My addictionFebruary 14, 2008 at 10:09 am | Posted in celebrity obsession, law school, the media | 1 Comment
A girl I go to law school with gave up Facebook for Lent. Interesting choice of addictions (though if she plays Scrabulous, I kind of understand it.) I was reading a post from another woman who gave up celebrity gossip for two weeks. She saw it as a moral crusade: she would not support the crazed paparazzi, nor the press who hound normal families such as that of Heath Ledger. (Her account of her abstinence, here, is funny.)
So I’ve been thinking about my own role in this. I mentioned at work the other day that I used to write for People magazine and people looked at me with shock, as in “how did a celebrity journalist end up in law school?” I couldn’t tell if they were horrified or secretly impressed (in this crowd, probably the former.) But I think there are many links between the law and “celebrity journalism.” (My ulimately abandoned Law Review note was going to discuss them; I’m sure it would have been brilliant.) Whether or not publications that have themselves begun to take a moral stance on buying pictures that put people in dangerous situations (e.g., speeding cars chasing Britney) — such as the UK gossip site Holy Moly — are truly honorable in their intentions, maybe I should rethink my own role in this somewhat. I regale people with tales of my days asking innane questions to celebrities on the red carpet in Hollywood, but in the moment, I also was embarassed and self-conscious when I had my tape recorder in their faces. We had a symbiotic relationship, those (mostly A-minus) celebs and I: I needed them to give me a good quotation that would please my editors and keep me employed; they needed to get in People. So we kind of smiled knowingly at each other and played the game. But that was almost seven years ago: after the death of Diana, but before the days of Britney-esque public melt-downs.
In the aforementioned post, the writer ultimately erases her bookmarked celebrity gossip sites. If only for the sake of productivity, I could start out small by doing the same (sorry Perez). But give up my Friday afternoon People and US Weekly (yes, I get both. But the US subscription is in Tim’s name!)? I can recycle and give up meat, but that might be going too far. For now.