Maybe things are always the way that they’ve been this year. But something about 2014, something about the events that have transpired over the past however many months, have just felt more vivid than usual. Maybe it’s the proliferation of social media. Maybe we’re becoming more and more aware of what happens and who it affects and how, or maybe nothing is new, it just feels more concentrated. Either way, I think Fiona Apple said it best.
And that’s why I write about celebrity gossip. Because sometimes an escape is so, so desperately needed.
While it’s lessened over time as everyone grows more and more used to the fact that celebrity coverage (and, by association, me) has destroyed the website you used to love, I can generally count on at least one comment like this every month or so: who cares? Who cares when there’s so much more important stuff to cover?
That “stuff” is exactly why we care about the frivolous, the fluff. It’s a break. A way to put your brain on sleep for a few minutes before going back to the terrible. And of course sometimes it’s more than that, and even more of course, the two worlds way too often overlap. But, on a regular basis, the world of celebrity gossip can provide a calming, dependable cushion of nonsense to help absorb some of the unavoidable punches that never seem to stop.
And I know that there is a privilege to being able to turn it off, to be allowed the coping mechanism of at least trying to ignore the world for a little while. I also know that without it, I don’t know how I could go on. How could anyone? In a world where victims are so joyously mocked and harassed, where women are constantly threatened or worse, where people of color are vilified for fighting for any semblance of equality in a world so hellbent on keeping them silently oppressed. The unspeakable ugliness in so many people has been proudly, emphatically blasted and I don’t know how to deal with it. There’s so much I want to say but don’t know how to say, even when it’s my own story, because it’s all too much. And this Rolling Stone UVA thing? Seeing the response to and subsequent doxxing of Jackie, to the people who’ve defended her or just offer her the minor service of believing her story, it’s all too much. It’s all too much.
That’s why I write about celebrity gossip. Because I’m too fucking weak to keep talking about the stuff that matters.