Celebrity train wrecks aren’t news

The word “celebrity” means “the state of being well-known.”
That definition begs the question, “For what? Well-known for what, exactly?”
And more often than not, the response is unequivocally for nothing of any importance or for merely having more money than most.
I was running on the treadmill at the gym the other day. The television was on the wall in front of me and Canada AM (no, not US AM or Amazingly-Shallow-AM or Only-The-Stupid-News AM but Canada AM) devoted an entire segment of their show to the rumoured, pending, no-one-should-need-to-know demise of a 72-day marriage whose wedding cost $10 million.
I’m not even going to type her name here because I might turn to stone if I did, and my own moral compass (as questionable as it may be) forbids me to.
And the fact that I’m even writing this piece, that I have let my own disgust and rage give the situation even more attention, pulls my sanity into question.
But plugging my ears and la-la-la-ing did not ease my angst, and staring at my feet pounding monotonously on the webbed conveyor belt didn’t help repress my urge to screech at the screen.
“Really?” I yelled at several hundred decibels. “This is your idea of important information? Have you all gone mad?”
I tore my right sneaker off and just barely kept from hurling it at the screen. Thankfully, no one seemed to notice I had temporarily (or otherwise) gone insane.
I tried writing about the Slow Food Movement and the amazing hope that lies therein. I tried penning my passion for sunshine in November, or how I’d love to hire a band to march in my very own parade to celebrate the 75th birthday of my (and yours, too, of course) CBC Radio.
But still I came back to that annoying program and I had no choice but to vent; had to rant about giving air time to such inanity.
I felt compelled to write a letter to the producer of Canada AM and threaten to stop watching CTV, but decided instead to hurl my exasperation at you, the innocent bystander.
You always could avert your eyes, or perhaps you should use this section of the paper to line the birdcage or to start your fire with. But then again, that may have been your plan from the get-go.
I try to take the high road whenever possible, or at least I try to keep an indifferent ear to the goings on of those who do little or nothing to make the world a better place. I don’t tune in to the gossip shows that keep me informed as to who is marrying whom, and what he or she is starring in, or who has the nicest dress or who is back in jail or blah, blah, blah.
As I assured you in the past, I avert my eyes from the magazines at the grocery store check-out. And as I stand there, I wonder how such publications made it into print or even more surprising is how they stay in print.
When did anyone with any sense of decency, or even a shred of common sense, decide that those with obscene amounts of cash become worthy of our attention? Why aren’t we drawn to signs of goodness and honesty, of acts of positive thinking, of politicians who mean what they say and actually have a vision for this country.
Why isn’t Canada AM scouring the country to point their cameras on things that work, on people who fight back against disease and poverty, of situations where laughter won out over disappointment or shame.
When did we become so shallow?
Please tell me this was a temporary blip, that society will right itself, that the nuptial failings of the rich and greedy will never make headlines in Canada again?
Tell me that watching the train wrecks of celebrity lives is not interesting or laughable or entertainment.
wendistewart@live.ca

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