I recently had a friend visit, and when he left, I noticed two Hollywood magazines he'd left behind. For fun, I started flipping through them. There were actually times I laughed out loud. The best part is that after 10 years of not watching television, I only knew about 10% of the celebrities. Celebrities and their lives for all to see are simply ongoing parables or often a paradox for our viewing pleasure.
It is through their lives that we live, we watch, compare, admire even grieve. At first I thought this was completely shallow—Hollywood stars as are our role models? Role models that probably have the highest divorce rates. Role models that suffer addictions, depression, insecurities and suicides. Then it occurred, they are just like each and everyone of us. Except their story may have a little twist, just to keep it real, keep us engaged. The only difference is their entire existence takes place in a fishbowl. As a very private person, I could not imagine this; jail comes to mind.
What I find fascinating is how we mourn celebrity deaths. We react to their death as if they were members of our own family. Why? It's not because we 'know' them, we haven't even met them. We do it because the 'news' tells us to. We do it because we buy into the drama created by media. We watch all the gory details of their life, or death, repeatedly. Day after day, revealing just a little more about them, their family, their past, their issues. A surreptitious invitation to any and all to come out and spin a dark and dirty tale. They keep us engaged, long enough to dig up or even precipitate a scandal. And this will keep the masses going until Hollywood loses another.
There are over 150,000 people that die in the world each day. Potentially 150,000 mothers mourn their children everyday. Yet we mourn a celebrity's death for days, months and even years. We will travel great distances, cry tears of sadness, bring flowers and candles, create monuments; all of this, we do for someone we don’t even ‘really’ know. Is their life any more significant than anyone else's? Of course not, everyone's got a story.
It's like we have built some false relationship with celebrities. Like they are part of our reality, our daily lives. I have to laugh because my sister often talks about Ellen Degeneres likes she's her best friend. She only ever refers to her as Ellen, not Ellen Degeneres. It's like she takes advice from her, is inspired by her, like she holds a special place in her heart like a friend would. Of course I am thrilled she chose such a beautiful soul as Ellen's to call her friend. Ellen is authentic, a suffragette really. When you watch Ellen you are guaranteed to smile. She just makes you feel good. Her content is inspiring, funny, and it opens your heart. She is spontaneous and and probably one of the most unrehearsed talk show hosts on television. She's not afraid to ask the hard questions, and reaches out to so many people. What a feeling it must be to know how many hearts you touch each and everyday, it is a lot of responsibility and a great opportunity—a gift. Thank you. I too am grateful for other celebrity role models such as Jim Carrey, Russell Brand, and Keanu Reeves, who contribute so passionately in service to collective consciousness. That is keeping real. And we all know how hard that can be.
Insert opinion here. A news broadcasting agency should be sanctioned in terms of gossip vs. news. It is important to report the death of a celebrity, absolutely, but that should be the end of it. Any more is simply gossip, and we have plenty of magazines for that. It’s all about the ratings, and according to the demand for 'celeb & gossip mags,' the public prefers to be entertained as opposed to informed. But then again, that is the way we have been trained.
Just sayin, people. Let's know the difference, be the difference.