Monday, June 22, 2009

Query Eight: The Cult of Celebrity

The Cult of Celebrity; Part deux.

In my last article I stated the mindset of the average fan of celebrities, and the phenomena of celebrities in general. In this article I'm focusing on the mindset of the actual celebrities and how their lives are affected by fame and fans.

While some celebrities use mental breakdowns, alcoholism, and drug abuse as a way to stir up the Wheel O'Controversy, many may actually break down into such states because of fame and stardom. I'll use the example of Britney Spears again. She is essentially watched 24/7 by paparazzi. When she goes to the store to get some diapers - Paparazzi. When she steps out of any vehicle - Paparazzi. When she comes in contact with sunlight, sure enough - Paparazzi. She can essentially never escape them unless she is alone. She can never go to a restaurant and have a nice date without the tabloids spreading it, she can never just live a simple life, something we take for granted. This sort of forced isolation lead her to a mental breakdown. She stated (I'm paraphrasing) "I just need privacy, its a human need" while crying. In that she is very correct, few of us can imagine stepping outside only to have a swarm of onlookers awaiting any slip, fall, statement, wrong look, violence, trip, or any sort of "newsworthy" event in Entertainment News for it to be spread across the populace. Anyone would have a mental breakdown after years upon years of this sort of fear and overexposure.

All entertainment magazines and TV shows are guilty of stealing celebrities rights to privacy from them but one media source in particular is responsible for, and is proud of, the many times they break down celebrities on Camera. It's said time and time again that TMZ reporters heckle and yell at celebrities in an attempt to garner some sort of reaction. Most of the time these people just ignore them while they make themselves look like asses, but other times the paparazzi say things that get to them a little too much. In the case of Kanye West, at first glance it may seem like he is an ass and hotheaded for hitting the paparazzi but when you take into account the amount of exposure he has all the time, and the things these people yell to celebrities to get a reaction, it makes a little more sense.

But when you think about it, it isn't the paparazzi that are always guilty. Supply and Demand. If people didn't demand so much insight into the lives of their favorite celebrities, there may be more privacy and actual happiness for these people. But instead the public hurts the very people they adore in an attempt to fulfill a somewhat selfish (albeit unknowingly selfish) admiration. I just find it very interesting how the public, including me at times, can commit such acts of pain and not even know it. It truly makes me look at my actions a little more closely.


PS: While I was looking up pictures I found that searching 'Britney Spears crying' constitutes many Entertainment Articles. It brings up the follow up question of "Why do we derive 'Entertainment' from the sadness these people feel?" It just makes me shake my head.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Query Seven: The Cult of Celebrity

The Cult of Celebrity; Part un.

My initial posting was going to be a direct article on how the media and masses effect the psyche of celebrities they adore, but I felt it was more natural to ease into this topic rather than throw my non-existent readers into cold water. What I will be discussing today is "Why do we love Celebrities?"

To understand the craze surrounding Celebrities, we need to know when this craze began. The history of such things would be around the time societies began to form. Celebrities existed in ancient civilizations, such as Socrates, Aristophanes, Plato many gaining fame from controversy (a topic I'll discuss later in this article) and their controversial philosophies. Then there is the celebrity leaders, Caesar most notably and his cadre of 'friends'. The celebrities of Roman times we don't quite hear about are the ones that are equivalent to Heidi Montag, the fading stars. These celebrities were the Gladiatorial Championships. Just to recap so all my nonexistent readers can keep up, the gladiatorial championships were basically the TV to the Roman Populace, two men went into the Colosseum with big weapons, one died, one didn't. The one who survived would have a short boost in fame until the next match. After the next match, if he won again, the fame would increase. This little cycle of short lived fame carried on until his untimely death and the fame transfers to the next brute. Now this doesn't sound anything like Heidi Montag from the onset (sadly) but it represents the sort of celebrity she is. Think about it, Gladiators provided nothing to society but barbaric nonsensical entertainment. Heidi provides nothing to society except "controversy" and drama that people are enamored with temporarily until she can provide it again. But due to Ms. Montag being a 'fading' star, her days are numbered.

Many fading stars of our day rely on controversy to stay in the headlines while the true stars, people who have provided at least something to society that is substantial, such as Britney Spears who, whether you like it or not, dominated the Pop Genre doesn't need to work the wheel of controversy for fear of slipping under the radar. Infact with Ms. Spears its quite the opposite, she can't escape the media. Fading stars normally appear on MTV, see example in parenthesis (Tila Tequilla? What happened to her? Oh yeah, faded.) The true stars are essentially the ones who leave something behind. Elvis Presley in this case is our historical equivilant to Britney Spears. Another awkward example but try to see it in more of a sociological view. They both essentially did the same function for society at large, they effected a lasting form of entertainment that society still cherishes to this day.

Whenever I am forced to see fading stars in some form or another, it makes me lose a little faith in humanity, but when I stop seeing people like Tila Tequilla on the TV, I know it is because their fifteen minutes has burnt out, it raises my faith a little. In my next article I'll discuss the price that comes attached with fame, how celebrity's must cope with the negative effects of their lifestyle and what some possible solutions may be.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Query Six: Language Barriers

Language Barriers

This topic has intrigued me greatly in life. The main reason being is that I'm in an interracial relationship and faced with a language barrier. But in this experience I learned much about human interaction and how we are faced with communicating sans lingual communication. In some ways I've actually found this to be a beautiful thing.

When people have a language barrier between them, there is mostly a sense of tension and awkwardness, but like many other things, this is dependent on the situation. Let's say Flora, a Spanish speaking person, who only speaks Spanish and Donna, an English speaking person who only speaks English are put into a few situations. First situation is a workers strike, and picketing at the workplace where they work. Both people are early and forced to communicate and although awkward, form a bond that follows throughout the entire protest. Although its superficial from an outside perspective, the fact is, these two people, these two strangers formed a common bond without speech. The common bond being their similar feelings towards working conditions and their outrage. Another situation could be Donna meeting her mother in law, Flora for the first time. Although what Donna says might not really effect Flora's first impression, what is impressed is EVERYTHING Donna does. When people cannot rely on what other people say for an opinion, they resort to visual cues such as appearance and body language. An example would be, lets say, Donna walks in with ratty hair, lights a cigarette on Flora's Lady of Guadalupe candle, and eats the food loudly with her mouth open. It doesn't require a knowledge of Donna's words to figure out she's trashy.

While these sort of everyday situations wouldn't normally be considered beautiful, I simply find it amazing how humans have the power to transfer ideas, emotions, similarities, and even things they may not want to communicate to others, while being completely disconnected verbally.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Query Five: Life and Accomplishments

Life and Accomplishments

As I graduate highschool, everyone asks "Are you thinking about the future?" and always I respond "Yes, of course." In reality, I'm always thinking about the future, which is what brought this topic on, Life and Accomplishments. Graduation is the time when students get realistic about their future, they wonder if they will try and be a famous singer, chemist, hair salon owner, or movie star. Some expectations are too low, others can be unrealistic. The overarching fact remains, you can't accomplish everything.

The phrase "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" is relevant here because I realized, I'm not going to accomplish everything there is, I won't experience everything there is to experience. Some overworking multitaskers can accomplish a lot but they can't accomplish everything. Nobody has won every single award in an award show, and no one ever will. To bring the topic back down to earth and out of the lofty clouds where my mind normally is (Daydreaming/Zoning out thinking). The deal is this I'm comfortable with pursueing what I am passionate about, such as Psychology and Literature, but I also know if I try to master both fields, accrediations and all that, I won't be able to say, act on stage, or sing in an opera, or even become a curator. It's not that I want to accomplish all of those things, its just the fact that I myself won't be able to feel that walk of life.

If we break this idea down into sensory experiences, it becomes a whole lot simpler. As humans, we will never feel the way a bird does during flight, or the jolt of energy that springs through a dog as he sees a squirrel. We can feel like a flying bird if we hang glide, but we will never feel the same feeling it feels. The fact of the matter is, we won't ever be able to experience or accomplish everything in life, and the truth is, we don't need to. This article isn't to say, "Lower your expectations." It's just to say, follow what you are truly passionate about, master it, and enjoy it for your life. Someone who is a Jack of All Trades, Master of None, can never enjoy a painting the way Degas did, or enjoy the intricacies of a chemical formula the way a chemist may. Set your sights high, but make sure you follow it to the end or you just may end up regretting it.

Then there comes the people who set their sights too low. If you decide to have a simple farm life, own a farm, manage it, that is fine if its truly what you want out of life. If you decide to own a hair salon, because you don't think college is "for you" or your undecided about the future, you have made a mistake. Years will pass by, and here is where the problem is, you'll get bored of it. You'll feel like your life is going absolutely nowhere and you will become miserable inside, and by then you will feel like it's too late. If you truly have a knack for hair styling, go to become a proffessional hair stylist, open up more than one store if the first one shoots off, take your trade and master it.

Enjoy life, and be passionate.