I have had occasion over the past couple days to have my television on as background noise while I putter around cleaning or reading or knitting or whatnot. I generally keep it on PBS, so as to minimize obnoxious commercials (though even that is working less and less, since apparently ADM and various oil companies and magecorporations are now considered "public"). However, sometimes during the day, I like to flip to the station that runs old shows like "Bewitched" and "Diff'rent Strokes" and (my personal fave) "Magnum, P.I." 'Cause let's face it, Tom Selleck in short shorts and a ball cap is hothothot.
Unfortunately, this station also runs the gossip rag show "TMZ" and so, unintentionally, I was subjected to a bunch of celebritainment drivel. The assault on my eardrums was mostly ignored as I was engrossed in re-reading Mansfield Park, but it caught my conscious attention with (yet more) exploitative, disgusting footage of Britney Spears. Apparently, she's in a downward spiral of mental illness and weirdo-ness, including being unable to effectively drive her car, wearing a cheap pink wig, and speaking in a really poorly executed, allegedly British accent. (Anybody else think it has something to do with the fact that everybody calls her "Brit"?)
Yeah, you know what, I think she probably is a little crazy. Who the fuck wouldn't be with literal (NOT FIGURATIVE) swarms of photo-and-soundbyte-hungry papparazzi haunting their every single move? This poor girl can't take a piss without some shutterbug catching it on film and selling it to "The" fucking "Insider" so they can speculate about the color and what it means and is she following in poor Heath Leger's tragic footsteps....
It's fucking disgusting to me. DISGUSTING. I believe this woman, who I don't think was ever a paragon of sanity or virtue (nor do I think she owed or owes it to anyone to be so!), is being destroyed by the voyeurs whose prying - er, I mean, "inquiring" minds want to know every little sordid detail of her life (I'm guessing so as to either make their own seem better by comparison, or to distract them from whatever is bad or sad or unexciting about it).
Listen, I understand the curiosity that comes with admiring the work of an artist. I read Van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo, and Louisa May Alcott's journals and correspondence. I looked up The Mayer's birthday and ran a speculative astrological chart. Especially as someone who creates, I'm always curious about the life experiences of artists and the ways that inspiration moves through them. Sometimes it's inspiring to me to see what spurred the people whose work I so admire. Sometimes knowing what they've endured personally gives me a new perspective and more insight into their work, not to mention shifts the way i view them on a personal level.
I believe it is unconscionable to sacrifice ANY person's privacy and their ability to go about their day-to-day life on the altar of my mere, idle curiosity. Movie stars, pop stars, even "celebutants" (or camera whores, as I like to think of them), are all PEOPLE. They have the same rights to life, liberty, and happiness as the rest of us, and it's shameful that they're forced to endure screaming mobs of intrusive jackasses who pry and pry and pry into things that are nobody's business but their own.
I don't care if Angelina is preggers again. I don't care if Vern Troyers' wife tried to kill herself after he divorced her. I don't care who's dating or who's breaking up or who's suing for custody of their kids or who's wearing what or who's bumping and grinding with whom or who's checking into rehab or who's got cancer or who's knocked up. I barely have time to keep up with that kind of stuff with the people I love, who are actually involved in my life, who I see on a regular or semi-regular basis! How the fucking fuck do people find time to track the moves of people they've never actually even met?
Personal lives, even those belonging to people whose vocations place them in the public eye, are fucking personal and private. Why can't our culture seem to respect that?
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.