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Friday, July 22, 2011

On Justin Bieber, On Celebrity: My Ranting Non-Rant

Look, I have nothing against Justin Bieber (am I even spelling that right?). I know my previous post paints a more damning picture of my stance. Really though, he seems harmless enough, innocuous certainly. I don’t care if people buy all his albums and go to his concerts. I’m not even going to judge them for spending seven hours in line at the mall. The tents, ok, yeah. I’m judging that, but ultimately it’s their time, their money, their prerogative. I have my hobbies too. I write novels for fun. Most people think that’s an infinitely bigger waste of time. I won’t argue. Of course, having said all that, I also can’t recite a single line from one of his songs, save the “bay-bay, bay-bay, ohhhhhh” line my four-year-old son taught me.

My problem isn’t Bieber and his music that doesn’t appeal to my tastes (more of an alternative rock girl, myself). It’s Bieber as a symbol, at the very least, a symptom of a much bigger issue that plagues our society: celebrity obsession. People get physically injured trying to see him. Not to justify riots or violence, but at least make it over revolution for massive injustice. And no, little Amber butting in front to get the last ticket doesn’t count.

Regular slobs like us get married, have children, get divorced, spend money we shouldn’t, buy houses, get re-married, have more children, have children with people we shouldn’t, color our hair, wear terrible outfits. We even attend things. So why do we fund entire industries to broadcast when famous people do it? What have they really done to earn our worship?

I’ve seen two headlines from reputable news sources over the last three days encouraging me to click on a link to learn the sex of a baby born to a famous person. Famous people have babies. Who knew? But it’s there because we click. And then we fill the comment section below with our unsolicited opinions of mis-information that eventually escalates out of control until we attack each other over some completely unrelated subject. Because why, exactly? Are David and Victoria Beckham ravenously devouring our posts to get parenting advice from HipHop743? I’m sure they’re bummed CaliGirl^ doesn’t like they name they chose and thinks it “sucks.”

I love movies. I love music.  I love television. I love sports. I just don’t like watching my peers devalue their own stories by bowing before the throne of people who haven’t earned their admiration. Half of us could be just as beautiful if we had the crew and money and time to devote to the effort. Half of us could prove just as talented, given the chance. We all have unique stories, and just because less people know the details, doesn’t make them less deserving of our time and attention.

Real heroes give. They serve. They don’t ask for the honor. They don’t make a fortune from it.

We can enjoy talent without worshipping the talented. For the love of all things sane, no more stampedes.

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