it for 8 years now (feels like much longer!) After being on a new TV series that continues gaining recognition and feeling the affects of it, I have realized how much I truly detest fame and pursuing art for monetary gain! I have no passion for making money off of my work, I only hope to have the necessities of life. I am lucky to have gone to an arts school for most my teen years and learn about true art. Ironically, at the same time, I was obsessed with Celebrity and making it big- but now, the closer I get to “making it,” the more I almost don’t want it… Don’t get me wrong, I love film making, art, acting etc, but I can’t stand that people care more about the artist than the art! It’s terrible. Unfortunately… What’s the saying? Something along the lines of “when you pick up a stick, you are picking up both ends.” So I have to keep in mind the positive blessings and not give power to the negative.
I have, in the past year, completely stopped purchasing tabloids, going on perez hilton or paying attention to all that riff raff. So sad! But we can change it. I will continue on not caring about fame and stay true to my art. Thank you for posting this! It is the seventh generation that will change the world. Let’s all believe in that and make it happen =)
I’ve never understood the whole celebrity fixation thing. People used to respect and admire celebrities back in the old days of film and TV. Rightfully so! It was a small market reserved for talented people. Fast forward to the 90’s and teams of ingenious people put together incompatible personalities to create conflict, banal drama and thus, new celebrities. That’s not possible without a really really mentally numb viewership.
Coverage of celebrities is basically a niche market that was created by an endless need for entertainment for unambitious people. Sure there has always been interest in celebrities dating back to the old silver screen but there was never an industry based off the celebrity of celebrities. What I mean by that is that we have “news” magazines and entire channels (E!) dedicated to following what celebrities do in their spare time and that’s fuckin pathetic. Fortunately there are a lot of people who want to live their own lives and think for themselves. It may be a small minority but lots of them are here!
Wow, this is such a great topic. I’ve had a problem with this for a long time and I can only imagine how much worse society might grow to be regarding celebrity news. It’s gross, it’s annoying, and frankly reality TV and it’s many manifestations haven’t helped matters at all. I’m tired of people feeling like these lives are the most important ones to mold ourselves after as well as shortchanging themselves in other areas due to being obsessed over some unnatural depiction of life. It’s nice to share this and see posts that mirror the feelings I have.
I saw a documentary recently that I would recommend to all members of this website entitled “Exit through the Gift Shop”. If you haven’t seen it – please….you should. It’s basically about street artists, and a documentary (sort of) being made about them. But it touches on this theme of celebrity, especially toward the end, and how fame and notoriety become elevated to mainstream art culture and celebrity. (even ‘Bragelina’ appear at a street art show)
I myself do find the entire concept of celebrity low-brow and unnerving. And why today’s celebrities feel their social and political beliefs carry any influence whatsoever, I’ll never know. It seems to me that society’s fascination with celebrity must have something to do with the need for escapism, diversion – basically reflecting a mindset that is not content, yet does not have the strength, self-esteem, developed curiosity for life and self-advancement….or something else to be able to find their own lives interesting enough to be able to ignore the artificial world of celebrity worship. I actually do believe that people are closer than you think to sympathy and compassion for others.
Remember though, stating that ‘the personal lives of artists is for the small-minded’ negates an entire body of legitimate study of artists- painters, composers- for whom the study of their lives enriches and enlightens those who seek to understand them. And as far as the Noble Laureate comparison….any thinking person would have to agree that at the time Nobel Prize Committee selected President Obama for the Peace Prize, his accomplishments to date were about the same as Lady Gaga’s today………just saying
That was an awesome end note to that Jordan, but figure I’ll toss in my 2 cents..
I think the vast majority of people do it without even realizing it, or realizing why. First all the celebrity gossip is up in our faces on the news, and at the register of anywhere you buy anything-there’s no escaping it. Second…I think people subconciously kind of identify themselves with a celebrity whether it was through a song they sang,or a character they played in a movie..even though, they’re just identifying with a concept, not the person. It’s just something we’d have to consciously tune out…along with the rest of “mother culture”