Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Celebrity Worship

Right now it is the children of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, but you and I both know that in 15 minutes it will be some other celebrity romance, addiction or meltdown that will monopolize the attention of the US. We have become so obsessed with celebrities that we get gossip updates more often than Iraq war updates. In fact, we often think that they are more important.

A perfect example of this phenomenon is the morning "news" programs. There is less news than ever on the program and even more gossip. Today, on NBC, is a perfect example. Now lasting four hours, it is loaded with the latest celebrity news, scandalous behavior, human interest stories and concerts. You can get a few minutes of news once each hour.

Although I believe this celebrity fascination to be a generally bad thing, I am coming to believe that it could be a good sign. People crave the latest news and gossip about scandal for several reasons.
  • We secretly desire to be famous ourselves and are looking for pointers.
  • We are always on the lookout for ways in which we are better than famous people.
  • We truly believe that celebrities are better than us and this is our way of venerating them.
  • It is easier to pay attention to celebrities than to deal with the real news.
  • This news is always out there, so we might as well pay attention.

But I think there is one more reason. There is one thing that causes me hope for humanity, and American culture in particular. This pre-occupation with celebrities and gossip is a sign of the human need for worship. Did you catch that? People want to worship someone/ something bigger and greater than themselves.

Hollywood fascination is a sign that people have not forgotten the need to worship, to venerate the "other." Now, we need to get the focus back on God, where it belongs.

1 comment:

THAT GIRL said...

Okay. I get it.
I'll stop subscribing to Perezhilton.com.
I promise.
Maybe.