Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why do people care?

I’m usually pretty good at comprehending vanity license plates. I’ve made a bit of a career out of it. However, I came across one today that has left me befuddled and I hated being fuddled. It read DEBRED. Now I have two possible thoughts behind what this might mean. The first is that person is looking at evolution from the other way around. There are a number of people that I wish I could debreed and improve the gene pool. So maybe the driver just wants to get rid of people whose existence essentially just wastes everyone else’s oxygen. Or, maybe the driver just really hates carbs and wants to ban bread. I’m really not sure. Any thoughts on this one?

I guess I’ll write about the big news story of the day: the Miley Cyrus picture in Vanity Fair. Apparently our world is so perfect right now that this is the most important topic for people to consider because it is the only thing that has been on the news today. Trust me, I’m unemployed and watch a lot of tv. I have seen more of Miley Cyrus’ back today than I’ve ever really wanted to see.

Let’s start with the picture itself. I’d consider it harmless and vaguely artistic. True, it is a little daring to see a 15 year old in that type of picture but it is stylish enough that without any hoopla it would probably just go unnoticed. It definitely is not like the American Apparel ads that result in my feeling like a dirty old man for just walking by their store. (I give them props for a brilliant ad campaign bringing immense attention to a store that effectively sells plain colored t-shirts. However, I can’t bring myself to shop there because it does make me feel like I might be arrested in a raid.) The reason this hit the news is because Disney is in spin control trying to protect their most valuable brand. When your target audience is a nine year old girl you really can’t afford to anger their mom. Otherwise who is going to drive them to the mall?

You could probably go into the whole issue of the sexualization of women at younger and younger ages. Because that is what most of the uproar is about, the fact that she is being viewed as a sex object. Not that she isn’t wearing short skirts and bouncing up and down on her show. That’s the strange hypocrisy of this whole picture. She has probably shown more skin on the Disney channel or on stage. It’s just presented in a way that is slightly more wholesome. That still doesn’t change the whole jailbait scene that seems to exist in modern culture. It started with Britney Spears and the Olsen twins and has just gotten completely out of control. It’s really a rather scary concept and I’m not sure what it tells about our society.

That’s the real point of this whole issue to me. Why in the world do we care so much about a 15 year old girl? How can she become the focal point of a cultural firestorm? Read any of the gossip pages and I doubt that you’ll read much about anyone older than 22. It’s all about the young ingénues, barely old enough to do anything. Certainly not old enough to be acclaimed actresses or singers. They are just there, pretty bodies with vacant heads. There isn’t any meaning behind it. That’s what bothers me so much about all of this. The celebrity culture isn’t focused on good art or even mediocre art. It just cares about clear skin and good hair. To call it a bubble gum culture doesn’t do service to bubble gum. At least that has momentary flavor and can occasionally serve a useful purpose like fixing a leaky bicycle tire. This is just pure noise. Sound and fury signifying nothing.

1 comment:

Foodie said...

Have you read Lolita? I think we talked about this. Check it from the library and read it immediately. The nubile virgin is your goal in life as a man. You were designed that way. Don't fight it!