In the late ’60s, Andy Warhol wrote, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” And for more than 40 years, that quote has been mangled and cliched and misused. Because he did not say, “for ONLY 15 minutes.” The hackneyed idea that one’s allotted number of minutes deserves to be up is a lie. A cruel, vicious lie, and a promise of a hopeful world where there is none.
Do you know whose faces grace the homepage of TMZ right now? In addition to a number of sports people, who I understand perform some manner of game sport thing, one can find a) Verne “Mini-Me” Troyer, b) Michael “I Could Not Have Fucked That Kid Up More If I Shot Her” Lohan, c) Bombshell “Nazi Who Broke Up Sandy Bullock’s Marriage” McGee, d) Rachel “Broke Up Everyone Else’s” Uchitel, and e) Amy “No, Seriously, She Is” Fisher. The Hollywood Reporter has Sarah Palin and Ashton Kutcher. Other sites and various entertainment news programs have been trying to make me care about Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey and other people who have not done a damn thing since gauchos came back, and I. Don’t. Get. It.
The concept that fame fades and obscurity greets the worthless at the pearly gates of the real world is a falsity. It’s something we tell ourselves to pretend that Paris Hilton and Speidi will really go away forever one day. And maybe they will. But never completely. They’ll cling to infamy and notoriety like it’s a proper career.
And it’s sad.
Not sad in the way people who still say “Whassssuuuup?” are sad. Like, actually sad.
A personal struggle for me over the course of the past ten or so years has been the popularization of reality television and famous-for-nothing celebutaints. And I’ve been unable to really divine why these people make me quite so angry. I mean, they’re completely irritating and obnoxious, and it’s totally normal to want to stab them with thumbtacks and throw farm implements at them. But I really loathe these people. The hatred is personal and fraught with malice. And I think I know why.
It’s because of all the sad.
Over time, the idea of talent and the notion of interesting have given way in the face of fame. “Unique” is only appreciated when it means “richer” or “more popular.” Having any sort of personality is shunned for low pandering. People admire the awful and tasteless because of this vague sense that they are in some way entertaining.
Essentially, the entertainment landscape has become high school.
This is not new, but it seems so much more vivid in this era of 24-hour “headline” news, paparazzi and tabloid prevalence.
I want to stop hating and start ignoring, but, much like in high school, the hate has become a fuel. I am fascinated by the goings on of awful people because if I have more reasons to hate, it makes me feel better. I want it to stop, and, yet, my life force has become driven by this intense rage towards these terrible festersores.
They are my cause. They are my Tibet. My ozone layer.
And that’s sad, too.