This video is making the rounds today, and it comes on the heals of this Tweet from Blake Griffin from a couple of weeks ago
And it got me to thinking how terrible it would be to be super famous. The phrase mo money mo problems to me translates directly to "if you're famous, you're allowed to be stalked". And it blows my mind. I did some reading on it and if you are considered a celebrity or public figure, you can have your picture taken and published without your consent. And for some reason tabloids are still willing to pay for these pictures. Like, who wants some random picture of an actor walking back to his hotel? Why do grocery store rags pay for these pictures?
I get it at a base level- people by nature are interested in celebrities lives and if you can put a headline "You Won't Believe What Leo DiCaprio Was Wearing On Friday Night" people will click on it. I know that, you know that, we all know that. But there has to be a line somewhere where you can't just chase celebrities around with 100 cameras, flash bulbs blinding them left and right, as they try to just live their lives.
The more I write this blog the more I wish I knew more about this topic. I always laugh whenever a mega-famous actor talks about how much he hates being famous. My initial gut-reaction response is "well then you shouldn't have become an actor". But that's so unfair to say. He shouldn't live his life-long dream because other people are assholes? The more "famous" people I've met, the more I've realized they are normal people who just happen to be insanely talented in their crafts. Stand-up comedians are perfect examples of this. These are normal dudes who grind, grind, grind, grind and then one day they blow up and it's like "I've been telling these sorts of jokes for years, and one day it just all clicked and I was in the right place at the right time and now I have a Netflix special". Most hockey players are just normal dudes who love playing hockey. Does that mean they don't deserve the same right to privacy as the rest of us?
Yes, the amount of money they have is a pretty solid trade-off. But when did we stop treating people as people? Just because Blake Griffin has a zillion dollars does that not mean he shouldn't be able to shoot hoops with his kids without being stalked? Or is the sad reality of it basically "that's what you signed up for"? I hate that there isn't some sort of happy medium there. Does being great at basketball and being in the NBA mean you signed up for grown men to chase you around to snap your picture? Seems sort of bleak, no?
There are exceptions to this, of course. People who are professionally famous. The Kardashians, for example, are tough to defend because they make a living by being famous. Whenever people say they are "famous for nothing", they cannot be more wrong. They are professionally great at being famous. They stay famous better than anyone else. I don't think they necessarily *deserve* to be stalked, but it'd also be silly of me to say they have the same right to privacy as my next door neighbor.
I guess the way we worship celebrities in general is a fascinating concept too. Like, why in general do we aspire to see what some movie star wore to dinner on Friday night? Why are we more likely to buy a brand our favorite star or athlete wears? We can claim we don't but we do. We absolutely do. I don't think it's a new thing, but it's certainly more wide-spread now with the creation of social media. Shit, there is a job called "influencer" where basically if you have a fat ass you can sell protein powder for 6 figure pay days. It's crazy but at the same time, it's just a new way of selling products. Newspaper advertising used to be #1, then television and radio, and now it's social media. Kylie Jenner can charge the price of a Super Bowl commercial to put a brand in one IG post because, well, she has 173 MILLION followers on Instagram, and many are impressionable young people who will buy what she tells them to. There's a reason she's a 22 year old billionaire from selling makeup. Wanna look like me? Wear my makeup. And people did. So many people did.
I'm curious what the future of paparazzi is. I figure it's only going to get worse? Fucking drones and secret cameras and stuff like that? With the advancements in technology comes more ways to infiltrate each other's lives. I wonder if it'll be in my lifetime we'll finally have the downfall of all of this. Of all the social media, the instant gratification generation, the news cycle where we don't even care when something terrible happens anymore, we just move on to the next thing.
I always go back to the Las Vegas shooting- man, it was at a public concert and 58 people were murdered in cold blood with 413 wounded and a total of 869 injured...and we barely talk about it. Do you even know what day it happened? Shouldn't something of that magnitude be a ginormous event we always think about whenever we go to a show? Quite literally nothing changed after that happened. Nothing. So maybe that's just where we are in the progression of the world and society now. Makes me think a lot.
This blog went places I didn't expect it to go, but that's the beauty of the 2pm blog. Same time tomorrow, thanks for reading.