Monday, January 14, 2008

For Your Consideration

Once again, the Baroness has an idea. A call to embark on an arduous journey. A long, slogging trip back to reality. Here goes:

Let’s, for a month (baby steps here), NOT read glossy entertainment magazines/gossip rags/nasty websites/scathing blogs. For they provide neither nurturing nor pertinent information in direct relevance to our lives.

Let’s not, for a month, watch entertainment shows. Let’s not, for a month, talk with glee and judgement about the secret screwed-up lives of celebrities. For these people put on their pants one leg at a time, just like us. Well, perhaps they have people to put the pants on their legs, but you get the drift. They’re not perfect – but are we? It takes great strength of character to be a role model to the masses, and just because we’ve hoisted these people up onto their pedestals doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the balance and the grace to stay put.

At this point I will admit that while you may (or may not) find this challenge difficult, this media fast will be especially grueling for the Baroness. You see, dear readers, as a pre-elementary school child, I was deposited each and every Friday afternoon at 1:00 pm at the reception area of the local beauty parlor whilst Mama had magical coiffing/architecture done to her hair . Did I learn to read via “Fun with Dick and Jane”? Hell, no. Those two infants were for amateurs. I honed my reading skills on “Photoplay” and “Movie Life”. As a 5 year old, I could probably have held my own in a conversation about the controversy swirling around Elizabeth Taylor and whichever husband she was currently on. Currently on? Oh, my. I mean, currently with. It was here, amidst the perm solution fumes and clouds of hairspray, that I developed the most amazing vocabulary. And insights. And probably environmentally-induced asthma.

I’ve tried reflecting on why I still find it necessary to read such dreck when I’ve also read wonderful, meaningful works that have literally changed my world view. I think it’s just as simple as it nostalgically amuses me. If you ask Duke 1 and 2 what attracts their mother’s attention, the first word they’ll utter is shiny. I’m like a magpie. So, maybe it’s the beautiful and shiny clothes, the perfectly coiffed hair. Who knows? What I know - what is key - is that I’m not using these people as the golden yardstick to measure my life against. I’m just conditioned to read about them. Those glossy, shiny covers draw me in every time, like a moth to the flame.

For a month, though, I’m willing to forgo my latent celebri-mania. Here’s what I suggest instead:

Let’s instead, for a month, see a movie just for seeing the movie – the intent of the director, the artistry of the cinematographer, the intelligence of the writer (when they were still writing), the beauty of the costume designer. Let’s sit in that darkened theater , reverential, and enjoy the vision put in front of us.

That shiny, shiny vision.


Anonymous said...

Well well,
I think you just crushed my world into a million little pieces.

1. I love celeb gossip. It's certainly a part of me and I won't give it up. Not because I can't but because I don't want to.

2. I actually really don't like going to the movies. Costs too much and I always have to pee like 4 times during the movie.

So my conclusion,
I like the world that I can put myself in to get away for the randomness of my life.
I feel the celebs pain, that's not something hard, however, I'm just not ready to give it up.
Down with giving up gossip!

Aust said...

Well I feel you are riding my coattails a bit. I gave up the world of perez and even gofugyourself prior to finals, thinking I waste enough time on myspace and facebook. I have yet to go back. I don't miss it. I doubt you will. At first you will, but eventually you realize that the "major" stories are still covered in every news source and people still gossip. So you won't be entirely out of the loop. Also go see Juno if you haven't already, it is hilarious, and cute.
Oh well if you need anything to read to replace the entertainment rags let me know, I can send you about a million case books. Think of it as a mail order JD without the JD part.

Lisa said...

I already gave up Perez because I find him really annoying and just too ... everywhere!!! It might be hard to give up the gossip for a month though, Baronness .... I'm travelling for work and what else is one supposed to read on all the planes, trains, automobiles and hotel rooms ..... BOOKS???!!! hahahaa. We'll see. I resisted the mag rack at the airport this morning in favor of a novel, but am gonna take it one day at a time. In the meantime, good luck! ... Babs Peapod

Anonymous said...

I don't read any of those and yet somehow still know what's going on. How can that be? Well, it's simple. The so-called serious local newspaper (big full size pages as opposed to tabloid) includes items in every section, including business, that feed our need to know about the shiny, pretty people. Even the NY Times features an article today about Gawker, a total gossip rag, and how it has "jumped the snark" and if you don't get that reference, then you can sit in a bemused fog with my dear one, whose Latino roots preclude any references to Happy Days. Hang in there, Baroness. It's not a real fast if you can still eat digestives...

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