Wednesday, January 23, 2008

like this is just entertainment

keep art alive; art by joshua petker

"you taste like tear stains,
and could have beens,
but i love a good train wreck."

to be honest, i am tired of train wrecks; at least in the bright light spotlight everyone stop and stare variety. i am so sick of society's fascination with despair, loss, pain and mistakes. i turn on the television and see a young actor's body being taken away to the morgue, i go online and see footage of a singer caught in her own house faltering in addiction , and this is all breaking news and passed around gossip; all seen before i even have my morning coffee.

these people are someone's sons and daughters, someone else's mother or father, these are someone's best friends and lovers. they are loved by someone, and these stories told with such callousness, and poised as entertainment, it must wound those who know them as more than their issues. those stories could one day be about you, or someone you love.

tragedy sells though, doesn't it? everyone loves a good addiction, a good scandal. the press pays big for illigitamate babies, overdoses, divorce, and the ever-revered self-destruction. when rehab shows are primetime, i don't know, i really don't know. it all just makes me really sad.

written in blood ~ she wants revenge


BeachBum said...

I tend to agree (I hate entertainment shows in general), but then there are celebrities like Bridget Moynahan who sell pictures of their baby to the highest bidder. Or Jamie Lynn Spears who takes the idiom 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' to absurd new heights.

It just seems like there is a bizarre, almost symbiotic relationship between the media and all the celebrities. Neither can exist without the other.

I remember when it was shameful to enter rehab. Now it's a rite of passage and the famous call their publicists before they actually call the rehab facility.

Plus, remember too, most famous people (I'm convinced) have some sort of personality disorder. They strive to be talked about; to have more attention and cameras on them then anyone else. They want to be THE ONE!

One more note: I noticed Heath Ledger's father being interviewed on camera about his son dying and he displayed no emotion at all. Like he was talking about a neighbor down the street he knew in passing. I can tell you that if my son died prematurely, I would be absolutely devastated.

lucy said...

i do not excuse the behavior of selling your own child to the highest bidder anymore than i excuse the tabloids for being that bidder. on that note, i also have a pretty big distate for those who sell other people's stories for money.

private lives no longer exist, and we sit and judge other's lives as if we have the right; as if we are any better ourselves.

and yes, i've heard the arguement that celebrities deserve it. they choose a career that warrants the public eye. and, yeah, i've even heard the accusation of most celebrities having emotional disorders to start off with.

um. so, if my co-worker has an emotional disorder does that give me the right to air their private business? or judge their lives? does the fact that an actor, or musician, does their work in public - does this somehow negate their humanity?

i apologize, i really am not trying to disrespect your opinion, and i welcome a differing view always. this just hits on a lot of personal things to me.

as for rehab, well we've made rehab a mockery, if you ask me. but society is as much to blame for that as the celebrity who calls their publicist to announce it. to be honest, most publicist/management/agents force that issue to cover up bad press on their clients. it is a legal precaution as much as anything else, and if addiction wasn't such a "newsbreaking story" there would not have to be a public announcement on how it was being treated.

lastly, as for heath's father. do you know him? do you know how he feels? do you think perhaps he is keeping his emotions in check to handle the scrutiny of the press?

yes, i would be devastated if that were my son. i would also be fired up angry if the press asked me on it. i would probably tell them to fuck off.

again, this is just my view. i do not mean for this to come off as an attack, you just hit some pretty big buttons.

Lara said...

this is so true. i can't watch tv, it makes me sick.

redhairedgirl said...

I am tired of train wrecks as well. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to deal with problems like substance abuse and mental illness in private, let alone with an entire world waiting for you to mess up so that they can make fun of you and make money doing it.

Is it just me, or has entertainment "news" become so much more prevalent in the past few years? I've always found that to be really weird.

lucy said...

either it has become worse in the last few years, or i have just noticed it more. i just hate the media circus of the press, the way they circle around like vultures waiting for the next failure.

it has just really hit me hard in the last 24-hours, not that it hasn't bothered me before.

we all have pain and struggles, but most of us at least have the ability to get through them without it being "news".

BeachBum said...

No offense taken at all. I enjoy a good give and take and I do respect your opinion, as well.

In response, yes, people who do things in the public eye should expect public judgement and backlast just as they expect praise when they do things well.

You argument about a coworker is an entirely different matter because they didn't choose to make their careers public. However, if their addiction or personal issues start intefering with the other people and/or work, then something should be said or done.

Part of the curse of being famous is having no privacy; something nearly all of these people are fully aware of when they choose their paths.

For example, if you choose to run for public office then you know you're private and public life is going to be under a microscope.

My main issue is when regular folks are made notorious for things out of their control; the Duke Lacrosse players a perfect example.

If you want to trace back the issues with the media, start with when all the news departments were eliminated and placed under the entertainment divisions in each network. A cost cutting measure that has increasingly blurred the line between facts and 'news'.

Keep up the good work!

Heather said...

i always find it kind of strange how two veins of entertainment always sell that are so different: the fantasy hollywood endings and the tragic, the dreams gone awry. maybe it's some comfort that the reason we create these themes is to give larger meaning to our own personal triumphs and tragedies. before it was television, it was stories told around a fire, masked marvels, and sad ballads. somewhere along the way we crossed the line into exploiting personal tragedies (of the famous, or the made-famous by the news) to represent our personal tragedies.

i was thinking about this very much with martin luther king jr day the other day. what he really stood for has been so swallowed up in making him a generic hero. people can be magnificent, but we can also be vultures.