Celebrity addictions may end tragically

Bob Taylor

I really thought the public’s disgusting fascination with the train wrecks that have become many youthful celebrities would eventually begin to subside, with the focus instead turning back onto what work these celebrities put forth and not about whether they were wearing underwear or not.

Silly me.

It’s gotten worse. It’s gotten blogged. And now it’s got several reality shows devoted to it on Bravo, E!, and VH1. And the sad part is that this insane trend has yet to peak.

This fascination with celebrities not doing anything of value except making fools of themselves can be traced back to the premier of “The Simple Life,” now thankfully canceled after having less than a million viewers per episode in its final season. Here were two (allegedly) stupid rich girls who spent half an hour doing stupid things and getting rewarded by being given a TV show.

Whether dear Paris and Nicole were initially in on the joke that were laughing at them, not with them, is still up in the air (I’m thinking they didn’t), but since then celebrities have answered our pleas for more stupidity in kind.

They act dumb. We respond by giving them all the attention they want, despite the fact that they may not be talented in anything at all. Perhaps more than they need.

These people have become our role models.

Then the drugs and alcohol come in. The car accidents and trips to the bathroom without shoes. And let’s not forget about the trendy trips to rehab or jail.

Celebrity culture has their drugs, and we have ours, and now neither of us can stop until the other does.

Meanwhile, since we are getting so much of these supposed stars on our computer screens, why would we need to see them on the big screen? Lindsey Lohan used to be an amazing actress, but her work in Georgia Rule and I Know Who Killed Me was met with tepid box office receipts and even more tepid attempts at trying to act. And don’t even ask me about Paris, Nicole and company’s careers, because as far as I can see, none of them have one.

But does that matter? They are “celebrities” now, not “actors” or “singers.” We’ll keep blogging and drawing on random snapshots of celebrities shopping and not eating. Ever.

And in return for our attention, they will keep snorting and getting into that car drunk. It’s certainly not a healthy relationship, but it’s one that seems destined to end in one way.

Sooner rather than later one of these people we’ve loved watching as they perform for us and deteriorate before our eyes while we mock and laugh instead of trying to get him or her help is going to overdose. Or speed into oncoming traffic. Or hell, even commit suicide.

Will that be enough?

You know it’s going to happen. You are reading and watching and laughing. You’ve seen all the signs, bought all the magazines and got the T-shirt, and yet nothing is done except more laughs and jabs and nastiness.

We’ve invited it. We have begged for them to perform and do these horrible things and then repaid them with the attention, but I have to wonder if we will take the blame when one of those we “adore” finally implodes.

I guess then the joke will be on us.

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Robert Taylor at [email protected].