Good Gossip/Bad Gossip: It’s All About Context, StupidI’m not ashamed to admit that I love celebrity gossip as much as the next American slack jaw. I was raised on tabloid news (thanks, Maw), and can remember devouring the weekly issues of The Enquirer, Star, and People, among others, before I even entered first grade. Celebrities crave publicity, good or bad, which is all too evident by increasingly outrageous behaviors among the current flood of household names and wannabe household names (who, without controversy, would not even be known outside their hometown trailer parks or low-income projects). I'm all too happy to indulge them their idiocy.
As you may have surmised, this post will include many (many) parentheses. I’m just in that kind of mood.
(Mmm bop.) Okay, then. Celebrities + gossip = lifeblood.
If most folks don’t know your name -- at least heard of your name, regardless of how ignorant they may be to the significance of your name -- then you are not a celebrity. Example: I know the names Tara Reid, Sienna Miller, and Pete Dougherty, but I do not know what movies, television shows or music genres they practice their “craft.” I just know their names, mainly due to gossip rags gossiping and ragging and doing them a favor by giving them their fifteen or twenty minutes. I enjoy reading about the stupid things the aforementioned (and most other celebrities) do or say. I smile at the gross lack of common sense many celebrities possess, laugh at their bedazzling, laser-bleached smiles captured by the paparazzo’s lens as they “covertly” cuckold, or fall down drunk, or expose their grotesquely manicured private parts while sitting in their limousines, legs positioned to gynecological specifications…All hilarious, all silly, and all requisite behaviors important to the continued buoyancy of their usually undeserved fame.
In other words, I truly believe that most celebrities, especially small-timers who have contributed nothing of artistic merit, have an intelligence quotient closer to a rabbit’s pellet than to the actual rabbit. I base this conclusion on two words: Paris Hilton. Now that’s one dumb bunny pellet, if you ask me. Ms. Hilton is perhaps the dumbest pellet ever to be evacuated from a bunny’s ass in the history of lepus butt expulsions.
As my mentor, Forrest Gump, always says: Stupid is as stupid does. And stupidity should be exploited for all it’s worth.
Now, having said that I enjoy celebrity gossip, that does not mean that I enjoy all gossip. Couldn’t be further from the truth. While I get my kicks on celebrity Route 666, I hate -- HATE -- lip-flapping concerning folks I know personally (or even peripherally). When someone begins spouting juicy tidbits based on hearsay (or worse, information given in confidence) about real people, my hands immediately curl into little quivering balls. I do not wish to hear the intimate details of Mrs. Knackslacker’s sex life, do not need to know that Mary down the street once “strolled” Joseph Avenue, or that Mr. Brown (who happens to be the president of the neighborhood association) has a teenage son who smears his own excrement on his bedroom walls.
I believe that most human beings of the non-celebrity genome pool deserve the respect and dignity to live their lives in quiet, anonymous pain, just as I do. I believe that gossiping about your neighbor, or your neighbor’s step-daughter’s husband’s neighbor, is injurious not only to the gossipee, but to all individuals. When one gossips, one is displaying behaviors better suited to pre-teen chimpanzees, if chimpanzees could speak fluent English while snapping bubblegum and rolling their eyes a lot. Yes, we may be descended from apes, but surely we’ve evolved somewhat during the last couple million years, yeah? When we lean close and speak sotto voce of our neighbors/family and their unfortunate happenings, it cheapens man’s very existence; it minimizes our intellect, plants seeds of lurid titillation that only produce opiate crops of addictive, quasi-confidence boosting, mind-numbing spiritual apathy.
I never quite got the appeal, and so do not gossip. I don’t need to utter nasty things about others or divulge information given in confidence to boost my self-esteem, nor do I ever feel an urge to suck on the offered pipe, as it were. Yet…I can intellectualize the reasoning behind gossip, can understand why folks find it so intoxicating, and may have cupped my ear toward the buzzing stage whisper to my left, but only in instances of gossip pertaining to someone I care about. I will listen intently to the buzzing gnat, hone in on its position, then raise my quivering little fists and squash said gnat, no holds barred.
Which simply means that I will do one of the following, depending on how well I know and like the gossipee:
A) Stare glumly at the lip-flapper’s lips with the express intent of displaying my boredom
B) State my displeasure with lip-flapper’s flapping lips while staring (glumly) at their forehead
C) Call lip-flapper a fucking idiot while staring glumly at my quivering little fists
That doesn’t mean, however, that I haven’t bitched about another’s behavior to someone I trust. I have and do complain to trusted sources about someone’s vile, destructive, selfish behavior. Oh, you bet. Thing is, my trusted source isn’t the first to hear my complaints -- that would be the vile, destructive, selfish person himself. I much prefer to confront those who offend me, but if my confrontation proves fruitless, well then, off I go to my “bitching-board.”
Bitching boards are important for one’s mental health -- buzzing gnats, however, are not.
The moral of this rant should be obvious, and so will end it by saying only this:
Listen to your inner voice. If it buzzes, do me and everyone else a favor and squash the little bastard before it escapes your mouth, ‘cause believe me, if you don’t kill it, I most certainly will.
But, if you’ve got a lovely piece of gossip regarding, say, Ann Coulter’s true gender, then by all means, lay it on me, baby. Especially if you’ve got it on good source that he once posed for Blue Boy back in 1980, depicting acts of bondage and discipline. Please, just don’t show me the pictures, okay?