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Fascination with and Idolization of Celebrities Dumbs America Down | Karemar

Fascination with and Idolization of Celebrities Dumbs America Down

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With the trials and tribulations of Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Nicole Ritchie and others finally Americans have taken notice of a far to engrossing and cult like fascination with celebrities. This pervasive feeling of friendship with the celebrity and the willingness to care what car they drive and clothes they wear focuses our intellectual energy onto something utterly insignificant.

CNN's Anderson Cooper, appeared ashamed of the Paris Hilton circus during her recent interview on Larry King Live, stating "Sadly, this is part of American culture." Other anchors have refused to report inane stories of celebrity mishaps and have chosen to focus on real news. Even Dana Gioia, during a commencement speech at Stanford, remarked on our National fixation with fame and its disastrous effects on American culture.

The Problem

America's national obsession with celebrities is an enormous problem as it induces deeper malaise and apathy in an already lazy nation. A British survey recently noted that celebrity watching in schoolchildren revealed that the children developed "celebrity attachments" that served as "pseudo-friends." This often times led children to be lonely and lack strong bonds with friends and family.

Though this study was done on schoolchildren, we see some of the same actions in adults who closely follow Britney and Bradgelina. Clearly, there is a portion of our population that is severely maladjusted and worships stars like Madonna and Michael Jackson. Where does this fanatical worship come from? Surely the fanatics are on the fringe, however their are millions of others who engage and study religiously celebrity discussions and gossip.

Our exponential eroding communities can be directly attributed to our fascination with celebrities among other things. This fascination leads us to connect to others to make sense of our lives. People often consider celebrities as their friends and would do things for them that they would not do for their real friends.

Critics often point to sports with men being similar. This point is not valid because sports are both for men and women to sustain physical activity. Many watch sports to see athletes do marvelous things that they could not achieve and try to emulate them at the local park. The ones that get caught up in the fascination and cult like following of the individual fall into the same category as the people listed above, because sports stars are celebrities as well.

The time spent and energy used on researching and meticulously following the lives of celebrities takes time away from our productivity in our own life and business. Besides entertainment, which is not necessarily a progressive medium, the fascination with celebrity lives will continue to erode our American culture.

Paris Hilton may have had some serious problems, however it will only enhance her appeal and fatten her purse. Americans just can't get enough of the drama.

Everyone from Tocqueville to Wim Wenders has commented upon the dangers of anomie in American life. Over the last half a century, patterns of suburbanization have intensified that sense of alienation and rootlessness. Since the 1970s, a growing disenchantment with politics has further loosened our links to community. Americans disfavor the political process because we feel that we have no effect on it, and we suspect that it's dominated by narrow, powerful forces that don't have our best interests at heart.

So we turn to celebrities because it's easy to follow, full of drama, and meaningless to our future. We are in trouble!

3 Comments

Celebrity fascination becoming obscured

The days of the silver screen are gone. Thanks to the Internet, we now know every ugly, stupid, boring, self-absorbed nuance of today's movie stars. We are starting to become aware that these chemically-imbalanced, attention-seeking, short people lead annoyingly troubled lives. Once they fall out of the spotlight, they have difficulty adjusting to the real world.

I'm glad to hear of (I don't watch any TV...ever) these programs that offer 'fame' to everyday people (e.g., American Idol). I'm glad YouTube and other media sources are putting the spotlight on homegrown movies, foreign flicks, etc.

I think its very unhealthy for people to think more about movie stars than they do about the real people in their lives or even their own life. The Internet has introduced many alternatives to idolizing - without a good reason - a select few.

Agreed

Unfortunately, the fascination and idolization with celebrities has not decreased since you posted this blog. The majority of the population would still rather watch the many entertainment news channels that show the same stories than watching something useful, such as CNN or MSNBC. I was one of these people who would watch E! News at 7:00 pm and then Access Hollywood at 7:30. I'm not sure where my fascination came from; it could have been that it was more interesting to watch than regular news programs. However, with my increased idolization, I was starting to feel worse about myself. I would watch stories on lavish gowns and diamond-encrusted shoes thinking “why can’t I get this?” Moreover, I would get upset at the fact that the majority of these celebrities who receive millions of dollars per film did not even attend college. Some of our most beloved celebrities are high school drop-outs (Johnny Depp, anyone?)

To top that, celebrities are receiving some of these expensive articles of clothing FOR FREE! Once celebrities hit the big-time and become A-list stars, they now get things for free: vacations, jewelry, clothing, etc. Ironically when they get millions of dollars, the amount of freebies increase. This behavior does not provide good values for Americans to follow. Americans see that being famous can get you nice things, and, nowadays, it seems that people do not have to work hard to become famous (especially when you look at celebrities such as Paris Hilton). As a result, Americans are becoming dissatisfied with their lives because their wealth does not match the celebrities seen on TV. More importantly, by watching these celebrities who seem to do nothing, the value of hard work is disintegrating too.

Well Said

This hits the nail completely on the head, everywhere u turn be it T.V, radio, or even your neighbor, theres always something to remind you of celebrities & thier damaged lifes. what is the fasination everyone has with them? Theres to much to handle now, Hollywood pulls in more damaged people gives them their own reality T.V show and you get another sore in the spot light with 1000 + zombies tuning in. Its getting worse...and whats even scaryer is that it looks like theres no end in sight.........

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