Wednesday, July 25, 2007
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 CNN.com 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 PerezHilton.com 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. TMZ.com 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.