29. People who tell Jokes

“Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“No one with a response that’s ever worth hearing.”

                Both humor and laughter are legitimate, real life mysteries.  They are universal, spanning every known culture.  Babies smile and laugh at whatever amuses them far before they learn language or even develop rudimentary knowledge.  Although there have been many studies on the universal appeal of comedy, no one knows exactly why humans have this inborn ability.

Joshin' around about "e-volution."

Joshin’ around about “e-volution.”

  Although a few animals possess something akin to laughter (dogs, rats, and chimps), it has yet to be proven that any species on the planet besides humans have an actual sense of humor.  Whatever its original purpose, I think of humor as the ultimate coping mechanism in an imperfect, often disappointing world where, despite being filled with people, it is difficult to connect with others.  Whether my theory is correct or not, I fully believe that a good sense of humor is quite important.  Thus, I often ask myself why so many people tell and (at least pretend to) enjoy such terrible, moronic, mind-numbingly simplistic “jokes”— you know, the kind with a setup, then a punch line, then you want to punch the purveyor of said punch line somewhere fatal?  To me, people who tell jokes of this old-timey, vaudevillian style, or even the modern sexually themed variations, have the inverse of a healthy sense of humor.  Rather, they have a sense of promoting horror in the minds of those with any semblance of taste.

                Most people have probably never considered how significant humor and laughter really is.  Even so, its importance can be seen as it has developed into a major genre and is the core of multi-billion dollar industries (i.e. comedy movies, TV shows, books, comedy clubs etc.). 

Now THIS looks like a real hoot!

Now THIS looks like a real hoot!

With this in mind, it would seem that humor is rather noteworthy, so shouldn’t we try to be a bit discerning about what we consider funny or (even more importantly) subject others to in the name of mirth?  I recall thumbing through a “joke” book as a kid, and it made me want to kick the author in the stomach until they bled internally (now that would have been comedy).  Speaking of childhood, I don’t fully blame kids, too young to know any better, when they tell or laugh at lame jokes.  In days of youth, children are happy being silly and giggling at anything even lightly construed as humor, but eventually, as they grow up, “jokes” become too simplistic, and they move on to more stimulating wittiness.   Adults who think telling punchline-styled jokes is the way to be funny are more like stupid pets waiting for a pat on the head and a treat.  To them, the joke is more about the reward they get, and the attention, than truly trying to amuse or connect with others. 

               Speaking of the silliness of childhood versus more adult-themed comedy, here is my opinion on the natural progression of most peoples’ sense of humor:  First, as children, people start out laughing at inane nonsense because they don’t know anything better.  I like this stage because at least the laughter is purely our own and untouched by societal pressures or other outside forces. 

Precisely how I feel after hearing most "jokes."

Precisely how I feel after hearing most “jokes.”

Second, people grow up a bit and get into puns and plays on words.  This is when those who will later be into “jokes” first start reading damnable “joke” books.  These “special” children enjoy the lame attempts of failed comedians-turned-authors while the other kids get sick of them (meaning both the books and those who tell the jokes) pretty much instantaneously.  Third is middle school time, and sexual innuendo and erotic jibes become the most hilarious of things.  This stage lasts for a long while— far too long for many.  Fourth is high school/college, and the topical humor that adults have been using suddenly becomes a new well to draw comedy from.  This is as far as most people’s senses of humor seem to go.  Somewhere within and beyond what I’ve mentioned are the rare components of a more discriminating taste in comedy including things like satire, irony, mockery, sadistic humor, and (my favorite) layered humor.  These latter facets are developed by a small minority who are forever plagued by others lack of imagination in terms of wittiness.

               Going off my theory on the progression of humor, jokes are pretty much for simps who haven’t made it very far past the second punny, play-on-words stage.  Somehow, their minds become entrapped in how insanely clever it is when one word that happens to sound like another is put in the former’s place.  That’s why there are hundreds of infuriatingly unfunny internet sites with titles such as “Pun of the Day” that have “jokes” like:  “The other day I held the door open for a clown. I thought it was a nice jester.” 

Send me light-hearted humor, and I send this back.

Send me light-hearted humor, and I send this back.

By itself, that “joke” makes me want to windmill punch a roomful of the author’s youngest children.  The only way something like that is funny is if it’s told purely to be hurtful to someone else who also hates really bad humor, but that, of course, would make it a layered joke with an undercurrent of sadism (and thus acceptable).  Really, the only jokes I even come close to liking are the ones that are dark or sick enough to offend most people who typically like jokes.  Even then, I almost never enjoy the joke, but at least it comes close to amusing me as I think about how much it would offend other “jokesters.” 

               In the greasy spoon days of my youth, we used to have untold amounts of regulars who loved to non-ironically tell bad jokes.  I sat in witness as these same cretins would come in day after day, ordering the same meal, telling the same jokes— I kid you not, the EXACT SAME JOKES.

Where humor goes to die.

Where humor goes to die.

  Hilarious plays on words such as “Are you workin’ hard or hardly workin’?” or super clever rhymes like “You got time to lean, you got time to clean.”  Lame, unforgiveable shite like that every single day!  That’s when I began to realize that these people had deeply rooted neurological problems.  Now, I’m not saying that everyone who likes to tell jokes has a brain disorder, but I will go so far as to say that it should be added to the questionnaire used for determining if somebody is likely to have dementia.  Really, as much as I hated the jokes, I felt bad for these people.  I could see that their lives had grown so mundane and repetitious that all they had left was waiting for the pat on the head that the jokes brought them.  I even think that many of them secretly knew their quips were pathetic, but that’s what they felt they needed to resort to when it came to connecting with others.  Sad, but on the other hand I wanted to poison their food just enough to bring them near the brink of death before saying “I’m DYING to hear some more of your jokes!”  I even hate that joke, but I would say it if only to speak a language that would better torment one of these sad, yet annoying simpletons.

               Even professional comedians know that it’s a cardinal rule to never tell “joke” jokes.  Audiences don’t like it because it reminds them of one of their annoying uncles or grandparents, and they (rightly) boo the offender off the stage and terrorize them until they leave town weeping and soiled all up in their pants. 

Tell a "joke" on stage, and this is what you get.

Tell a “joke” on stage, and this is what you get.

Besides comedians, naturally funny individuals just unwittingly know that joke telling is for those with poor and undeveloped senses of humor.  I have personally been writing and creating comedy for half of my life.  I don’t get paid for doing such, as there are no jobs for it where I live, but still I do it for the love of it.  I love humor, and there are few things better than a good laugh at something layered, clever, unexpected, and that I never would have thought of in a hundred years.  These jokes where the punch line shoots into my head before the delivery is ever spoken, to me, spits in the face of god.  Humor gives us a way to vent, connect with one another, and deal with harsh truths without losing our minds.  Seeing it misused to exclusively make puns and cheap sexual references makes my blood seethe and boil. 

This guy also loves topical humor.

This guy also loves topical humor.

Personally, I think it should be legal to punch someone hard in the bladder if they tell a joke you don’t like.  Perhaps that would make people think twice before trying to be an amateur, unwanted comedian, and hopefully their sense of humor might finally evolve to that of an average sixteen-year-old.  Lastly, and as a brief aside:  For the most part, SCREW topical humor.  That dated rubbish is the last bastion of those who have lost their funny bone due to growing up and taking themselves too seriously while trying to pretend they still have a little life left in them.  “Oh my, it’s soooo hilarious that someone is making fun of what a current celebrity or politician said/did lately that no one will remember in a year!”  Bwahahahahahaha-ahhh-ahhh-ahhh-ehhhh-ehhh-ewwww-ewwwww!  In general, topical humor should be steered away from and left to the rare professionals who can do something truly clever with it. Also, I would go into the sad state of modern “comedy” movies, but that is for another rage-inducing, twenty page article.  Until then, take my advice and respond to the next person who tells you a “joke” by merely saying “You’re pathetic, and people only pretend to like you.”  Let them choke on that.  

End

The true face of the devil.

The true face of the devil.

 

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28. Wearing too Much Perfume or Cologne

                In fiction, superheroes abound– each one with a unique power.  Some are strong, others are fast, and many have a heightened sense or two.  However, there is one ability that is rarely intensified in these fantasies: the sense of smell.  In many ways, superheroes have talents that people commonly wish they had, yet it would be strange or even comical to catch one’s self daydreaming about having super smelling abilities.  The reason for this is simple:  For every instance our nose detects a particularly good aroma, there are a dozen where it merely discovers something we’d rather not know about. 

Only in N.J. would there be a superhero like this.

Only in N.J. would there be a superhero like this.

The Taco Bell odor wafting from a public toilet, the rotting carcass of whatever the cat left under the porch, the freshly-licked ass smell on a dog’s breath, each of these are constant reminders of why no one should want to have a super-amplified sense of smell.  Even our own bodies betray us sometimes, stinking of sweat and other bodily odors while we remain oblivious of our stench.  To combat this, humanity has invented ways to mask our scents in a variety of other fragrances.   Though this can often be very good, as with nearly every positive thing under the sun, too much of it can become quite the inverse.  For this reason, I am focusing this article on the people who are either too inconsiderate, unaware, or just flat out stupid when it comes to using perfume or cologne.  These folks are basically the supervillains of the world of smells.  But how can someone who regularly sprays down their entire physique in body spray out-stink, say, a hobo?  Do read on, and I will reveal this and much more.

                How often have you been out in public when someone walked by and nearly bowled you over with the ungodly amount of cologne or perfume they are wearing?  To me, it’s like being punched in the face by a thorny bouquet of ovulating flowers, and sometimes my body even involuntarily flinches. 

This encapsulates coming near someone wearing too much perfume or cologne.

This encapsulates coming near someone wearing too much perfume or cologne.

What’s even worse is when one of these synthetic-skunk-people ends up near you at a movie or concert.  As you’re trying to enjoy yourself, their smell will hit you over and over in waves, causing your brain to swell up in disgust, and making it more than a little difficult to enjoy yourself.  In my opinion, these fake, sugary-sweet fragrances are often even worse than just flat out bad smells.  When I’m at a theater or concert venue, I (unfortunately, but rationally) understand that it might smell like piss or vomit, but what my mind cannot accept is when suddenly it smells like all the pollen in the rain forest just jumped into a vat of rubbing alcohol before spilling everywhere.  Think about it: people have had to deal with typical bad odors since the dawn of time, and it’s relatively recent that we’ve had to endure these imitation floral monstrosities.  Our brains are not yet ready to easily block out annoyances with names like Sunlight Seduction or Wild Spice. 

Why...?  Just why???

Why…? Just why???

It’s for this reason that people with fully functioning noses who choose to put on gobs of perfume/cologne make even less sense to me than those who choose to couple up with a naturally stinky individual (like a hippie, gutter punk, or MMO video gamer).  Because I am curious and adept at getting away with ignoring social conventions, I have asked people if their stinky partner’s odor bothered them, and I swear there are a lot of people out there who actually LIKE the natural stink of a filthy, unwashed, crusty-clothes wearing body.  It’s gross, but still it makes leagues more sense than the people with the artificial cloud of stink surrounding them.

                To me, I don’t think you should be able to get a proper smell of someone until you are within hugging distance of them.  Those whose stench precedes them by five minutes and then lingers long after they’re gone are as inconsiderate as anyone creating a public disturbance.  Another reason this is so annoying is that smell is strongly linked to memory. 

This scientific chart clearly displays the memory beads of the brain.

This scientific chart clearly displays the memory beads of the brain.

It would be hard for me to get mentally close to someone who stank all the time, but ten times more so if it was a choice they were making every morning after they showered by putting on something even more repulsive than what they just washed off.  I do have some good memories of people and particular smells, like the sweet cigars my grandfather used to smoke, but that was unintended and I wouldn’t dote on it fondly if he intentionally blew them in my face to create such a link.  That’s what I say these sensory bandits are doing:  They are force-feeding our minds and memories to compensate for other things they lack (e.g. personality, genuineness, natural charisma). 

                I just want for people to not stink—that’s all.  There’s nothing to it really; you just buy some soap, deodorant, some toothpaste and a toothbrush, some mouthwash, and then follow the directions on the labels every day. Going beyond that into perfume, cologne, and body spray is like doing very, very optional extra credit. 

Hygiene:  It's not just for black silhouettes!

Hygiene: It’s not just for black silhouettes!

Out-and-out replacing normal hygiene habits with these products is basically sacrilege and should be grounds for water-based torture (partly as punishment, partly to clean the offender off).  Looking back, perfumes were originally created back in the days when people didn’t have running water, so baths and showers were uncommon.  Now, even the homeless have access to a shower somewhere, so the original purpose of such products truly has expired.  And while I’m on the topic of hygiene, f*&$ these people who don’t believe in soap or deodorant and want to go “au naturel.”  We’re not wild animals roaming around in our own sh*t and grime.  Have you smelled a wild animal lately?  They undoubtedly stink.  That’s why skunks developed such a powerful odor; anything less wouldn’t be noticed in the face of natural stinkiness. 

I like to think this is what a cologne factory looks like.

I like to think this is what a cologne factory looks like.

Hygiene products are not there so people don’t have to put up with their own stink, they are for the rest of the world that one comes into contact with.  People should go “au naturel” when they’re alone in their house for the day; no one will care or complain so long as they don’t mind smelling like the solid version of their own farts.  However, when these individuals come back to modern society, they should do everyone a simple, considerate favor and take care of the smell of their own filth first.  I take care of myself with that in mind, and that is exactly what gives me the right to hate on everyone who doesn’t.  Screw all you smelly hippies.  Even the ones who are trying to be some other “cool” genre— to me you’re all dirty, worthless hippies.

                Getting back to why people overuse artificial scents, I have found guys to be generally worse about this than girls, which is strange since perfumes have been pushed so much harder towards females. 

Most guy's cologne.

Most guy’s cologne.

My theory is that guys want to magically believe odors can overcome all the other rationale and common sense that women may otherwise have, rendering them helpless against the man’s animalistic charms.  I’ve unfortunately heard enough locker room and bar talk that backs up this theory.  Just watch one Axe Body Spray commercial and you’ll see what I mean.  As for the women who overdose us on perfumes, I like to think that it’s because someone complimented them once when they first began wearing it (and in a far smaller dose).  Many people just don’t get compliments very often, so I can see how this would lead them to put more and more of it on, fishing and wishing (I’ve been waiting to use that rhyme this entire article) for some kind words to come their way.  The usual suspects who make my nose want to shrivel up like a nutsack on a wintery morn are typically overdone in other ways as well. 

He's complimenting his sister's perfume to get in her pants.

He’s complimenting his sister’s perfume to get in her pants.

Too much makeup, too many shades of pastel on their paisley blouse, and a hairdo more fit for a caricature tends to round out their physically distracting repertoire.  I also cringe when I think of all the times that someone around them mentions their perfume in an ill-fated attempt to try to get them to wear less, but without the guile to do anything more than be taken as another admirer.  Sometimes with people you just have to select your words carefully, then affix them to a mallet before hitting them square in the face with it.

                In rounding this out, I have a friend who has had the displeasure (in my opinion) of being a lifelong smoker and it has nearly ruined his sense of smell. 

Immune to evil odors.

Immune to evil odors.

Over the years, there have been many times when I’ve been revolted by a bad odor that he is completely unaware of, and for this reason he has declared his lack of scent to be a super power.  Now, while I’m sure he’s missing out every time he passes by a pie cooling on a windowsill, it is difficult for me to argue his point.  In any case, I’m stuck with my sense of smell, so it’s my duty to try to stop people from stinking, and even worse, causing themselves to reek by overusing a product designed to do just the opposite.  So if you know somebody who uses too much perfume or cologne, send them a link to this article.  Just do it under the guise that it’s amusing, or say it reminds you of someone else that you both know. 

This does NOT replace a shower.

This does NOT replace a shower.

Little by little, we must attempt to change the world and save our senses of smell, decency, and sanity.  Final note to anyone still on the fence about using a lot of body spray or whatever:  We’re no longer beasts who need to smell every butt we come across.  Tone it down, develop a personality, and someday let the person hugging you make a mental connection to your mild scent rather than being further enveloped by your unnatural, stanky aura of smelly evil.

 

End

Perhaps we are just beasts after all...

Perhaps we are just beasts after all…

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27. Celebrity Interest and Worship

You’re standing in line at the grocery store.  To the right is a multitude of sugary, calorie-filled candies along with other random knick-knacks and items that speak to people’s more careless impulses.  To the left, however, is something far more insidious— something that draws the attention, selling trashy thoughts and ideas even if you don’t make a purchase.  I am of course referring to tabloid magazines.

Candy rots teeth; these rot brains.

Candy rots teeth; these rot brains.

From the covers, celebrities stare out at you, some airbrush-perfected, others in tears or looking bloated and near death, each surrounded by captions that bare their lives to the world.  As a child, I would read these sensationalized headlines, even scanning through the articles with the most gripping titles.  Back then, I knew there was something wrong with what I was doing; it felt voyeuristic and cheap, but adults indulged in this behavior, so I thought it was alright.  Long before I took marketing classes in college, I figured out why they sold these magazines by the checkout lines rather than in their own section of the store.  You see, most people intuitively feel the same way about tabloids and what they push as I did when I was a kid, but when they’re shoved in our faces, many of us can’t resist.  This is where I want to begin my exploration into celebrity interest and worship— with the point that I believe most people already know, and have always known:  that it’s bad for us and wrong.  Sadly, it has gained a wider and wider acceptance as the age of information has allowed us as a society to explore the depths of our shallowness.  And it’s not just actors I’m speaking of, but also models, musicians, sports stars, and especially people who are famous for no other reason than that they’re rich.

So what makes a celebrity so special that they’re worthy of our attention, thoughts, and time?  I suppose many are considered to be extraordinary at their field of choice, such as acting, sports, or music, but in that case, why don’t we care as much about people in arenas outside of entertainment?

If this picture were a mirror, I'd kill myself.

If this picture were a mirror, I’d kill myself.

To me, I could hardly give less of a f#&$ about what most entertainers are like outside of their professions.  I think it would be far more pertinent to know about the heads of our cities, states, and countries, or even our teachers, lawmakers/enforcers, or religious leaders.  Instead, we hand celebrity status over to entertainers who often hold more sway concerning public opinion than experts or people with pertinent experience.  Thus, I reject the claim that celebrities deserve such attention based upon their merit.  It is being foisted on them for one reason:  because they’re recognizable.  Some jackass who plays a character in our favorite sitcom or a tongue-waggling musician in a popular video sadly shapes how people think they should live more than just about anyone else.  I also believe people wrongly judge self-worth due to disjointed views on celebrities.  Most people think that anyone who is famous must inherently be better than others (including themselves).  The truth is, celebrity status, much like most positions of power, is gained more often than not largely due to luck, nepotism, and ass kissing than through actual work or talent.

So this is what the public really cares about!

So this is what the public really cares about!

Beyond that, regardless of how good they are at their (largely) unimportant entertainer professions, it says nothing about how they measure up in the actual important facets of character.  I don’t care that some jock can hit a ball farther than other jocks— he’s probably still a dickhead in real life and beats his wife and kids every other Tuesday.  Don’t tell me details about what an actor thinks politically— they’re probably a stuck-up asshole who’s been so spoon-fed they wouldn’t know real struggle or pain from their yearning to win some inconsequential award.  Every click on their photos, every subscription to their Twitter feed, and every vapid conversation about their love life is just one more ball of saliva spat into the face of everyday, “common” people.  My point is that just because someone is famous it doesn’t make them better than anyone else.  If you can agree with that, then right away it makes focusing on most celebrities a waste of time.  In fact, I find it hard to believe that anyone couldn’t find a better personal use for their time than dwelling on pop culture icons.

Aside from the gross disparity of wealth that the famous benefit from (another horrifyingly unfair topic I’ll cover in a future article), there are other reasons to tear down this system of inequity.

Home of an American actor who isn't even counted amongst the wealthiest top 30.

Home of an American actor who isn’t even counted amongst the wealthiest top 30.

Think about it:  Many of these celebrities didn’t start that way; they were once regular asshats like most people.  In fact, when I think about it, of the types of people that I knew growing up that I would wish wealth, fame, and notoriety upon, most wouldn’t be entertainers.  Let’s go through the list:  As someone who has always had an interest in writing, I have known many aspiring actor/models and disliked about 90% of them.  They tend to be vapid, conceited, attention-whoring, self-absorbed, little imps who throw tantrums when they don’t get what they want.  I find it doubtful that this has only been my experience with people typically drawn to this craft.  Does no one remember the theater kids from high school and college?  You know, the gossipy, back-stabbing crowd who plotted and cloyed to get the attention they needed?  Well, those are the same actors that people now worship and hang on their every word.  Think about that.  And how about sports stars?  You remember the dumb, unfairly-advantaged jocks from high school and college.  Most of them didn’t have to try as hard at academics so long as they kept playing on whatever team they were in.  It’s common knowledge that schools care more about their athletic programs than scholastics because they make more money through them.  Well, these privileged, nerd-punching, date-rapey meatheads are the same people getting cheered for on and off the field in their adulthood.

Read it and (rightfully) weep.

Read it and (rightfully) weep.

Lastly, there’s rock stars.  I have had countless friends in bands and even managed a couple during high school and college.  I can’t say I know this about female band members, but the number one reason I have seen guys get into or start a band is to impress girls.

People wanting to be rock stars have ego problems?  Who ever would have thought...?

People wanting to be rock stars have ego problems? Who ever would have thought…?

Most guys are in bands to get blowjobs from stupid, star-struck girls who can’t help but be wowed by their pathetic local fame.  Seriously, go to a local show in pretty much any town and watch how these egotistical “musicians” strut around trying to look cool and important and try not to laugh at the faces they make.  The only reason it isn’t ridiculous to people is because we’re spoon-fed through cultural norms to accept it.  Another tell-tale sign of what bulls*&$ musicians are is to watch music videos from past decades.  The styles they display and the ways they act are so ridiculous it’s laughable.  I have always found it funny how the latest generation laughs at the styles of the previous (retro fashion aside), never considering how stupid they themselves currently look.

"Seriously guys, this look will always be in!  We are the definition of cool!"

“Seriously guys, this look will always be in! We are the definition of cool!”

Anyhow, if you think most of your favorite musicians got into it for a love of the music or whatever, you are likely fooling yourself.  I’m not saying their focus doesn’t change at some point from “I’ve got to trick girls into thinking I’m special so I can get blowjobs” to “eh, now I want people to respect me, but I still want the blowjobs,” but in any case most of the musicians I’ve known have been fairly shitty human beings.  Hell, I’ve always been a huge music fan, but years ago I stopped reading about the bands I like because so many of them were comprised of utter douchebags.  Love the art, not the artist— that is pretty much my mantra when it comes to the arts.  When I think back on the people from my past that I wish were revered, actors, sports stars, and musicians aren’t at the top of my list.  I’m not saying all the people drawn to these professions are bad, and I do have several rare friends who stand out amongst the otherwise shallow, but the majority suck big-o-balls.

Celebrity interest has been around as long as newspapers and radio, but as stated, it is getting more and more grossly out of hand.  Celebrity stalking is at an all-time high, court trials involving the famous now garner as much news coverage as a war, and there is even a new psychological condition called Celebrity Worship Syndrome where a person is insanely obsessed with the smallest details of their favorite celebs’ lives.

A soon-to-be sports legend, who upon his death will be mourned by millions, as he interacts with some nobody.

A soon-to-be sports legend, who upon his death will be mourned by millions, as he interacts with some nobody.

Within the last year or two, CNN has started an ongoing column about celebrities who have died that year entitled “People We Lost.”  Who the hell are these people?  I never met even one of them!  And who do they mean by “we?”  We as in all of humanity?  I don’t want to be included in that; I don’t give a flying f&%$ about these dead entertainers!  Really, I consider their list a slap in the face to anyone who did lose a loved one that year.  You go through the list and you see some old actors or sports figures or whomever and it tells about their “important” lives; meanwhile, there’s nowhere on the list for your dead spouse, child, parent.  They don’t go on the “People We Lost” list because they merely led normal lives.  Seriously, F&#* THAT!!  However, when looking to place culpability for this state of affairs, I don’t blame the media.  The media is a business and they merely supply what people demand.  I blame individuals: each and every person who supports this system.

Let us bask in the destruction of our past idols.

Let us bask in the destruction of our past idols.

I don’t think the decision to enable all of this is made consciously by most; it is just an unfortunate acceptance.  Also, I believe that the poor connections many have with their real life friends and family cause them to see celebrities as people they seem to know in a similar way.  These thoughts, however comforting in fantasy, need to be pushed to the side.  No matter how often a celebrity appears in the news, you don’t really know them.  On the other hand, people also think focusing on celebrities is necessary when a “star” has done something widely considered immoral or bad.  This is just more of the usual mob mentality where people come together to lash out at a straw man, brought down to make everyone else feel superior.

I’m not attacking celebrities out of some misguided jealousy or because I think they’re all bad people— the sad fact is that fame is quite often a curse.  Look at what celebrity status has done to so many in terms of their mental health.

The answer:  Nothing that has anything to do with these egotistical a-holes.

The answer: Nothing that has anything to do with these egotistical a-holes.

Even more than being rich, having people constantly hanging on your every word and always in agreement will cause even the strongest minds to go strange.  Without criticism, people tend to begin believing they are infallible, which results in them exploring every oddball notion and whim to a sick degree.  Even worse is when public opinion inevitably turns against them; then they’re just a trapped bug under the microscope of mindless public judgment.  I will give no example because I refuse to refer to any particular celebrity by name and because I think everyone can think of several who fit my description.  Which leads me to my next point— no matter how much you don’t think it matters when you momentarily discuss celebrities, consider it this way:  Every time you do such, it gives them power.  Ignoring and refusing to contribute to celebrity commentary/gossip immediately steals all the fame and status from those who conduct misdeeds (like leaked sex tapes, infidelity, or drug abuse).

This should totally be allowed.

This should totally be allowed.

If everyone would stop talking about these things, many of the people involved would no longer have the means to continue their life of fortune in the limelight.  I think similarly even when considering celebrities that aren’t hurting themselves or others.  I don’t know them and all they do is entertain; why should I give them power and make them something special to me?  Hell, and now there’s even a breed of celebrity who doesn’t even do anything at all—they’re just born rich and that’s enough.  Surely, if a benevolent creator was ever going to wipe the slate clean, this would be one of the signs of the (necessary) end.

As stated earlier, I don’t blame celebrities or the media for this situation, I blame people individually.  In effect, the only way we can change or stop celebrity worship is to one by one decide to alter our perspectives and interests. Furthermore, we ought to even consider who deserves to be a celebrity and why, assuming anyone should at all.  Also, I’m not saying all current celebrities just need to be totally ignored, just the large majority of them.  There are those who are actually doing/saying things captivating, interesting, and important enough to deserve some attention, but they are the rare exceptions.  Also, some celebrities have led interesting lives that may be noteworthy in some ways, but that decision should be carefully made, rather than just falling into their cult of personality.  I have been doing my part for many years— ignoring tabloids, rarely looking into my favorite actors/musicians, and walking away from conversations about celebrities, but I’d love to see this grow into an actual movement.

Sadly, shame and derision are sometimes the only way people learn.

Sadly, shame and derision are sometimes the only way people learn.

This article is my latest effort towards such ends.  Don’t feel bad if you currently take an interest in celebrities, so did I before I wisely shamed it out of myself.  It is now my goal to help every other person who needs the same sort of shaming until we’re no longer focused on such useless tripe.  Imagine a world where the periodicals beside the checkout lane are either about significant local and global issues or purely for (non-gossipy) entertainment purposes.  Someday, maybe kids who are bored and looking around the way I was can actually learn something important on the way out of a store instead of just getting the sense that the world is a terrible and f*&$ed up place.

End

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