The Vicious Circle of Trash Media

Poor Justin Bieber.

Let’s see, he was caught drag racing in Florida, while under the influence. He was deported back to Canada, where he was charged for something else, and blah blah who cares about some rich celebrity brat getting what was coming to him.

Well, it seems a lot of people, like CNN, who apparently cut into an interview about something that actually affects people to tell the audience about the latest troubles with the Biebes.

Maybe that’s the problem right there.

Once upon a time, people became celebrities because they were in movies, on TV, or a musician. These days, all you have to do is post a video on YouTube, or shed any dignity you have to appear on some reality TV show where you eat bugs, treat a potential mate like trash, or just do something stupid in general.

A perfect example of this is Entertainment Tonight. When I was a kid, and ET was first shown on Canadian channels, it was about movies, music and TV. It actually informed people who liked that kind of stuff of up-coming entertainment. If memory serves, it was almost like a news broadcast! Top stories at the beginning, followed by whatever stories were deemed popular or hot. An interview with the star of a big blockbuster, they had it. Popular music star coming out with a new album, they had it. Guest stars on your favourite TV series, they had it. Entertainment Tonight actually informed people who liked entertainment!

Today, Entertainment Tonight, and others if its now lowly ilk, especially eTalk, are more about gossip and frivolous crap. Occasionally, something interesting will be shown, but otherwise, it’s feeding it fan base what they want; crap. Wasteful, gossipy, trashy crap.

But you realize, they wouldn’t be doing it if rating were low. Nope, this is what their audience wants! They want to know what Lady Gaga said or did or wore or didn’t wear. They have to know what Twitter war is going on between Madonna and whoever. The want to hear the latest legal trouble that is being heaped upon poor Justin Bieber.

If this kind of thing sound familiar, it’s because this kind of trashy info-tainment has been around her years. Back then, it was called “tabloids”. You know the papers at the check-out stand. They talk about the same kind of things. Who’s having whose baby, who is losing/gaining weight, who is having an affair, etc etc.

Back in the day, tabloids were considered trashy. People mocked those that read them, comparing them to low-income, trailer-park trash, or people who loved hearing tawdry things about others. Now those people don’t have to leave their homes to learn what celebrity did what, because it comes right into their own home!

Oh hey look, there’s that word, “celebrity”. For this blog, it will come to mean two different things, sorta.

The first type of celebrities are the ones who are famous for what they do, like I stated before. They are movie stars, musicians, TV stars, people we see and like what they do to entertain us. The good celebrities are the ones tat don’t believe their own hype. They may be successful, throw their money around (for good or ill), but they usually keep their private life private, as it should be. They are also the types of celebrities that avoid becoming the second type of celebrity.

The second type of celebrities, which seem to be growing in numbers, can be broken down into two sub-categories. The first category consists of people who were the first type, but slipped down to become the second type. Lindsey Lohan, Brittney Spears, Tara Reid, and apparently Justin Bieber are good examples of these. They had (maybe still have) talent that made them successful, but somewhere along the way, they tossed away credibility and success to become fodder for TMZ and eTalk.

The second sub-category are people who are famous because they don’t mind making fools of themselves (Honey Boo Boo), have no serviceable skills (people on reality TV game shows), and have a desire to become famous for famous-sake (Paris Hilton). It can also be a mix any or all of those things as well.

Why is this second type of celebrity seemingly becoming more popular? Why all the trash entertainment shows?

If you are looking for someone to blame, just look at the people around you.

Like I said before, these shows wouldn’t exist if people weren’t watching.

Is it like when we pass an accident on the side of the road? It’s a terrible thing, yet we have to look. Is that what’s behind the audience of these shows? They want to see other people’s lives falling apart? Maybe they want to see that supposedly perfect, famous people are just as susceptible to ordinary crap as everyone else. The only difference is that cameras follow the famous people around.

Granted, most celebrities would rather not have every part of their lives in the spotlight. These would be the first type of celebrities. The second type of celebrities, to them, any publicity  is good publicity, even if it shows them chewing out some guy in a bar (Shia LeBeouf). These days, in a world where everyone has a smartphone with a video recorder, eventually everything they do ends up somewhere. Unless, of course, they kept their heads out of their asses.

Maybe it’s the celebrities fault as well. It seems to be mostly new or younger celebs that screw themselves over for an audience. They get used to the fame and crave it. But when it starts to fade, they do whatever they can to keep hold of it.

Maybe some of them are just tools. Maybe they can’t handle the wealth and fame they suddenly have and screw up their lives, like any of us would. But for them, there is always a camera around the corner.

It seems like a vicious circle to me. The audience wants gossipy crap on their favourite celebrities, so they watch gossipy shows. The gossipy shows seek out celebrities who are on hard times, and over-expose them for their audience. Meanwhile the celebrities, especially if they are talentless ones (see “reality TV”), will take any exposure, so long as their fame keeps bringing int cash. This feeds the audience, who want more gossipy crap. And so on, and so forth.

Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the good ol’ days, when entertainment was about entertainment, and not trash.



One thought on “The Vicious Circle of Trash Media”

  1. I couldn’t agree more! I loathe reality TV. It’s a steaming pile of dung… ALL of it. I no longer watch the entertainment shows for exactly the reasons you described. It’s not entertainment anymore; it’s trashy gossip. I want to know about new movies and how they made them. I couldn’t give a crap about who fought on set, or who is sleeping with whom, or who went on a bender. I do my best to avoid articles, shows, and radio programs that are merely gossip. It’s hard to find the real entertainment news anymore.

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