May 15

solange-knowles

Nothing makes me feel more broke and plebeian than viral celebrity news. When you’re stuck on the ground floor, or hell even the tenth floor, you are forced to drown in it. As a writer and Social Media resident I have to take it into my nose, swish it around a bit and let it marinate before I can spit it out. We worship celebrities and for someone that can’t help but be a cynic it all looks like we’re a bunch of broke people gossiping to me.

One of the newer hooks in celebrity gossip is the memes that were born from the dregs of the nerd ghetto. Memes were once a treasured secret of spaces such as 4chan and Reddit, but now everybody with a computer is snatching up photos of celebrities and typing ugly, pixelated font quotes all over them to garner laughter. And they ARE funny… at least half of them, and they also serve to inform us that something is going on. Try and avoid the popular “news” stream if you wish but you had better strike Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter off of your list or you WILL eventually come across that Photoshop of Solange Knowles as Chun-Li, or Jameis Winston as a crab, or Donald Sterling well… just looking stupid with that money-drunk, not-much-going-on-upstairs, look on his face.

donald-sterlingViral news finds you and it reminds me of Battle Angel Alita, or Astro Boy, or the movie Elysium (super common Sci-Fi trope incoming) where all of the dirty, poor, no-nothings live on the Earth where all of the resources are drying up, and the healthcare is shit, and all they can do is prey upon one another. But up in the sky is a station where the people are pretty, live extra-long lives, have healing machines—and interesting lives, and the no-nothings with their brown buildings just stare up at the sky with their mouths open hoping for some of that goodness to fall down to them. This is what celebrity gossip seems like to me, it makes me realize that we the people are thirsty as hell for distractions.

We blame the media, we blame the government, and we blame our “dumb friends” for not talking about “da real issues” but are we jabbing our fingers in the right direction for this stuff? Let’s analyze humanity and history, and the fact that celebrity gossip is about as new as prostitution. Marie Antoinette was a huge target of gossip back in her day and where do you think all of the unconfirmed suppositions regarding one Julius Caesar came from? Twitter may be new (well not that new) but trying to make rich people look crazy, and weird to normalize our mundane existences is old school. WE are the problem.

So the next time you feel inclined to spread the gossip on your news feed, or angrily put down the rest of the “idiots” that are doing it, just think about it for a second. Celebrities are our modern day royalty, yes they very much are, and we are acting very much like serfs. I don’t want to be a serf, do you?

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