I think we all know that moment.
When flipping/scrolling through a news site and the headlines read: “Ebola in America! Is it Coming to Your Town? Of course it is!!!!”; “ISIS takes 40 more Cities!”; and “UK Prime Minister to Give a Really Boring Speech at G4 Summit: And You’d Better Pay Attention,” it seems like we get bogged down by latest breaking news stories about events that are going to significantly impact the course of our history today.
But then we find that other part of the news site. Where the headlines involve Britney Spears, Grumpy Cat, and the current season of what’s going on in America’s #1 t.v. show.
Yup, that’s right- the entertainment section.
That “moment” I’m referring to? Well, it’s the moment when you’re so sensory-overloaded with “serious” news that, when you see something like this.
And you think to yourself: “What is life?”
Where in our 21st century society do we factor in the importance of celebrity culture and the impact of Kim Kardashian’s antics? I mean, we are the result of millions of years of human progression – we are the products of the discovery of penicillin, auto motives, hospitals, air conditioning! We have separated a space craft from a comet, come closer than ever to curing cancer, almost have a generally accepted explanation for String Theory… and we’re still concerned with the Duggar family’s newest member due?
Is this wrong?
I would argue probably not.
I mean, “celebrity” culture isn’t new to the human race. Look at the British romanticization of King Arthur, Homer’s The Odyssey, Alexander the Great, the Cult of Dionysus. The only difference is that Taylor Swift is an actual person and not the stuff of legend. We can definitively prove Taylor Swift exists, not so much for the others. So are we really that much better than the stuff of the English Romance or the Epic poem?
But then again, how fun would history be if we just read strict historical accounts of what happened without having any historical fiction or epic poetry. How fun is the local news without that sweet piece about the bulldog that can skateboard.
It reminds me of that scene in “Morning Glory” where Rachel McAdams accuses Harrison Ford of broadcasting news that is all “fiber” without “sugar”.
Maybe the sugar just sweetens the fiber.