Choking on today’s pop culture

Julian Williamson

I was pondering recently, and I had an epiphany. Of all the things in this world that would do society a great service if they were wiped out entirely, it occurred to me most of those things can be classified within the same grouping: popular culture.

On this mental list, there are many people such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Madonna, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, and Ashlee Simpson. You may be wondering why I have such a loathing for the very existence of these women. The answer is simple: celebrity status should be earned through talent above the average individual. Not given to you by the media.

Can anyone explain to me why it is that these people are famous? Apparently, all it takes these days is money, a drug/alcohol problem, the inability to sing, a sex tape, or pictures that would make a gynecologist blush.

Also on the list are fashion trends. In my lifetime, we’ve gone from leg warmers, spandex pants and women wearing shoulder pads, to flannel shirts tied around the waist of jeans that people wore to tatters, then there was the trucker hats worn off-center, people spending upward of $100 on jeans with holes already in them, and purses that cost more than rent.

I’m a huge supporter of creativity and individuality, so quit being lemmings and find your own personality.

Lastly, for my ranting, I must touch upon those obscene, self-fellating, audacious displays of so much that is wrong in the world: award shows. Whether it be the Academy Awards, Grammys, Emmys, etc., there’s a multi-hour pre-show during which, we hear about what and who these pseudo-celebrities are wearing. As if it mattered to anyone anywhere.

After listening to Joan Rivers rant about nothing for what seems like an eternity, we (the TV audience) are treated to watching a bunch of multi-millionaires get a ‘well-deserved’ pat on the back for doing their job.

That’s completely absurd. The best recognition that the average American could hope to achieve at their place of business is having their name put on the employee of the month board.

We, and by “we,” I mean all of you, make these people celebrities by going to see their movies, buying their albums, watching their TV shows, and then we (you) get together and watch them get an award for making that movie, album, TV show.

Everyone deserves credit for a job well done but I’d say that the palace in Malibu, the fleet of exotic cars, access to all the hot spots around the world, a recognizable face/name, and enough money to buy your way out of any trouble is rewarding enough in itself.

Don’t unquestioningly follow everything you see in the world. Next time you find yourself following the herd, try to take a step back and ask why. History favors those who think freely far more than individuals who lack individuality.

 

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