You may know who I’m referring to, as you read further and make it to the end without my spelling it out, because:
We’re in this environment now, where—unless we refuse common access points to the world and its communities’ daily events—we may observe the messy personal affairs of those whom we do not personally know.
Follow them or not, few of us are immune to the latest celebrity gossip. But “gossip”, and its spinoff celebrity news, is almost a dated concept, isn’t it?
Instead of buying ‘gossip rags’ as the grocery checkout, or reading gossip columns line per se, today we are technologically privy to publicized communications that take place amongst celebrity circles. Those who are famous no doubt go viral with their day-to-day events, good and bad: which, by the way, could sometimes be fed into our media reality and not actually occurring in a celeb’s actual reality. We should always be aware of that possibility as bystanding consumers of such widely disseminated personal ‘information’.
The phenomenon is not all that different from hyper-local mudslinging, but is on a grander scale of great media influence . . . which could mean that when buried in their own kind of dirty laundry, instead of viewing the great other as an option under similar circumstances, people at large are experiencing a dwindling sense of any ‘great other’ scenarios. Watching familiar personal behaviors play out in the public eye—from celebrity sources—seems to ensure that is no place of escape for those who, under previously-normal circumstances, would look outside their smaller worlds to seek something different.
The idea of starting over when things go bad has irrevocably changed in the modern technological landscape. Where before we might simply pack up and move, start life anew, today that freedom is gone. We may still relocate, but the idea of packing old events into a trunk in symbolic escape, burning up old pictures forever (and the memories with them) is gone.
Bearing witness to those under the expanded scrutiny of fame and social media, it’s evident of late that while we may leave, try new things, we still may not escape the fallout that often occurs after a split. Neither income nor distracting occupation will free us from the memories of an old world. Even financially privileged celebrities yet undergo the public processing of their dirty laundry, which may include being dangled as bed-prize for sparring community members. That would be humiliating for most of us.
*Update 06/03/2022: When I first wrote this observational piece, the specific instance of celebrity communications I referred to in the last paragraph was fairly obvious (when Pete Davidson publicized via proxy that he was “in bed” with Kim (K), etc.). Since then, there have, of course, been at least a few more incidents or events between celebs that may have come to mind while reading this [guilty] vague post.
At the time, though, I thought wow, isn’t that just a typical move you’d hear about and could possibly experience and how awful that could be for a ‘normal’ person in their community, to undergo that kind public offering.
Since then, of course it’s become clear (and really, I should have known based upon other facts) that Kim probably never gave it a second thought. So much information.
Still, though, I experience some concern, for we all live under the same, influential media umbrella again today in a way I though we never would when we stopped watching the same programming every night in front of television broadcasts. But here we are today, sharing the worst aspects of our experiences in very different ways than people did 40 years ago.