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I am a blogger who specializes in using blogs to blog.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Ok, so this is just a general "Nelly-needs-to-vent" kind of post. Like, I know I haven't written in a while, and I should be writing about Mother Courage (which went well, by the way) or The Chocolate War (which also went well, if a bit too quickly) or having to deal with rampant dance moms, or the fact that my cousin just graduated today, or even the fact that I'm going to suddenly find myself another year older this weekend, which I only just realized this morning and am only slightly shocked by. I know I should write about these things, these somewhat major events happening around me, but I'm not.

Instead, I'm going to rant about tabloids.

I hate tabloids. Not the kind that tell you we're all going to die in ten days, Bigfoot's living on Mt. Washington, and Oprah's actually an alien god. No, those are funny. Those you can look at while you're waiting in line at the grocery store and laugh hysterically while the guy in front of you gives you a funny look and then tries to hit on you. You can clearly separate those kinds of tabloids from reality. You can go to Mt. Washington, not see Bigfoot, and all will be right with the world.

The ones I'm talking about are ones like this:


David Tennant. Time Lord playboy. He's been on dates with several different people in the last few years, he's clearly the biggest slut that ever had the opportunity to play Hamlet.

There have got to be more pressing matters to put into print.

Not if you're a tabloid, apparently. Googling the world "Tabloid" comes up with a list of a few different tabloids, one of which is called "Star" Their cover story? CELEBRITIES WITHOUT MAKEUP!!!


And you know what, I look far, far worse than the people they have on the cover. Make-up doesn't work miracles, it just pronounces what you already have. And as I haven't got very much to pronounce in the first place...well, Miley Cyrus tops me any day, really. Even with the half-naked towel shot.

I find it interesting to think, though, that between David Tennant's amorous escapades and a few famous people deciding they didn't feel like having to take a ton of make-up off at the end of the day, that there must be people out there who are really into this. Obviously, as tabloids still exist, there is a demand for them. That's basic economics class. And I'm sure the vast majority of the people that buy them are only casual readers. But there are some, as further Google searching revealed, who are really, really into rampant celebrity gossip and "entertainment news" There are some people who will buy every single tabloid they can find while waiting in line at the grocery store, and who will sometimes buy them as opposed to actual groceries.


Because they're fun.

Seriously. It's like watching Gilmore Girls, the appeal of that show, apart from the clever, hyper-speed diologue, is following the relationships of the characters. You watch one week, are left with a cliff hanger, and tune in next week to see if Lorelei does, in fact, get together with Luke. It's simple. There's no shame in it, nothing to worry about. They're fictional characters, it's nothing more than a story, and it's perfectly reasonable to want to find out what happens next in the story. You can be riveted by it, follow it's every move, every plot-detail, wait and wait and wait in suspense because, in the end, it's all just a story, and they're all just actors. Waiting to find out who hooks up with who on a TV show is no worse than waiting for the next Harry Potter book, all you want to know is what comes next in the story.

With tabloids, it's the same principle at work, just without the whole "not real"part. Here, we have the stories of real people, unfolding right in front of you. It's ok to follow the relationships of Lorelei Gilmore, why isn't it ok to follow the relationships of David Tennant? Because David's real and Lorelei isn't. Oh, really? YES!

This is what people forget when they follow celebrity gossip.

These people are not just characters from a book. They are not Snow White, they're not the Gilmores, they're real people, with real lives, just trying to get on with it. We treat them as if their lives are nothing more than clever plot development, the more scandalous it gets, the more we want to read about it. It's not a bad thing, it's not the "darker side of human nature" at work, it's just basic entertainment. The more interesting something is, the more interested people are in it. That's why tabloids appeal. We forget these people don't have to live purely for our own enjoyment, we forget their reality.

It's like Brecht. There's an alienation, a distance that has to be created with people in the public eye in order for them to maintain the privacy needed to stay sane. Tabloids lose this. They rip down that privacy, and throw it at our faces, enchanting us with tall tales and stories, and keep us waiting for the next chapter. Because people, for the most part, admire celebrities like they do literary characters, they want to feel like they're a part of their story, when really, they're just outsiders looking in. They're just trespassing. They're breaking the fourth wall.

So what it really comes down to, is this; do we really need to know? Do we really need to know that David Tennant's been on multiple dates in the past few years, in an attempt to find, perhaps, find a life partner? No. Do we need to know that without make-up on, a most likely exhausted Miley Cyrus actually looks, physically tired? No. We don't need to know any of this, we only look at it because we want to be entertained. The same can be done with books or TV shows, soap operas and cheap supermarket romance novels.

So why aren't we just reading those?



Zudit Says said...

Amen and mazel tov, Nelly!
I agree wholeheartedly to everything.
I personally don't think it should matter what celebrities are doing with thier lives. Their people, too. I kinda feel bad for most of them. I'm sure they just want to be left be.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the sustenance of your blog. Finally.

JLH said...

"Nellie" -- what a neat blog! I found it by searching for "moxie festival" and am happy to read the writings of a teenage girl, since I work in an all boys' school! Keep on acting and writing -- and you might read "Rivethead" if you get bored -- by a factory worker in Flint, Michigan, who is also a writer. Or Phillip Pullman, but I expect you've discovered him already. Have a good summer.