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I and the Vernal Equinox are more balanced today, thank you. Sometimes the futility of fighting against the tide of apathy gets to me, and I have to whine helplessly until I get it out of my system.  Thank you all for your thoughtful and kind comments yesterday.  You don't need to compliment me that much - I know you love me.  8)

Bob said last night when I told him my "overwrought and underpowered" line, "you're A Yugo PMS?".

Three cylinders on the freeway of life, baby. Oh, yeah.  They're not all firing at the same time today, hence the somewhat scattered nature of the first half of this post, wherein I muse on...

...if I can balance an egg today. Since I'm leaving straight for the house after work today (my brain keeps telling me I've forgotten something, like clothes for the event this weekend) (I haven't) (man, this was a long side thought), I won't have access to eggs unless I buy some. We don't have eggs at the house because our "kitchen" right now consists of a fridge and a microwave.

...Have you ever microwaved an unbroken egg? It's great fun, but a bitch to clean up afterwards. Try it at someone else's house. Preferably during a party, and once everyone is drunk, because they'll leave the clean-up 'til the next day - by which time you'll be long gone.

...Try not to drink so much you have to stay overnight. You'll feel obligated to help in the morning.

...Oh, by the way, the big LJ strikewank? I am not participating. I don't post on Fridays anyway, but even if I wanted to, I don't have web access at the farmhouse, so it's not happening. But this is my normal weekend silence (my journal: Four days on, three day weekend). FYI.

I think yesterday was randomly bad for bunches of people - Bob had an awful day, LJ friends had bad days, it rained miserably, and TV sucked last night, except for South Park and Lewis Black's Root of all Evil.

The South Park episode was something else. I always like it when they lampoon popular culture idiocy, but I particularly like it when their views coincide with my own - especially about Britney Spears. I currently hate everyone around her, but I just feel sorry for the girl herself. Clearly, this is someone who was pushed into the limelight without any kind of true support structure, and the acting out that is so droolingly reported on and sneeringly judged is not the "look at me!" antics of a spoiled rich celebrity, but increasingly desperate signs that her brain is snapping.

Hell, I'd be insane if I got the amount of negative press coverage that she has. I'd probably run a bunch of those bastards over with my Cadillac Escalatinglyterrifcallyhugecar rather than shaving my head, but Britney and I do share a penchant for weird English accents.

I'm not sure what it is, but she brings out the protective side of me (yeah, I know). I want to shield her, and personally, I thought she looked great in her latest video. I don't think she's fat - fuck, she looks gorgeous for having had two kids! - and if we could get that "I'm on the far side of sanity, diving face down into the abyss" look out of her eyes, she'd look fine.

I wanted to be famous, once. I was going to be an actress, a star, known all over the world. Fortunately, my talents fell way short of my ambitions, because I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that if I was famous, I'd want to kill myself. Fame is not close to what it used to be, and even back in the days of studio controlled publicity, there were always people looking for the dirt on the lens of their stars.

Now, it's an uncontrolled witch hunt, with no standards of decency, and no limits. The more salacious/embarrassing the picture, the higher the price it fetches. And we as a society drive this machine forward (shame! j'accuse! wank!).

People love fame - they dream about it, and they go to ridiculous lengths to get it (why else would you consent to destroy your relationships and the people around you for a measly half mil?), but what we really want is that downward spiral into chaos. Trouble is news. Divorce and death and insanity and child endangerment equal orgasmic levels of network wankage.

(Yeah, bad pun, sorry about that.  Also, the point that celebrity shenanigans are not really news is lost on all the networks, as far as I can tell.)

Fame brings out the jackal in us. The hatred displayed on forums and celebrity comment sites is really scary - the loathing for someone they've never met runs really deep. And I have to wonder - is there a strong streak of jealousy running through all this? One of the comments I see repeated over and over again is "they're not so special".  There are variants, but they all say the same thing - "I don't see why they deserve that fame".

Well, but they are, and they do. For better or worse, they are the people our society has decided to pay attention to, and that does make them special.  Better?  Who knows - but definitely special.

How can I tell?  In part, because pictures of their panty-less crotches are frequently plastered all over the web.  No-one's lining up to take pictures of my nether bits (I wear underwear, tights, and a steel protective bodysuit, just in case you were thinking of trying), and no-one would care (well, except for me!) if someone posted pictures of my unclad naughties. I doubt my site traffic would go up much - you can get (much!) more attractive pictures at any number of fine, upstanding, virus/spyware-laden porn sites across this great 'net of ours.

Uh, I forgot where I'm going with this. I imagine most of my male readers (and a few of the female ones) have, too.

Right, let's see... fame... hatred... the idea that the famous have to pay for being famous... that's it!

I think there's a strong undercurrent of feeling in the general public that the famous have to pay for their success, preferably in public and humiliating ways. "I made you famous, now you owe me" is a theme, as is "I don't see why you get to be famous and I don't". "You owe me" is the mantra of every loser who has watched other people reach their goals, and whined about how they don't have anything. Their job owes them a paycheck, the Government owes them a job, society owes them success, and they don't owe anyone a damn thing.  Multiply this angst tenfold when it comes to fame.

Angst breeds discontent. Discontent leads to hatred. Hatred leads to wankage.

..And photographers chasing you through a highway tunnel at 3am, because people will buy magazines by the millions if they can catch a picture of you doing something everyone else does, but that is somehow shocking and despicable (shame!  j'accuse!  wank!) when a celebrity does it. If your car crashes and you die, even better. Then not only can we vent our hatred and satisfy our blood lust, then we can hopefully appear on TV tearfully saying how much our lives were personally affected by the celebrity's death. 

I'm not famous. Okay, in this little tiny corner of the world, my name is known (and that's still a pseudonym).  I don't rate that kind of hate, for which I'm profoundly grateful.  I don't feel that hate, either - but it drives me up the wall when real news is dropped because someone who knew someone who once appeared on one episode of The Apprentice crashes a car.  I don't want to see an interview with their shocked neighbours, and I don't want to hear about it on the evening news.

Ah, fame. Fifteen minutes is never enough, they say.

But for some of us, fifteen seconds is too much. I'd rather stay out of the spotlight. I can barely handle the (extremely) few people who hate me just because I am who I am in the SCA; I'd never be able to handle the levels of hatred directed at anyone really famous.

Talent, schmalent; I have the most important thing of all. Privacy.


( 14 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Mar. 20th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
""You owe me" is the mantra of every loser who has watched other people reach their goals, and whined about how they don't have anything."

Amen. And how many times have we seen new Laurels having to deal with this one? No wonder so many drop out of sight soon after achieving the leaves...

I'm also now thinking about how this applies to our politicians. Don't we just -love- to jump all over an Elliot Spitzer, all the more so because of his quick rise to glory? Sigh.
Mar. 20th, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
When people say "I wish I was rich and famous" I always say "I wish I was just rich - you can keep the famous!" =) I can't imagine living my life with that level of scrutiny. Every pound gained or lost, every pimple that appeared, every wedgie picked caught on film for posterity. Yikes!
Mar. 20th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
I agree. I went from complete loathing of Britney Spears to a profound pity for her and a desire to drive myself out to California, bitch slapping her Mama and bringing her home with me. That poor girl has been exploited since she was born.

But here is my beef with celebrities. Many of them want the fame badly like you describe. But, like side effects on medication - the paparazzi and the snooping into your life comes with it. You cannot reach the top, have huge fame and expect to have your privacy. Or rather, you cannot live in the spotlight (ala Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise) and expect the privacy. There are plenty of huge celebrities out there that you hear very little to nothing about their private lives because they stay out of it. Take Gweneth (lord how do you spell that child's name?) Paltrow. You only see her all over the tabloids when she has a baby. Lindsey Lohan you see when she sneezes.
The tabloid media is the heartburn and headache one must live with for taking the fame.
Mar. 20th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
I would disagree with your second part somewhat, and put forward Lady Diana Spencer as the prime example of someone who really, really just wanted to be left alone, but by chance of birth and marriage, was made so famous that people would pay anything for pictures of her. She did not want it - she wanted no part of it, but no-one respected her wishes. Did she ask for fame? No. Did she deserve to be hounded by paparazzi, simply because she was the ex-wife of a prince? Some people may think so; I don't.

It was not her desire to be famous; she simply wanted to live her life. It was the public's insatiable appetite for pictures of her, regardless of the cost to her personally that made me so angry when suddenly after her death, people were mourning her like she was a member of the family. If they had shown her one tenth of that respect when she was alive, she might not have died in a car crash.

Fame whores like Paris Hilton *like* the publicity. People like Diana are forced to put up with it though they have no desire for it. I just can't see why she should "pay the price" simply because the public wouldn't leave her alone when she didn't want them.

I also feel that the amount of degradating photographs the public demands from celebrities far outweighs the benefits of the fame. It's one thing to allow people into your house to see what you have for breakfast, but when celebrities' children are being stalked and terrified by paparazzi, they step way over the line, and the general public should be utterly ashamed of their willingness to ruin the lives of children who did not ask for that fame.
Mar. 20th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
I agree with you 100% about Diana, I had not even thought of her. Those paparazzi are as guilty of her death as if they had tampered with the breaks.
Mar. 20th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry but it is easy to blame "those" paparazzi, and "the public" but in reality it's us who are to blame. we are the ones watching the tv shows about Paris and Britney and yes Diana. We buy the papers with the photos the paparazzi take, we are to blame not some anonymous monster.
Mar. 20th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
No, some of us don't. I don't read the stories, I don't buy the tabloids. The only reason I know what you're talking about is headlines that I can't avoid. I don't want to know and I don't make any effort, and quite a few not, to know. I know that I'm in the minority, but I really wish that our news media would figure out what is really news and what isn't and should be left to the tabloids, if that.
Mar. 20th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
I am also one of the ones who don't read, watch or buy the crap. But a lot of us must be buying reading and watching because the media is continuing to dish it up. When CNN first came on the air, I loved it, finally a station of nothing but news,reporting direct from the places in the world we needed to become more aware. What the heck happened? Apparently there are more "inquiring minds" wanting to know about Britney and Paris than folks like me who want to know what is actually happening in the world. The important stories are not being told and the crap is inch thick on the world.
Mar. 20th, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
Does anyone else see the similarities between the "Western World" and ancient Rome? These celebrities are just our version of the gladiators and the poor sops thrown into the lions den for our amusement. We don't have to go to the forum and mingle with the unwashed masses because we have the forum come to us in our own homes. Our armies are out in other parts of the world fighting the pagans and those riffraff who don't live the "Roman way" cause after all Rome is the center of the universe and we have the best civilization. And we really do just want the whole world to enjoy the luxury of being Roman (though we never will let them be Roman or come to Rome but that's our secret for now). Beware the ides of March!
Mar. 20th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
I've made this comparison for the last several years. Until this country gets it's collective heads out of our hind regions it won't get any better. I blame a lot of this on the self centered attitude that most have and the serious downturn of our education system and the increased lack of actual news reporting by the media. If the media would report things of importance rather than Brittany's next meltdown we might turn this around.
Mar. 20th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
But the media would tell you they report the "news" that people want to see. People want to see Britney and Paris, the ratings prove that. It's a systemic problem that I don't believe can be solved with just one remedy. It will take a concerted effort on the part of everyone to change the way things are. I can't see that happening any time soon because everyone is so caught up in their own little worlds they can't see how they are impacting the greater world. Just look at all the SUVs on the roads, most of them with just one person it them. Global warming has not registered on an individual basis yet and when it does it will be too late. Rome is falling people!
Mar. 20th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)
In my other life as a performer I have a moderate amount of local fame. There are those who lurk like vultures, waiting for any misstep, every quote taken out of context, and in fact any success or press at all, to point fingers and say "Look at the evil!" Some days it makes me hope I never get more famous.
Mar. 20th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
"Angst breeds discontent. Discontent leads to hatred. Hatred leads to wankage."
"(shame! j'accuse! wank!)"

That you for using my favorite (and least used) english word. I don't say it because Americans that say Wank look like....Wankers. But, you did make me giggle outloud at work today (I too have had an awful week) and for that, I thank you.
Mar. 20th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
It may have been Johnny Depp, perhaps Tom Cruise, who said something along the lines of "We make so much because privacy costs so much".

I have a great deal of sadness and sympathy for Britney and those who will follow. Her story is sad enough without all of the leeches.
( 14 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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