Why Do We Care?: Entertainment Journalism, Celebrity Gossip and Pajiba's Place in it All
Some people just want to watch the world burn. Some just like talking about pop culture.
While completely disparate topics, they are all things I think warrant discussion.
Sometimes, I don’t know why, either.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as a slow news day. I mean, when there’s nothing else to write about but Lamar Odom’s alleged crack addiction, you gotta do what you gotta do. But, sometimes, I find myself floored by how much of a shit I actually give. And I know it’s my job to care. But other people care, too.
I guess I’ve never really posed the question before—to myself or to you, The People. I mean, why do we care about any of this?
I’m going to stop you, Very Intelligent Commenter. I know You don’t. For You have more scholarly pursuits and cannot waste valuable brainspace on such vapidity. I’m talking to Those Other Ones. You know. Them.
And, you know, Me, obviously.
I guess I care because … I just do. I find it all interesting—what catches on, what becomes popular, what’s considered scorn-worthy, what catches fire, how people respond to public crises, how people lie their way out of something. How things go so wrong when someone has all the resources in the world. It’s just all interesting to me.
Because I feel that way, and because Pajiba has broadened its scope from bitchy movie talk to bitchy pop culture talk, I’ve been — at times directly, at other times indirectly — accused of ruining the site. And I’m not the only one. My friend and loved one Joanna Robinson, an objectively talented writer, has referred to us as “the ovaries who stole Christmas” because we, to some, represent an ebb in Pajiba — the shift in tone to the celebration of the frivolous. Maybe there’s some truth to that. I don’t know. But, I know this: why the fuck not?
Why not talk about Miley Cyrus at the VMAs? Why not talk about Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas’s marriage? Why not talk about Leah Remini trying to single-handedly fight Xenu with her lengthy Brooklyn nails? It’s the world we live in. No, it’s not as important as Syria. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important. What we’re talking about when we talk about celebrity gossip is society as a whole — dissecting what is and is not valued in our culture. It’s fascinating. And sometimes, we’re just talking about Hannah Montana shaking her potatoes for the world to see. Sometimes it’s just surface, it’s just schadenfreude, it’s just fun. And I think that’s OK, too.
Some just like talking about pop culture. And, like it or not, pop culture includes Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and the goddamned Kardashians.
Because Muppet Sleeves just matters, I guess.