Today is my grandmother's 90th birthday! I went down to Walnut Creek with my family this morning to spend some time with her on her big day. Pretty amazing to think of everything she's witnessed and lived through since she was born in 1919.
So with those thoughts on my mind, I pull into work right before I got on the air at 1:00 this afternoon, and everyone in the workplace was abuzz. "Did you hear, did you hear?" I told them I hadn't heard, as I'd been with the fam all morning. "The Black Eyed Peas beat up Perez Hilton!" Hmmm, I say to myself. I don't really care, but it doesn't surprise me, as he certainly had it coming with all the hateful things he is constantly spewing out about people on his site. I stopped visiting his website long ago, because I don't care to support that type of person. Of course, the Peas themselves most likely weren't the culprits, but let's let everything sort itself out before we recklessly jump to conclusions. Then I read on the internet that Jon & Kate are getting divorced. Again, who cares?? I'm sorry, but as a young person plugged in to pop culture like I am, was I supposed to feel some sort of emotion when I read that? I don't know who they are, besides the fact that I have to see them on the cover of all those stupid magazines that are in my face when I'm trying to checkout at the grocery store. Other than that, they have no bearing on my life whatsoever. I am aware of the fact that they have a reality show, although I couldn't tell you what network it's on (and I'm pretty proud of that fact). I have no idea the backstory as to how they were picked to have their own reality show (someone is definitely exploiting those children, I'm just not sure if Jon & Kate or the producers are to blame, or possibly all of the above), but it has evidently cost them their marriage. The show is obviously ruining their lives, yet we as a culture are licking it up and begging for more. How is this a positive? What couple has ever done a reality show together and ended up better for it? Has pop culture always been this shallow and overall just bankrupt of any redeeming qualities? It's days like this when I question our adulation/consumption of all things celebrity and reality, and I do think they go hand in hand. Things that should be important, like the potential revolution happening right now in Iran which could quite possibly change the course of things big-time in the middle East, just don't seem to be prominent enough with us young folks. The youth over there are risking their lives demonstrating in the streets against their oppressive government, and here we seem to be more pre-occupied with the twists and turns of the relationship of some random couple with 8 kids that none of us has ever met. Sure, celeb watching/pop culture does have a time and place, yet I would argue it should be a fun distraction from our daily routine, but not become our daily routine in itself. Now I'm certainly not advocating that we mobilize against our government, haha, but it seems to me that more and more of the celeb/reality stuff is occupying more and more of our consciousness much more regularly. And that's not a good thing.
I'll be honest, I had a tough time on the radio today talking about the aforementioned stories, because I don't want to be fake and act like I care about all this stuff when I really couldn't care less, yet I know I need to mention them because a lot of you really do want to hear it. So because I refuse to elevate these things to "important" status in my life, I generally end up presenting them in a sarcastic or critical manner. Does this make me out of touch because I'm not hanging on every new revelation of Jon and Kate's failing relationship? I'm sorry, but I'm just not going to aid in fueling the short-lived media fire of this poor couple who's being chewed up and spit out by our horrible tabloid culture, which is all the while searching for its next train-wreck story to exploit in another month or two. And when you stop to think about the things that should hold true importance in our lives, like spending time with grandma on her 90th birthday, you realize just how inconsequential people like Jon & Kate really are in our lives. We can't continue to let the things which should be merely distractions to take the majority position in our lives.