Celebrity and Sports Gossip

Copyfight / Lawrence Lessig

Another one of Mark Mason’s blogs… this time 12 Stupid Things People Care Way Too Much About. (a point of clarification, there all really good but this is the ones which really stood out for me)

On the list number 2 – Celebrity and Sports Gossip

These people directly affect your life in absolutely no way whatsoever. Your obsession and investment in them is worse than harmless entertainment, it is a way to live vicariously through the idealizations of who you wish you could be — if only you weren’t so afraid to get off the couch and actually do something. Yeah, there, I said it. Or as Lil’ Wayne once said, when asked if he was concerned that people may look to him on how to live: “If you need a rapper to tell you how to live your life, then maybe you ain’t got no life.”

I almost clapped when I read this one the tram today…

There have been dates in the past who have gone on and on about celebrities. To the extend I wrote on my Okcupid dating profile.

I have little time for the mainstream garbage of pop music/fashion/celeb driven nonsense.

I swear to you the amount of messages I’ve had from women saying something like… I was interested then I read your comment about celebs and was turned off. I usually reply with “yeah well I’m sorry to hear that but it simply wasn’t to be…

It goes for sports too. I can see how you get wrapped up in the moment, heck I have before but I don’t then follow these people on twitter and facebook trying to get a word in edgewise hoping they will spot and say something back. Screw that. There are millions of interesting people who I can have meaningful interesting conversations with, why waste your time?

Maybe I’m missing the huge amount of joy you get from following celebrities around?

I was walking back from Booths supermarket the other day and someone pointed out that the girls sitting opposite the Holiday Inn in Media City UK were actually there to see Jedwood? I was taken a back. Jedwood? Those guys I’ve seen on TV a few times? What did they do again? Oh yeah, pop idol or something? Those guys have groupies? Wow, I really hope they grow out of it soon. Maybe its part of growing up? Although to be fair its not part of my growing up…

I grew up with rave flyers on my wall not popstars or sports stars, not sure what that says about me…

I’m also in conflict about celeb culture, if its for something noble or worthwhile then I can’t complain about it. For example in the internet world the likes of Lessig, Doctorow, Rose, Shirky, Gladwell, Pink, etc are the modern equivalents but it feels different…

Is it about empowerment? When you walk away from a Jedwood concert you feel happy but when you walk away from a lessig talk, you feel empowered… This question is important because as we get more TED like conferences and people pointing the finger grumbling, we need something more concrete to avoid the celeb culture black hole. Even I have suggested in the past that celeb culture might be useful to encourage the next generation and I tend to shift my view on that one everytime I think about it. For example, how can we forget NerdTV. The Charlie Rose of Geeks? Certainly not the Paxman of Nerds…

I guess there are parallels to how Films use to be about the art of cinematography, directors vision, etc. Recently its changed to who’s in your film than the vision and cinematography its self. Dare I say it, maybe its natural conclusion of all things popular?

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.