Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Celebrity worship

I am continually both amazed and disgusted by the way people worship celebrities in our culture. I am proud to say that I did not watch or read any of the coverage of Michael Jackson's funeral yesterday, unlike the untold millions who stopped what they were doing for most of the day to mourn a man who did nothing but sing songs. Some of the grief was particularly over the top. Take, for instance, this Facebook status post by a girl I went to elementary school with:

"I thought I was done mourning over Michael...I really feel as though I have lost a part of my family...."

Seriously?! I would wager that two weeks ago, before he died, most people hadn't even thought about Michael Jackson for months. (Granted, this girl is black and liberal, but still.) I almost left her a comment ("Give me a break!") in reply, but I refrained.

I hate the fact that Us Weekly, People, InTouch, and other celebrity gossip rags are among the best selling magazines, while Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood continually draw millions of viewers, along with vapid garbage like American Idol and Dancing With The Stars. Contrast this with the fact that the vast majority of Americans can't tell you who their Congressional representative is--and a significant number can't tell you who is currently vice president. Nor do most people have the foggiest notion of how government works (or is supposed to work), or of how their liberty is constantly being eroded in Washington. Then again, too many of these people don't want liberty--they want security, provided by the government teat.

As my friend UMCMatt wrote earlier this week, the media might not report on so much of this rubbish if there weren't so many people consuming it. We are being led like sheep to the slaughter, and we don't even know it because we're too busy reading about Britney Spears' latest embarrassing antics or trying to see photos of Brad Pitt and what's-her-face on the beach. Americans worship these people like gods, and so many of them aren't even worth pissing on. I wish there were some way to get the dumb masses to wake up and become aware of all the things that are in desperate need of our attention.

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