Monday, April 27, 2009

It's not ALL garbage...most of it is though.

Many celebrities aren't completely coked out assholes who aren't deserving of any fame or attention. Some do some good things, they donate money, they adopt children, they help build schools, this however isn't always the focus. Celebrities can do good simply by using their status to get the word out about something they care about. If you think about it, how much more are you going to pay attention to something if it has Will Ferrell or Sarah Silverman in it rather than someone you've never seen? You'll probably pay more attention to the one with the celebrities in it. Which is the aim of PSA's like this.

This reminds me of an essay by Chuck Klosterman in his book IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas. He was in Ireland interviewing Bono from U2 and he was conducting part of the interview in Bono's Maserati. He was mentioning how silly fame is and the whole concept of wealth and celebrity is. There was a point where a young child was hitchhiking and Bono pulled over and picked him up. Klosterman wondered for half a second if this was merely because there was a journalist in the car with him or if he regularly did things like this. He quickly realized it was the latter. To have everything so figured out is somewhat enviable, Bono knows that because he's so priviledged that he must help out those less fortunate even if it's something as simple as giving someone a ride home.

However celebrities also function in another way. They have the power to bring us together. Celebrities, not unlike professional sports or even a recent film give people common ground. It doesn't matter where you're from or what your socio-economic status is, mention "Brangelina" or "Tomkat" and you're bound to have someones ears perk up and want to get in on that conversation.

A brief article written by a staff writer at The Lowell makes this point and I think it's completely valid. "Everything in moderation is fine, of course. There’s nothing wrong with a little celebrity obsession. It can actually be a good thing at times. Celebrity obsession brings people together: It provides conversation starters such as, “Damn, don't you think Tom Wellings is hot?” It gives us people to love (We heart Johnny Depp!!!!), it gives us people to hate, it gives us a sense of identity and “culture.” (

"The Soup" is a sort of magazine format show on E! It's been running for quite a while, originally hosted by Hal Sparks, it is now hosted by comedian Joel McHale. The show is basically a recap of all the celebrity news of the week presented in a comical way and generally pokes fun at celebrites for the supid things they do. More than just a recap there are production elements that take it one step further and make it into a sort of sketch show as well. It sound silly and most times it is but it's not trying to be anything that it isn't.

It's a show about stupid things and it knows it. For example Al Roker took home the award for "Outstanding Achievement in Not Broadcasting the Weather While in Front of a Weathermap" at the 2009 Soup Awards:

Stupid? yes. Entertaining? yes. It's not trying to change the world like Bono but it serves it's purpose. If you boil it down, celebrity news is no different than sports news. It doesn't actually mean anything but it's still fun to talk about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment