Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Culture of Celebrity 

As someone who writes about popular culture in the nineteenth century, nothing is more bizarre than examining current popular culture. I have been absolutely appalled at the events of the last week.

Last Sunday, nothing was stranger than watching CNN spend hours on the purses and dresses of the actresses at the Academy Awards while running the news of the deadliest terrorist attack in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in the crawler at the bottom of the screen.

Holy cow, is that really all that such an important event merits? It's an afterthought in comparison the earthshattering importance of Hilary Swank's cleavage? And the folks at CNN wonder why their ratings are dropping? Are you kidding me?

And then there was the surreal experience last night of watching the hours of live coverage of Martha Stewart's release from federal prison. Surely there's something more important, right? Hell, I can't think of few things that are more important than that non-story!!!

Now, don't get me wrong, I think Martha may have gotten a raw deal in a world in which Ken Lay still wanders the earth free and unencumbered. Martha's story is really not that bloody important in the grand scheme of things. I mean, hell folks, if there's ever a nuclear attack it will be the roaches and Martha Stewart that will still be with us.

Have we really reached the point that purses, dresses, and Martha are more important than genuine news stories these days?

I suspect our children will judge us rather harshly when looking back at this time period. Our media mavens slept while so many important things (the collapse of Iraq, the hijacking of Social Security, the Halliburton scandal) were happening.

I no longer wonder why and how the Vietnam War happened. Judging from what I'm seeing in the media I'm just amazed that we didn't all perish in an enormous mushroom cloud about September of 1958.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
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