Friday, September 18, 2009

Boring People Like Weird Celebrities

I've been developing this theory lately concerning the types of celebrities we're all attracted to, following the death of Michael Jackson and the inexplicable summer success of Lady Gaga, who are both total freaks. And I came to realize that when I was young and Michael Jackson was at the height of his success, what with the Thriller album and the Victory tour, that the people who were into him were the people I would have considered the boring people at my school -- the people with no imagination, the people who dressed exactly like the Guess ads told them to, the people who had no drama in their lives, the people who (due to their lack of imagination) didn't even know how to create drama. And so they turned to the heightened drama of a figure like Michael Jackson, who in those days cultivated a lot of mystique while at the same time being a huge, huge star. Back then, you could be the biggest star in the world and still not have anyone know anything real about you -- there were paparazzi, but they weren't yet following celebrities into the coffee shop or anything like that. So someone like Michael Jackson was fascinating to boring people; he did all the work for them, cultivating his persona as well as his mystique, controlling it all very carefully. And that worked for him, and he failed to evolve with the rest of us, and eventually the cracks appeared and that's when we were all treated to far too many glimpses into the freakshow that became his life.

And I submit that it is these same boring people (Perez Hilton is like their fucking King) who are fans of Lady Gaga. I mean, obviously someone's listening to her, but it's no one I know personally. Again, she does all the work for them, with her insane outfits and bizarre "statement" performances (she actually said that her VMA performance was a recreation of the death of Princess Diana, but no one seemed to grasp this -- everyone just thought it was fucked up and insane), and her bland earworm tunes. She has cleverly catered to the paparazzi -- they'll never catch her doing something fucked up because that's what she does "naturally;" there's nothing to catch her doing if her behavior is terrible from the get go. In fact, it would be a huge scandal if Lady Gaga were to be spied in public dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and buying a latte at Starbucks. It would ruin her career (and would thus be totally awesome).

Whereas my peeps are all recovered from some sort of past drama or another, and are creative and musical and artistic, and have had to actually work very hard at our dull thirtysomething existences, and thus we never saw any appeal in celebrities like Michael Jackson or Lady Gaga.

The only thing that messes up my theory is the fact that Heather is really into Michael Jackson, but her life has never been boring. However, she is way younger than those of us who knew Michael Jackson in his prime, so I suspect that she would have loathed him along with the rest of us if she had been a Child of the 80s. Her age is a factor.

Of course there are always way more boring people in the general population than interesting people, so that totally accounts for the vast popularity of weird celebrities.

And that's the theory I've been working up, and I'm sticking to it.

5 comments:

Kresta said...

So I was totally into Michael Jackson in the Thriller days and went to the concert at Mile Hi Stadium...that was during my middle school years. I actually enjoyed the music and thought he was attractive (not Will Smith attractive, mind you). Back then, I was completely baffled by the Duran Duran cult - of which some of my best friends at the time were a part. Interesting.

Shannon said...

Duran Duran were weird celebrities too.

LuckyK80 said...

Hmmmm..... interesting. so what about the people who were not MJ fans who came out of the woodwork when he died.... somewhere beyond boring I think...

Shannon said...

That was bizarre, but I think it was related to our culture's obsession with never being left out. So all these people that never really had an interest in a dead celebrity pretend like they did to fit in with the pack, or become convinced they did just because they're reading or hearing about them on the news every day.

Georgias Maximus, Feline Esq. said...

Some necrophiliacs just get joy-joy drooling over fresh corpses, while those unable to attend the original coming-out parties just wanna hop the wagon. Then there's the elevator inundation of white noise, inescapable in confined spaces (and currently wide-open places), contributing to mass brainwashing and public hysteria.

Of course, some folks just get nostalgic flashes from music - good, bad, indifferent - can't be helped...