Wednesday, August 20, 2008

10 reasons why lists are so annoyingly popular on the Internet:

1) It’s the Internet; a massive collection of information that offers more content then we’ll ever need. has estimated there are over 175 million websites on the Internet. We barely have time to get through one webpage, mind 175 million. The Internet isn’t like a newspaper, it’s not organized into tight little news packages and stories, we have to sift through all the bullshit being thrown at us. So it doesn’t hurt when it’s already condensed and ready for bite size consumption.

2) A key target audience are Millennials. Aka; the hyper spaz’s with some unidentified malignant form of ADHD. Growing up with the Internet isn’t easy, and it has significantly changed the way the kiddies have gone about processing information. Often called the multitasking generation for their ability to juggle the often mind-numbing barrage of today’s hyper-media, it has consequentially caused a shorter attention span in the effort to absorb as much as possible. Although multitasking has been proven somewhat faulty, condensed lists help remedy the quest to absorb little bits of alot between sessions of twittering, livebloging, IM’ing and Facebook poking.

3) The Internet has become a tool to re-catalogue and document our world. Two years ago when "Web 2.0" was christened as the new way of “democratically” creating web content, it altered the focus of how we created it. Web 2.0 sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Flickr, &, are all sites dedicated to creating archival content on the Internet. In essence “Web 2.0” has become our 21 century digital library and the lists we make (even the most trivial) are part of the continuous editing/updating of our web-archive. Also it doesn’t hurt that we’ve become nostalgic bastards in the process, so; nostalgia + re-recording history = list-making.

4) Nobody has time to read anything at length anymore. With the economy in shambles and living in a high-speed world, we’re all forced to work a little harder and accomplish more. Although studies are uncertain if we have more or less leisure time, in taking a page from the Millennials we still try to cram as much in as possible. That leaves less time for recreational activities, such as reading multiple paragraphs.

5) We’re internally wired to find the quick and easy approach. There is nothing more American than finding the quick and easy way of doing something. Lists are the epitome of this, I mean, our country has been founded on them. But it’s just not an American thing, it’s a human thing; we tend to gravitate towards the neatly summarized and condensed. As the Internet increases in use and accessibility, it’s also increasingly reflective of our psychology. Internet lists prove when given the option between long reads and short, we’ll choose whatever easiest on the eyes; “The scanning eye doesn’t have time to digest everything on the page. By organizing the information, lists have a greater chance of catching the eye”(1). Ever read a magazine article and if there are bulletpoints on the side you’ll read those first? Thank your scanning eyes.

6) It helps your article get pushed up top of sites like Digg and Reddit. Lest we forget, the Internet is serious business, and all businesses have marketing strategies. Already aware that people go bat shit crazy for lists, web companies/web startups/bloggers know submitting their lists to these sites is an easy way to garner page views and traffic to their sites. Its practically becoming a science; more “links equals better standings in the search engines, and thus higher traffic, so there is an obvious incentive for the webmaster, regardless of the discussion or sharing of the page”(2). So when you see lists like this, you'll know it’s just a marketing scheme... that you fell for.

7) It’s fun and easier to know a little about everything than a lot about something. Remember the game trivial pursuit? Yeah me neither. But the Internet is like one big massive game of trivial pursuit, with little bits and pieces of facts and quotes floating around. We all love factoids and disposable pieces of knowledge, lists organize these factoids and package them up nicely. Even if you forget what you’ve learned a day later, at least you can tell someone you’ve learned something.

8) It’s someone else’s opinion, which leaves it open for debate. One thing this decade has proven is that everyone has an opinion on everything (I realize the irony here), and in doing so everyone wants to be the first to say it. Therefore a list allows you make stake, chime in, and debate someone else's claims by doing the ultimate thing on the Internet; tell someone you know better then they do. The Internet exposes our interests, and when everyone can see our likes and dislikes on our personal webpage’s, it suddenly breeds competition to see who listed or liked something first. So making a list is an easy way of stating your opinion first, and allowing others to follow suit by commenting. Whether people agree or not doesn’t matter, as long as there is enough buzz for people to talk about what’s been written. Which brings me to #9.

9) It expresses the need to belong. Yes, we all feel the need to belong, wasn’t that the point of "Notes from Underground?" Well I don’t know, but the feeling of needed approval and community is indeed a very strong one, and through list-making and endlessly debating these lists, its gives us a sense that we have things in common with each other. Don’t you agree? Maybe? Please?

10) We are constantly trying to find order in chaos. I was on a gossip site the other day and they were discussing the curse of people dying in threes (Isaac Hayes, Bernie Mac...). I left a comment on the article about how it’s nothing but superstition, and people got seriously upset. It made me think everyone has their own way of keeping themselves in check, keeping themselves grounded. Whether its religion or belief in a higher power we all like to believe everything has an order, a reason. Lists are “itty-bitty utopias, perfectly structured with mathematical elegance(3) that help us understand and connect the important and trivial things around us, which were once unparalleled into one singular thought. Making them into perfectly rounded off and structured “top 10 lists”, help us feel in control of our world, hopefully.

Other lists on lists;

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Album Review; Coldplay "Viva La Vida" & Weezer "Red Album"

In the summer of 2005, at the height of their careers, Coldplay and Weezer released highly anticipated albums. These releases would repel them in polar opposite directions despite the fact that the two bands shared a similar ascension to popularity; beginning with extremely strong debut albums based off of powerful, melodic rock. Weezer arose out of the 90's alternative age, whereas Coldplay came a decade later from the ashes of the Brit-Pop scene. Both broke the molds of their respective genres, rising above them and crossing over into radio territory. In 2005 when they had reached near equal stature in popularity and recognition, Weezer's album, Make Believe, had reflected a stagnation and sounded much more generic. Coldplay's X&Y, on the other hand, illustrated the band's acceptance of their radio-friendly pop as they created songs that were more pleasing to their arena sized audiences.

Coldplay was praised for embracing their pop-dom, whereas Weezer was received negativity for it from both their hardcore fanbase and critics alike. The common denominator was the apparent inclination towards crafting songs for their bigger, broader audiences, rather than well developed, eclectic material. This wasn't too big of a deal because they were still creating strong melodies, but not the varied and structurally dense melodies once found in their acclaimed debut albums. So, it goes for bands that become stadium sized. Now, three years later, both bands have released new albums: Weezer with their eponymous Red Album and Coldplay with Viva la Vida. What's immediately apparent is how their polarization has fueled and affected their sounds and directions as pop-rockstars on their new albums.

Weezer's negative connotation, derived from Make Believe, motivated lead singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo to take careful steps backward and divulge in what made Weezer so popular in the first place; connection to their devoted fans and their "personal" feeling songs. In knowing this, Rivers reconnected himself with the newly budding youth fanbase, (the Millennials/iGeneration) via Youtube. In March of 2008 Rivers created a profile on the site and asked his fellow Youtubers to help him write a song. When the first single from the Red Album appeared ("Pork and Beans") the video featured many of YouTube's celebrities and internet memes. Although it was admirably wise to try to personally connect with his audience, The Red Album is quite obviously stating that Rivers is only looking to continue his stream of youth-consciousness and, like a Youtube video, appeal to a juvenile, fickle audience leaving little room for growth. The songs on the album are again very well produced, some abnormally breaking the 5 minute mark, but are still mediocre at best, sounding like recycled Weezer.

Coldplay has taken their pop formality to the other extreme, embracing it diligently yet excessively. Chris Martin and Co. learned from their generically crafted song mistakes and with each new album attempt to improve on them. For the new album Viva la Vida, they choose the nineteenth-century painting Liberty Leading the People as the album sleeve, as if announcing the album to be as epic and grandiose as the painting's scenery. They hired auteur producer Brian Eno to give the album an abstract and atmospheric quality and even push some songs near progressive rock territory (the song "Yes" is 7:06). The expansion of material is definitely a step in the right direction, presenting only one problem; the lengthy material is not as melodic as their pop rock work of past albums. Although still strong and pleasurable to listen to, besides singles "Viva la Vida" and "Violet Hill", there isn't much other stand out material on the album. There is no way Coldplay will ever go back to being the band that created the softly acoustic Parachutes; they are too big for that. But like U2, Coldplay must be weary not to get too into their own sound and image, and this album, unfortunately, deviates slightly into that area (as with "Violet Hill" -- politically charged and unlike Coldplay).

This polarity is interesting. It shows how both bands attempted to find their nitch market by attending to and focusing on what granted their success, but both slightly missed the mark. Weezer once again attempted to attach themselves to a generation's apathetic youth, but because Rivers is obviously from a different generation, this ode sounds way too glossy and manufactured. Coldplay however should use this attachment instead of trying to rise above it. In doing so both must write more personally but Weezer less manufactured and more abstract, and Coldplay more manufactured and less abstract. Either way, these two bands aren't going away anytime soon and have plenty of time to try new methods to their meticulous mayhem.

Coldplay "Viva La Vida" - 3 out of 5 stars

Weezer "Red Album" 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

Friday, March 21, 2008

“Truth” ads make me want to smoke

I wasn’t going to talk about this because I thought that these ads had finally fizzled out, but then I saw the new ones which pretty much sodomized my eyes. In case you’re not familiar with them, I’m talking about the godawful Truth anti-smoking commercials. Here is the newest eye raper:

Even though I hadn’t started smoking cigarettes until I moved to NYC (go figure), upon seeing these commercials years ago my initial response was to buy a bunch of Marlboro cartons at the nearest Wal-Mart and light up just in spite of their heavy-handed campaign.

The original ads, airing around 2000-2001, set out to simply expose “Big Tobacco” as a malicious corporation that conducted amoral target market studies. The Truth actors activists presented themselves as earnest, pun-loving and truthful citizens, going straight into the belly of the beast with intentions of exposing the big bad tobacco businessmen, as seen in this shining example:

Well, OK that wasn’t so bad. A lie detector test, hmm...what an idea. But, I wasn't quite sure what the ad was trying to prove. Was it that tobacco companies/employees hide the truth about cigarette addiction? I don’t know the last time you’ve read the labels on the packs of cigarettes but um...

All these things are caused by constantly smoking which is, as you know, motivated by addiction. They don't put "may be addictive" on the packs because it's kinda common knowledge. If you can't figure out that cigarettes are addicting, you may be an idiot, or by today's standards, no smarter than a fifth grader. Which brings me to the next commercial:

Out of nowhere, around 2003 the Truth actors campaigners started to get a little condescending and smarmy about their “findings” in their new sarcastic ads. Then I found out the American Legacy Foundation, which makes the Truth ads, is actually funded by the tobacco companies due to a court ruling. Wait a sec? So, the Truth anti-smoking advertisements in which sardonic actors performers go to the tobaccos companies to embarrass and expose them as liars, are actually funded by big tobacco? It’s almost as if the tobacco companies are paying for us not to smoke. So why do these ads attack the companies? Isn’t it completely superfluous? This one “exposes” the fact that tobacco companies aim for teenagers. Which is surprising considering that they are not companies who are already willing to acknowledge that their products cause death or anything. It’s the teenage seduction thing they really should be held accountable for and embarrassed about. Yeah, Truth ads are really making a big statement, especially with their latest brain buster:

These commercials have to be worse than cigarettes because I feel like I’m gonna have a brain aneurysm every time I watch one. At least cigarettes won’t kill me until much later. As if the Truth supporters actors condescension wasn’t enough in the original ads now they have to sing and dance like morons to grab my attention? Oh yeah, I forgot, people don’t stop doing something until they’re told through synchronized song and dance. Not only are these ads disregarding the old adage “if you tell someone not to do something they’re probably going to want to do it more” but they fail to accept the fact that smokers willfully smoke. We don’t care if the tobacco companies lie to us, we smoke because we chose to, not because we are mislead and manipulated. That’s the Iraq war (cheap shot).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Highest grossing weekend movie “Meet the Spartans” suggested as one of the possible signs of nearing apocalypse

You may not have noticed it, or maybe don't even care, but this weekend Hollywood unleashed one of the most hideous and insulting movies to ever grace an American movie screen, and that’s saying a lot. I wouldn’t be as disgruntled if “Meet the Spartans” had done poorly, but somehow the movie enticed enough people for it to gross 18.7 million, making it number one in the box office.

My first thought was to say, “This movie is a reflection of our society's desensitized and eroding social values from our over saturated pop culture hyper-commercialism, as well as a depreciation of and indifference for the art of filmmaki...", but no, it would be too generous to analyze it. This “movie” instead just convinces me that American audiences are genuinely in a daze. You know when someone says to you, “This movie is dumb” as they're watching it? Well, now I don’t know if there is a reason to even say that phrase anymore, because “dumb” sounds refreshing compared to what this movie is.

It’s not like I’m just hating on movie spoof/parodies. The “Naked Gun” series and the first two “Scary Movies” although ridiculous, are really well made, and I stress well made. Those films have some actual thought processes behind them. But these new films such as "Date Movie" and "Epic Movie" hardly include a plot let alone jokes. They’re simply jumbled and shallow REFRENCES TO POP CULTURE. And although I can argue that these references are not only unfunny, but questionably immoral, what’s really immoral is people finding this as an acceptable form of entertainment. There is no longer any craft put into these films nor will there be for any film like to come. In fact, I’m so confident that this film is bereft of any talent or ability I will demonstrate:

Just pick a pop culture event from each column and insert into each blank space.

A group of _________ defend their land from the menacing_______ and along the way run into__________who help teach them to___________ so they can go back to___________.

Congratulations! You see how easy that was? And you can do that with any pop culture event! You are now a writer of a major motion picture. Who needs professional writers when you can do the same thing for a fraction of the cost? Oh, is that why the writer’s guild is on strike? Huh, you learn something new everyday.

Update (2/6/08); Seems as though The Soup agrees.

Update (5/5/08); ...and so does Maddox.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rant; Goodbye 2007 mass media distraction, Hello 2008 junk media infatuation

Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to remove the 32 year old “Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-ownership” ban which prohibits a local newspaper from owning a broadcast station in the same market. What does this mean? Well, simply put, newspapers and radio stations can now merge together to create a larger parent company without restrictions from the government. How is this important again? Well see, there is this little thing known as media diversity, and the more a huge media company owns, the less diverse the opinions and viewpoints are from each of its subsidiaries. Especially when these giant media companies have owners who have their own agendas and give loads of money to lobby for certain politicians who….

OK so it gets complicated, and I can write an essay in itself about this subject (I’ll spare you) but in a nutshell, media conglomerates have been significantly growing since the FCC has slowly and discreetly been loosening the governmental bans on their regulatory size. Today’s “loosening” was done so in spite of enormous public resistance and steady warnings from Congress, yet it still went underway without a hitch. Although technically this should have been headline news, another story announced today completely buried it under the radar.

Do you still want to take the red pill? Whether you’re a conspiracy theorist or not this still seems pretty fucking fishy. Yet this has been the climate of our media, and when there are five media conglomerates controlling everything we see and hear, how will we ever really know if this is an actual controlled media distraction? Why would they tell us? Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss, and 2007 was a most blissful year. It was a year where Britney Spears’s health condition was more followed than the presidential candidate debates, where the writer’s guild strike continues because of the prevailing popularity of reality television, and where the Iraq war coverage was almost eclipsed by Anna Nicole Smith’s death.

These media giants have us so wrapped around their big greedy finger, that the more we buy into new reality shows, over-hyped tabloid media coverage and pop culture gossip ridiculousness, the more they profit from our lack of understanding. Our descent into hyper-commercialized media is providing us with such instant gratification that we are losing touch with our once-valued voice within our sacred democracy. Yet even as I write this now, I am slowly realizing this will only get worse. Where even informative blogs are passed over for gossipy and image based blogs. So in a sort of mini-resignation, from now on I will be writing a bit more, how do you say, attention deficit disorder-ly .... um, succinctly. I guess when you can't beat em’, join em’ right? Here's to hoping 2008 will be a bit more altruistic…..ahh who gives a fuck? Happy Holidays! Get drunk and do stupid things. It's what we Americans do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Album Review; Radiohead "In Rainbows"

I think it would be unfair for me to write a review for a Radiohead album before stating the obvious; Radiohead is the best rock band in the world, period. Ok, so maybe that was a little bias, or maybe it was a lot bias, but I can’t go on writing another word without proclaiming that Radiohead have been my favorite band for the last ten years. Back in 2001 during my freshman year of college when my obsession with Radiohead reached its unhealthiest peak concurrent with their album release Amnesiac, I distinctly remember a fellow dorm mate (who shall remain nameless) asking me what I listened to. When I chimed out confidently “Radiohead” I’ll never forget how he replied; “What that band who sang Creep?….they suck!”. My next reaction naturally was one of contempt, but it quickly morphed into sympathy; sympathetic that he hadn’t (and may never will have) any concept of the greatness, depth, scope, grandeur, and magnitude that is Radiohead. While comments like this in my frat minded dorm probably didn’t help my early reputation of being that introverted kid, I didn’t mind because while they were listening to Emenem on a constant loop I had the unique pleasure of experiencing a band that was continuously changing, expanding, and evolving not only their own sound, but the entire face of rock music.

This is just one of the many reasons why I’ve been obsessed with Radiohead. Besides the fact that musically and sonically they’ve always been light years ahead of their peers, more importantly they are a socially conscious band that have always relied on instinct and virtuosity rather than profit and sales. For example back in the year 2000 right before their eclectic, and brilliantly abstract album Kid A was to be released, nearly all its album tracks had been leaked on to the internet, which was then just that lone scapegoat Napster. Of course in those early days of mp3 (when it seemed so revolutionary and anarchical to download music) the record industry, confused and blindsided by the notion of digital music, hastily made it their top priority to shut down the programs that were “stealing” it. Countless headlining bands joined the copyright infringement bandwagon, most noteworthy and embarrassingly being Metallica. However when it seemed even the toughest of bands (if you consider Lars Ulrich tough) was whining about losing money, Radiohead were one of the only bands that supported downloading music, more or less because 1) they knew if the music was good enough that people will still buy the albums regardless 2) even if the songs were downloaded millions of times over it still wouldn’t have seriously hurt the deep pockets of already wealthy musicians. Luckily Radiohead’s music was a little more than good enough, but its was that instinct of earnestness, humility, and defiance that helped them grow into the heroes of modern rock, and with new album In Rainbows they have used this defiance to once again shake the foundation of the methodical music industry.

Its hard to imagine that Radiohead haven’t released an album since Hail to the Thief in 2003, and in their 4 year absence, the music landscape and industry has drastically changed. Since then we’ve collectively upgraded into the corporate digital music age, the very one that Radiohead had prophesized (and feared) since Ok Computer in 1997. Downloading music has been completely turned on its head and the record industry has not only learned how to embrace the digital music they once feared, but synthesized and capitalized it into their greatest financial model. iTunes and iPods has since controlled the way we listen and buy our music, and because of the digital download market’s dominance, bands now tailor make their music for digital consumption rather than orientated for an album. Because singles are more easily downloaded than an entire album, minor and major bands suffocating in the immense digital chaotic shuffle are tempted to create music that is more user friendly, thereby destroying the ideals of “album rock”. Its become a streamlined process fueled by commercialism, advertising and hyper consumerism, and even thought its become the standard, the creativity of bands have suffered in our instant gratifying digitized world. Although many bands of moral have tried to resist iTunes, the monopoly of the digital music world has since acquired almost every existing popular band (recently and sadly even Led Zeppelin), except, that is, for one band…. any guesses?

In Rainbows is the response, and the wake up call to our world transfixed in our digital media. Once again presenting their gift of social consciousness, Radiohead embraced their alliance with technology to defy the control of the monopolizing iTunes. Where countless band after band gave in to sell their music (and maybe souls) online, Radiohead stood boldly as soul survivors, and ever since they’ve been freed of their contract with Capitol in 2003, they been able to do the most rational and unselfish thing possible; give away their music. In the (now historical) surprise announcement that Radiohead would let fans download their album and pay whatever they felt was necessary for it, they set an example for the rest of the industry to feel shameful for. It is the slap in the face to both the record companies and popular bands who let themselves get caught up in the traps of digitized popular music. And if I had to guess what the title of In Rainbows means, it’s probably exactly that; that in 2007 its easier to be caught up “in rainbows” of glossy, shiny, accessible, commercialized pop music bliss, rather than try to achieve something more intricate, genuine and benign. Granted Radiohead are one of the only bands in the world with the ability to attempt something like this, knowing their loyal rational fanbase (I paid $10 dollars), they still have the gravitas to ask us what their music is worth, and just like a chartable organization, they trust in our willingness to give, rather then require it.

But hold on, don’t think this is just one long love letter to Radiohead, the music of In Rainbows is still a horse of a different color. Alas, when we talk about the songs they’ve given away in this humble offering, it’s not hard to see why they were willing to try their experiment. Anyone familiar with Radiohead’s history know they are a band who’s always been uncomfortable in their own skin. This is especially true for lead singer Thom Yorke, who has unofficially been the disenchanted leader of the band since their early days. However since 2003 Thom and the band have found a peace within their music, and have settled into a more relaxed, less taxing stage of their career. The band feel they have nothing more to prove musically, and are comfortable enough playing off each other, rather then pushing themselves like they had years ago on Kid A. For the band’s health and longevity this is reassuring, however for a band of sonic experimentation, its not. All but two songs on In Rainbows are songs that have been played live during the last two years, and for one of the best live acts in the world, the news songs pale in comparison to their classics…..

Upon listening to the album you realize; these were not only very relaxed sessions, but that the music was almost specifically crafted to be given away digitally. As soon as you listen to the openings of both “15th step” and “Bodysnatchers” you can hear that low poor quality 160kbps sound buzzing through your headphones. Even though these are the two stand out tracks, they seem almost deliberately low-fi with their live incarnations sounding almost identical, if not better. When you reach “Nude” the song that has been floating around for ten years as “Don’t get any (big ideas)” in Radiohead’s back catalogue, its beautifully sung by Yorke, but still had potential to become something much more impressive. And this is the thread that runs through the album, with the possible exception of “Faust Arp”, which is a beautiful finger picked Thom Yorke acoustic masterpiece. I’m not saying the album is bad, but it is definitely not on par with their sweeping epic Ok Computer that launched you into the space with “Airbag”, and leaves you stranded in cold desolation with “The Tourist”. Its not as distant, isolated and eerie beautiful ad Kid A and Amnesiac which suffice to say I believe are perfect albums. Maybe my standards as a devoted Radiohead fan are too high, but this album to me seems more like Radiohead patching up leftovers and tying up loose ends. From a band that are practical the kings of album rock, “In Rainbows” is surprisingly incoherent with a lack of connectively flowing tracks, which is ironic based on my previous sentiments.

Yet even in Radiohead’s mistakes, there are truths, and I can’t help but believe (and hope) Radiohead had the whole album planned out this way from early on. After all, they are the socially conscious band, and these songs could very well play right into their theme of music loosing touch with its creativity (hence its unpolished low-fi sound). And even though this album is blatantly very organic, and straightforwardly “Radioheadish” it still haunts me why they didn’t flesh out the tracks more. But like I said, Radiohead really don’t have anything left to prove, and compared to so many other albums that are being undeservingly praised right now in the barrage of digitally packaged music, Radiohead In Rainbows is still far and away better then any of your current indie picks. That’s why I am going to give this album two reviews; one for a Radiohead album, and the second review comparing it to everything else in the iTuned catalogued music world of 2007. Radiohead may not be perfect, but at least you can always expect them to do the unexpected, remind us of our flaws, and occasional come back to save the (music) universe.

Radiohead “In Rainbows” (compared to older RH albums) 2 ½ out of 5 stars
Radiohead “In Rainbows” (compared to everything else) 4 ½ out of 5 stars

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rant; Rehab Hollywood & The "Unholy Trinity"

Upon opening my web browser this morning I was bombarded by ‘the big news’; Lindsay Lohan was arrested for yet another DUI after completing her second stint in rehab less than a couple days ago. Although nothing Lindsay Lohan does surprises me anymore, what pissed me off was that I couldn’t escape the media coverage. I went to for some actual news but there was Lindsay Lohan's mugshot staring at me on the front page.
Finally I gave in and went to my guilty pleasure celebrity information website where the site devoted 3 pages worth of pictures and thorough coverage to this ‘big event’. I started to read page after page of superfluous details like how Lohan was in a drug fueled car chase, how her press agent says she “is an addict”, that Lindsay’s father is appearing on Larry King, etc...
Between Lohan articles I then see a preview for an OK! Magazine article detailing “Britney’s Meltdown” during a recent interview.
All of a sudden I felt queasy, like I had eaten something that went bad weeks ago. But it definitely wasn’t something I ate, it was from what I was reading, and it was then I came to realize the worst kind of addiction; one of celebrity obsession.

The blog rumors flying around are that Lindsay’s solution to all of this (besides jail) is going back into rehab, as if 3rd times a charm. At this point it's just idiotic because obviously rehab isn’t really doing it for Miss Lohan. That’s probably because Lindsay doesn’t go to rehab to get sober/clean like you know, normal people do, she goes because it’s gives her good PR. She goes because somehow along the way going to rehab in Hollywood has become a trendy and acceptable way to recuperate from being a celebrity socialite, as if it was the equivalent of aspirin for a lengthy hangover. I don’t believe Lindsey is ‘addicted’ to anything more than her excessive celebrity lifestyle and the limelight, and by using rehab to disguise the fact that she’s just an attention whore is the biggest joke of them all. Lest we be reminded that we are the ones that give and grant her this glorified attention and that really, the joke is being played on us, the people that are not only fooled into thinking rehab is helping her, but religiously follow her actions through each step of her "fall" and "recovery".

Which brings me back to that queasy feeling I had this morning; the one that reminded me that we are only fanning the fire of these excessive celebs, and that we might be more of a problem for them then they are for themselves. We may not realize it but we are all contributing to their excessive celebrity lifestyle, in essence because we have become our own paparazzi - each our own tabloid. How so you ask? With the advent of wi-fi laptops, blogs, celebrity based websites, camera phones, webcams, vlogs, and cheap video recorders, on web 2.0 we are not only choosing to monitor celebrity life, we are actively creating it. It is in our culture of hyper-surveillance that our pop-culture fascination has reached new extreme highs and celebrity excess has reached new extreme lows. The proof is in the pudding. Perez Hilton started out as a regular blogger just like everyone else, now his celebrity tabloid website generates over 7 million hits a day, and he just got his own reality show on VH1….. no, really. is a website that is devoted to securing exclusive celebrity scandalous videos and photos, and was the site that exposed Michael Richards…from a guy with a camera phone. Thanks to this over saturation of pop-culture, it's more accessible then ever for any Joe Schmoe to contribute to and become part of it. This has consequently overlapped what once was obscure tabloids news into gossip of our daily lives, where political news stations report on it, talk shows overtly divulge into it, and TV producers create ‘celeb-reality shows’ around it .
This severely creates a negative effect upon those who surround people like Britney Spears & Lindsey Lohan because they aspire to get a piece of the fame, but are even more hungry for it than the rest of us. This is especially true for Lindsey, including (in no particular order) her attention-whoring mother who could possibly be getting her own talk show on E!, her "ex-alcoholic" father who's willing to unabashedly talk about his daughter to any TV station, her "friends" who are obviously not persuading her to stop drinking/drug using, and club owners who let her drink to garner publicity for their club. Yet we, the casual observers, remain the guiltiest of parties because these wannabes are attending to us, the pop culture addicts who generate their fame. Without our fascination they might not be so gun ho in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong though, I am in no way defending Britney or Lindsay because there are plenty of young celebrities in Hollywood who avoid this excessive lifestyle. For example, take Hillary Duff, Christina Aguilera, and Mandy Moore who were smart enough to avoid all these pitfalls. However we are only influent to those celebrities that can be influenced through us, and Lindsey Lohan along with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton I think are the three worst examples of female celebrities who wean completely off their own ego. Dubbed the “Unholy Trinity” (and with good reason), these three excessive celebrities earned the title not only from their string of erratic behavior, but for their lack of discern for any sort of human decency and/or integrity, leaving themselves open to ridicule, such as this awesome chart I made (click to enlarge).

But do remember, they do half of this stuff because it grants them the attention they crave and allows them to wean off of their own success. Like I said previously, the only real thing these unholy three are addicted to is their own fame. This symbiotic relationship between us and them is the vicious cycle, and if we allow their egos to get any bigger, who knows what could happen. I kind of think of it like the “don’t feed the bears” sign… if we don’t feed their ego and stop caring as much about what these celebutards do, then maybe they will stop doing them (as much).
News stations are beginning to pick up on this, especially when “Paris Hilton won’t eat in jail” somehow makes bigger news then a political debate. However it’s up to us to make the decision, by weaning ourselves off of tabloids, celebrity blogs websites & magazines, talk shows and whatever shitty celeb-reality TV show is on right now. And I will be the first to take my own advice, just as soon as I stop writing this hypocritical blog about it.