Posts Tagged ‘Marie Osmond’
“It’s the biggest media event since the death of Michael Jackson!”
I haven’t regularly watched TV in almost two years. I take time to watch an NBA game, when I can, but I’ve generally lost interest in TV. Even as a non-watcher, I find it impossible to keep TV out of my consciousness. Radio, social media, and newspapers cover TV, as if it were news. I often feel I’ve watched stuff I haven’t. Even the commercials become part of pop-culture and our collective psyche.
Recently, thousands brewed espresso, set their alarms or DVRs, so as not to miss The Royal Wedding. It was “must-see” TV. That same week, I received the above tweet. It referred not to The Royal Wedding, but the death of most-wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden. At the time, I was blissfully far from continual news and having to listen to those who stretch a few sketchy details into hours of coverage. I was mercifully spared the torture of listening to comments on other peoples’ comments, or interviews with experts who know little more than the viewers, of the thing on which they are commenting.
Nevertheless, I was struck by the remark above and how our obsessive interest in celebrity often becomes more important than the real issues that used to constitute news. From most of my friends, the response to the death of Bin Laden was an enthusiastic, “Hell yeah!”, but there were those who were merely miffed that shows like Desperate Housewives and Celebrity Apprentice were pre-empted.
As the news unfolded (or failed to) we were subjected to more inaccurate and insubstantial coverage. Controversies about the story, replaced the story. Why was Osama buried at sea? Why was the government keeping the pictures from the public? Did Osama deserve to die? We were also learned the names of Nick and Mariahs’ twins, heard the latest news of the would-be king & his bride, and finally got a break from Charlie Sheen, American Idol and Trump’s quest for Obama’s birth certificate.
The tabloids at the checkstand, declared Oprah is gay and Osama begged for his life. Through popular magazines we learned Marie Osmond wore her original wedding dress when she remarried her first husband in an LDS temple and Kirstie Allie has lost 90 lbs. while dancing with the stars. Oh yeah, and in case you missed it, a natural remedy for impotence was found in Osama’s medicine cabinet.
The media makes everything a circus, but the tent with the freak show is still the biggest draw.
For all of my adult life, the media obsessively covered Michael Jackson and Lady Di until their tragic deaths. Whether it was the glamour or the tragedy, there seemed no point at which we’d had enough.
Remember the how long we had to listen to the outrage when Michael Jackson held his baby over a balcony for fans to see? It was as if, no mother had ever seen her husband toss a baby into the air, while fearing the worst. If it hadn’t been Michael Jackson, it would have been much ado about nothing. Yet, Jacko’s act caused weeks of discussion, finger-wagging and tsk-tsking. Finally, we had proof he was an unfit parent–as if the litany of his other odd acts, like naming a child “Blanket” or making his kids to wear masks & veils wasn’t evidence enough.
Kato Kaelin, Camilla, Paris, Kim Kardashian, and Spencer Pratt are just a few of many, whose celebrity is based on nothing except association with celebs or media over-coverage. There are politically-outspoken personalities like Donald Trump, Cher, Julia, and Sean Penn who believe their celebrity status makes their opinions valid for the rest of America, despite the fact that most of them live lives far different from the rest of us. But if you don’t embrace the politics of Hollywood, the media provides alternatives like Joe the Plumber, Snooki and Cindy Sheehan. Like all the other celebs, they are just people–people who are really no more interesting or knowledgeable than you or I.
We are obsessed. Being privy to the drama and failings of the lives of others, should serve to remind us they are ordinary people with the same problems as the rest of us. Nevertheless, we continue to fawn, spellbound and eager for more details. In the meantime, the real news which affects us, is edged out of our periphery, so stations can secure ratings. We know more of Susan Boyle and Nadya Sulliman, than of our government’s economic policies & practices. We are more interested in the coterie of the red carpet, than the details of Obamacare. We more likely know the names of Jackson’s chimp or Siegfried’s tigers, than the terrorist animals who threaten our security. Like drivers craning our necks to see an accident, we want to know the gory details, even when we know it’s in our best interest to look at the less interesting stuff in front of us.