March 2, 2007

Get Creative

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After reading the writings of some of my peers, I find myself compelled to issue this plea: Ladies, please stop trying to be Carrie Bradshaw. Her pseudo-insights and lackluster musings on contemporary life were more than adequate; you don’t need to supplement them.

Frankly, I’m disgusted by how the regurgitation of rote memorization we do on a daily basis carries over into allegedly creative and expressive endeavors. It’s not that a particular style or way of thinking is being emulated or referenced but what it amounts to is a series of postures based on someone else’s silhouette.

I’m exhausted by all of the thoughtless consumption that surrounds us and how uninspired our society has become. Maybe we’re simply fatigued from all of our obligations that when the time comes to decide who we are as individuals we always end up pursuing the lowest common denominator by adopting someone else’s perspective as our own? It is far too easy to loudly announce that a figure, whether fictional or real, serves as a model of our own voice rather than finding our own. Perhaps the desire for convenience is reflected by our culture’s affinity for living vicariously through the lives of celebrities.

We have news tickers, twenty-four hour news channels, and up-to-the-minute updates on the lives of celebrities, ranging from who is wearing what on the red carpet to the guest list at Anna Nicole Smith’s funeral. Let’s face it; we live in a celebrity-centric society. For some reason, we have an innate desire to watch someone publicly fall from grace (and even keep tumbling, a là Britney Spears).

Clearly we’re naturally prone to voyeurism. Sadly, it seems that for every entertainment-based television show, magazine, press release or paparazzi-snagged photograph involving a celebrity, there are at least five blogs discussing it at any given time. (At the rate they are going, there will soon be more pop culture blogs on the Internet than porn sites). Consuming the celebrity culture is one thing; endlessly perpetuating it seems futile and silly. Since when do you care about what an accountant in Milwalkee thinks of rumors of a J.Lo pregnancy? The idea of reading someone else’s commentary on Paris Hilton’s most recent drunken escapade is pretty much the same as eating fast food that has already been digested. The original product has very little integrity to begin with, and even less after its been recycled.

The lives of celebrities don’t require that much analysis, they’re pretty straightforward. Which is why it is curious that celebrity magazines feature counselors and psychiatrists lending their insights into such pressing matters as the reasons behind Nicole Richie’s weight loss. Shouldn’t these people be doing other things, like, say, helping people?

The sad fact is that if we expended as much energy into our relationships and other endeavors, we would all be better-adjusted human beings. While you can watch vacuous talk show hosts prattle on for hours in the end all of the time and energy spent zoning out will ultimately leave you disappointed and looking for another quick “fix.”

Please don’t get me wrong, I have my fair share of guilty pleasures and think they should be encouraged, to an extent. However, if you’re going to indulge in pop culture, keep your transgressions to yourself and don’t subject the rest of the world to any more drivel.