I. Don’t. Get. It.
Why do we have this ridiculous fascination with celebrities? Why do we care who Alec Baldwin supports in a national election? Why do we dedicate thousands of inches of copy in newspapers and on Web sites to the personal happenings of movie stars and athletes? Why do we all trip over ourselves to scour the Internet for leaked photos of Mila Kunis?
Yeah. Scratch that last one. She’s pretty hot.
But the rest of it? Why? I was flipping through some news sites on the Internet the other day and came across a story regarding Tareq and Michaele Salahi — that couple who infamously crashed the White House party some time ago. Apparently, Michaele had maneuvered that time in the sun to a little extra time in the spotlight by getting herself on a reality show, which has subsequently been canceled.
But that wasn’t the storyline in this particular article. No, this was about Michaele leaving Tareq for the arms of another man — him being Neal Schon, the guitarist for the band Journey. Obviously, Tareq was upset in this article, and did not have a positive reaction in regards to Michaele.
But, wait. There’s more.
There was a link at the bottom of the article to another story concerning Tareq. It appears Tareq is going to fight former baseball player Jose Canseco in an episode of “Celebrity Fight Night” on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Maybe my rage shouldn’t be simply confined to our insipid fascination with the private lives of celebrities as much as it should be directed to our insane ability to “make” celebrities out of people who have no business being celebrities in the first place.
Did that even make sense?
Consider as evidence the lineup put together for the aforementioned “Celebrity Fight Night” event — along with Salahi and Canseco, the menu includes such treats as Michael Lohan fighting Kato Kaelin, Coolio against Jeremy Jackson, Joey Buttafuoco and Amy Fisher’s husband, Lou Ballera, and Fisher squaring off against “Octomom” Nadya Suleman.
Does anything about that lineup say “celebrity” to you? Your Honor, I rest my case.
It’s almost as if we get tired of chasing around real celebrities, so we manufacture a few more to satiate public interest. You see, it’s a cycle. Members of the media concoct much of this garbage because the public has a thirst for it. Or, the public gets a thirst for it because members of the media concoct it. Or, aliens from a far away planet have injected something into our global water society that leaves us as mouth-breathing, puddle-slurping yahoos incapable of ...
But I digress.
Why do we feel the need to create celebrities out of people like Salahi, Snookie and, well, Keanu Reeves? Are we really missing something so substantial in our own lives that we need to live vicariously through the lives of people who we see on television or the movies?
Or, are we just voyeuristic by nature, and we’d be just as happy reading about the personal lives of people who live down the street as we are about “celebrities” and it really doesn’t matter who it is — just so we can watch them struggle with life in front of the cameras?
Yikes. That is kind of tough to swallow.
I’m not trying to sound like I’m completely innocent here. I am a sports fanatic, and read story after story about the games and the athletes who play them. But I also learned a valuable lesson fairly early in life — they are human beings. That’s it. They have good days and bad days, just like the rest of us, and being good at sports, acting or being an obnoxious doofus from a New Jersey shore does not put them on a higher level than the rest of us.
Yet we yearn to know more, more, more. You can’t flip through television stations anymore without stumbling across a celebrity gossip show, “news” program featuring the political views of a comedian or actor, reality show or true-crime piece about some actor from the ’80s who is struggling with addiction.
Why do we care?