Brangelina is over the world mourns, well that is what it seems looking at online media. For two days we have had major headlines about the impending divorce of two Hollywood actors as though this is a world shattering event. After eleven years the world’s most famous portmanteau looks like it is coming to an end with, apparently, accusations of drug use, alcohol abuse, and an affair. So your average Hollywood split then.
I saw the headlines, shrugged and moved on to some actual news. What is it with the media these days? When did gossip become news? I know this involves a famous couple, but why does it interest anyone other than the concerned parties, their family, friends, and lawyer teams? Does it affect the quality of their films knowing details of their private lives? The whole world of celebrity is really bizarre. When, scanning through news reports, you come across a small headline informing you that so and so was seen on a beach in a bikini how many times have you really asked who? With programmes such as Celebrity Big Brother, I’m a Celebrity get me out of here, and countless other money spinners for the celebrity population are we in danger of diluting the very term celebrity. After all just what is a celebrity today, an actor, a pop star, a model, someone who is in the papers and on tv but nobody quite knows what it is they are famous for?
Alongside the celebrity we have the those that feed off of them, the celebrity magazines that churn out pages of useless tittle-tattle that wouldn’t be missed if they were to disappear tomorrow and don’t forget the source of that celebrity culture essential, the candid shot, that’s right folks let’s hear it for the front line troops of the celebrity world the Paparazzi. When you see photos in the press of some celeb having a quiet coffee and a smoke outside a cafe, or a usually glamorous actress struggling down the street carrying a bag of shopping devoid of makeup looking like an ordinary person, just stop and think of how that photo was taken, the stalking involved to get that perfect shot, the time spent lurking outside a property just waiting for the perfect photo. Just think how privacy can now be invaded thanks to the paps new toy, the drone. Here’s a thought just what would we call the paparazzi if Fellini hadn’t made La Dolce Vita? There is an entire industry feeding the public’s supposed desire for the latest celebrity gossip, think about that for a moment. Just how many people in the world spend their professional life creating unimportant disposable gossip for other people to read, consume, and throw away? Of course, if the celebrities didn’t employ PR teams to feed the bottom feeders then their lives would be a lot harder. Just why do these people feel the need to share every event in their lives with us? Do they do it to give us something to look at whilst waiting to see the doctor or dentist? Or do they do it because they need our adulation and worship to justify their existence?
This is an old clip but it sums up the world of celebrity culture quite nicely.