I’m here for shrimp, cilantro, beer and a pineapple! Leave. Me. Alone.
I don’t judge people who are into gossip mags, or gossip columns or whatever, I really don’t. We all have our things. I just really, really hate them, so I don’t understand how anyone can like them. It’s not that I don’t care if Angelina and Brad are fighting [again?] or that Bennifer is now comprised of a different Jennifer (did anyone actually call that shit out to the tabloids?)…
….it’s just that I DON’T CARE.
I don’t care at all. I don’t care if Nina and Ian are dating or broke up or are friends again or are fighting over custody of their adopted rescue ex-racing horse [made that up!]. I just want good storytelling in Vampire Diaries! I don’t care if this celebrity has SHOCKING cellulite that all female homo sapiens get when they turn 22 (at maximum) or if that celebrity did or didn’t get plastic surgery because your stupid profit-greedy magazines forced image to be at the forefront of perceived desirability. I don’t need to see Jennifer Lawrence in a paparazzi bathing suit photo. If Jennifer Lawrence wants to pose in a bikini and get paid for it, I’m willing to bet that she actually will do just that and have her publicist/manager thing set the photoshoot/interview up with Vogue or Sports Illustrated or whoever (um, Esquire, apparently). And I will read that article! Because Jennifer Lawrence is cool (despite her terrible taste in reality TV — Dance Moms? Really, Jennifer? <insert grumble and eye roll here>)!
So if I hate gossip mags/columns/paparazzi so much, then what the heck do I care about?
I care about seeing beautiful photos of Tom Hiddleston. Or Brad Pitt. Or even Keanu Reeves (omg do you remember when him and Brad Pitt and Kirk Cameron were like the “old guys” of Bop and BB magazine?). That’s why I used to buy teeny bop magazines with my allowance when I was 10 years old. To get their glossy photos of Jonathan Jackson to tape to my bedroom closet doors! Certainly not because I read the articles!
I care about quality writing and meaningful interviews that reveal interesting tidbits about the person whose work I admire. Partly because I like learning new things about people and partly because I know someone who has the same degree as me just got paid for that byline.
And that brings me to my bigger pet peeve — Why are we subsidizing this terrible behavior of “catching celebrities” in daily life? Why are we not rewarding the people who–like us–have worked really effing hard to get their difficult-to-get jobs in a difficult-to-live city where they utilize their people person skills, their knack for finding and telling a story, and their grammatical prowess? Isn’t the world of Cosmo, Vogue, Seventeen, Nylon, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Out more interesting than Us Weekly, OK!, and Entertainment Weekly?
In a world of continual crappy content and frivolous buzzfeed quizzes, I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. I am still surprised that people sustain gossip magazines. It makes me want to shake people and say, “Why are you giving your money to yellow journalism?!!!!” But maybe we’ve passed the point of anyone giving a shit about yellow journalism? The internet brought absolute true freedom of speech, sure, and then the piranhas figured out how to profit off of it and now it’s as tainted as anything else that relies on capitalism for survival.
It truly is depressing.
So, I hate gossip magazines. I hate the degradation of writing skills, storytelling skills, grammatical skills, headline writing skills, even attempt of wit skills that they represent. I hate the ruthless judgement of human beings that they dole out. I hate the invasion of privacy that they set as a precedent for portraying reality. I hate the advertisement agencies’ portrayal of beauty that they perpetrate as being correct and attainable. I hate how they’ve embraced a complete lack of research and utter sense of guessing as “breaking news” and sold a culture around that. It seeps into daily life. It seeps into our news. It seeps into our reality. What are Fox News and MSNBC? They’re stupid gossip magazines in TV news form. Stop, just stop! When did “just the facts, ma’am” become an out of fashion thing? <slams fist on desk> No! I just want the bloody facts.
I’m not saying journalism is dead. I’m not saying entertainment news is irrelevant. I’m saying the state of things is depressing.
And I know you’re thinking, “Um, FYI Sherlock, you’re writing this blog post on an Entertainment blog site, so maybe think before you type, or look like a fool, you fool.” But this is an Entertainment blog, NOT a gossip blog. No one here is ‘chasing’ after any stories about celebrities that wouldn’t be published either as Event News (e.g. Divergent had a screening in San Francisco; here are photos and our reporter’s experience) or as trivial blog-style Opinion Editorials that have no factual substantiation nor claim to have them, and are merely our opinion (e.g. Sam Heughan seems to have a receding hairline, which makes some people sad [not me because I find bald men with good bone structure super hot! Hiddleston, when you’re thinking to call Mark Clattenburg and Wayne Rooney about who did their hair implants, just call me instead because I want you for you and not your luscious curls]). Gossip mags just lie to you. I mean, I have known people who worked for them, and part of their job is to invent stories based on a photo some pappz person sent them. Creative, deadline-driven storytelling? Sure. Honest reality of a celebrity? NO.
Remember how TN contributors go act as reporters at events? You know, like actual news sites do. I don’t even have to source this photo because one of our people took it while they were there interviewing her.
So, I challenge everyone to go 1 week without reading any gossip sites or magazines (best you can — I know they are literally screaming at you when you go to buy food so that you can eat and not die). Only read real articles about celebrities you love; articles that they agreed to participate in and that a reporter went to, conducted an interview, spent time doing actual research, and then wrote and proofread and edited their article and had other editors review and edit and fact check. And then it went to print. Only look at photos that the celebrities you love agreed to participate in. That they said, “Yes! Do my makeup like that. I will definitely wear this couture dress that I would never wear but will be fun to wear in this photoshoot.” Watch the talk shows that interview your favorite celebrity so you can learn silly fun facts about them.
Celebrate the celebrities you care about by reading and watching what they choose to put out into the world. Or, just don’t have any celebrity celebration at all and choose to celebrate your own life and your own time to enjoy other activities. If you absolutely NEED it, then invent your own gossip and email it to us. We will post it as A Collection of Lies Invented by People the week after. It will probably resemble the gossip magazine’s headlines! Because that’s what they do. They just make things up.
So, what about you? Do you hate gossip mags or are they your secret stash? Am I missing something about gossip mags and sites that would change my opinion?