I started my blog a few months ago to pose a question: “What are the biggest pop culture stories and why do we care?”
I’m guilty of getting wrapped up in the latest celebrity feud, pregnancy, marriage just like anyone else, but it is amazing to me that we care.
Before the Internet age, a star had to have talent. They needed to sing, dance and act. They had to be beautiful. Movie studios like MGM spent millions to groom actresses like Ava Gardner and Joan Crawford. They were famous because they made millions for the studios and the audience could not take their eyes off them. They were from another world. Untouchable.
Today, celebrities are not stars. They are not known for being talented. They are simply gossip. The Kardashians are famous based on their antics. They push boundaries. They give birth on live TV and have over-the-top weddings that last 72 days.
So why do we care? In my opinion it is the preponderance of gossip web sites and the downfall of the newspaper gatekeepers. In the past, a journalist needed two or three sources before releasing a story. Now, a gossip site gets a tip and they print it. It is faster but is it better?
There is also a need to feed the gossip machine. Every day web sites need to be filled, 24 hour news stations need news stories and blogs need to be updated daily. This means people who are not necessarily famous or talented start to get press.
The reality show star is born. They are willing to feed the machine and as a result because of the amount of news they make, we being to care.
I yearn for the golden days of Hollywood where talent flowed. If you want to see real talent, check out Turner Classic Movies. Every day they show Fred Astaire dancing on air, Judy Garland singing like an angel and Cary Grant infusing class into every role he ever played.
See you Thursday!