A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

When Nice Things Happen To Fallen Celebrities

We must face the fact that we live in a culture that thrives on failure. We, as a consumer of the mass media, like to see people succeed, but somehow we like to see them fall and fail even more. My theory is that such failure reinforces the misery that we all feel in our lives. We think, “Hey, why should they be idolized? They should be miserable like the rest of us.” Then, when the fall happens, we rejoice in that they are no better than we mere mortals are. Perhaps a collective inferiority complex is at play here, but I suspect it is much more complicated than a pat psychological diagnosis.

People have decried that all this negative energy is destructive to our society. I know I’m guilty of doing this as well as the next person, although many times I will shrug my shoulders in apathy at all the latest news that someone believes we should hear about Britney or Paris or Lindsay. With this in mind, we should note some positive news about the celebrities victimized by the media.

First, it was nice to see Amy Winehouse win a Grammy recently for her work. It seems like she has generated more news copy about her addictions than about her talent. There may have been a sympathy factor working in her favor when the votes were counted, but this shouldn’t matter. What does matter is that she gets the help she needs to lead a normal life. This is quite a challenge, given the bohemian attitude that seems to go hand-in-hand with any art form. Personally, I wish her all the luck in the world with her rehab efforts.

We have not heard anything negative about Britney Spears lately, and I think this is a good thing. It could mean that she is out of the public eye and getting help for her personal problems. The turnaround came a few weeks ago when her family fired her manager, Sam Lufti. At that time stories came out that the manager had a Svengali type hold over her life. It was also stated that he controlled the paparazzi, which would be quite a feat if it were true.

I don’t think such a thing as controlling the paparazzi was possible. I mean, isn’t this a bit like draining a swamp while you’re hip deep in alligators? I’ve wondered how he could do it. Did he act like Steve Rubell at Studio 54 years ago, and just granted access to certain photographers? I can see it playing out like this, “You, Daily Mirror, come forward, and you, National Enquirer, over here. You, New York Post, no photos for you! Go to the back of the line!”

Well, even Britney is catching a break this week. Producer Mike Nichols has ordered that all Britney related lyrics in “Diva’s Lament” from the currently running Broadway hit Spamalot be changed, since she is having so many problems right now. Lyricist Eric Idle has complied and shifted the focus of the offending stanza to Posh Spice, who apparently is living a good, clean, non-controversial life at the moment.

Oops, when I mentioned we hadn’t heard anything about Britney, I spoke too soon. Now there is word that she has appealed to Governor Schwartzenegger because her civil rights are being violated. Mr. Nichols, perhaps you had better change the lyrics back. Our favorite paparazzi whipping girl is acting all bizarre again. I swear, you try to give some people a break and this is how they repay you!


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