Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Open letters are a fantastic idea.

Dear various forms of media:

You should be disappointed in yourselves. I address this to various forms, simply because you are all wildly disheartening and helping one another invent entirely new lows. You should be ashamed and I hope, as you deposit that pay check and sip Cristal that it feels better than the harm you cause.
You are enabling and encouraging inhumanity, lack of morality, and ruthless behavior on so many levels.

Needless to say (and I will plead guilty), though you have been: bookmarked, recorded, perused while waiting impatiently in airport terminals and dentist offices, you have been at the click of a button and have assisted in numerous conversations dripping with your malice filled gossipy words, like candy to a five year old- that leaves you sick to your stomach after digestion; I. am. done. with. you.

Your mother should be heartbroken. Your mother, who wanted you to inspire, wanted you to intrigue, to charm and captivate your audience and serve as a platform for greatness to be shown; you have taken her hope and made it cheap. Easy. Dishonest. and nauseating.

Paparazzi- I hope you are proud that you have jeopardized your moral fiber for the sake of empty recognition. We don't know you. We don't care to. You have created a successful career as professional stalkers- laws should be made against you, so you can reconsider your "art" and turn it into something good. You can buy cameras with a better zoom....please give the celebrities space to blink. Plus, I wouldn't dare call yourselves photographers- Ansel Adams is offended in his grave.

Associated Press- An obituary for Britney Spears? Though we have turned her into a social experiment, and made her a brand, like Pepsi- she still has a beating heart. We have become unattached and watch her drown in a fishbowl we refuse to let her escape, because we've all become too bored with our own lives to watch such a "fascinating" character disappear from our daily dose. Meanwhile we continue tapping on the glass to see if she'll be responsive. She needs help. We can judge her and call her crazy flippantly, but writing an obituary for someone who is breathing is as tactless as running photos of a dead body in a morgue.

News broadcasts, gossip magazines, The View (who didn't mention a single positive thing about Heath Ledger this morning, but debated the "brooding" actor stereotype, to turn his life into a "story"), TMZ, talks shows, MTV, VH1, E!, every. single. network. and media outlet....you have an incredible power- Persuasive, effective and VAST power. You have lost sight of the ability to use it in a way that is effective on a positive level.

We already have enough struggle in our own lives and in the world. You have created false realities, unreasonable standards, cruel behavior, perpetuated negative body image, planted seeds of fear and hatred, and made us believe it is "ok" to objectify and expose human beings without even a thought of the harm you are implementing.

I am saddened by you. You have let us down. And I do hope, that sometime soon you can regain your dignity.

Truly,
Chelsea

35 comments:

nicoleantoinette said...

I was going to comment on this post, because I agree with it so much and did a lot of nodding along (like always), but then I realized that I have something else to say:

your voice? is absolutely gorgeous. The songs on your myspace are just ridiculous. I can't get over and am completely floored by your talent. Is it so strange to tell you that I listened to them all evening? And even more so, to tell you in a blog comment? Oh well. Here it is.

sequined said...

As far as the obituary thing goes, all major news outlets have obituaries in progress for all major celebrities. They get occasionally updated with newer, more relevant facts. That when, when someone dies unexpectedly, no one has to scramble around researching the person's life in order to get their article up first. It's somewhat morbid, but I think it makes sense.

Though of course the media deserves a lot of other criticism. Ha.

ana said...

I couldn't agree any more with this post. it is ridiculous...

Chele said...

All I can say is Amen sista...you said it, nailed it to the core!

lspoon said...

I concur. I am so sick of what the media exploiting everything they possibly can.

irunwithscissors said...

I agree... way to go!

Maxie said...

This is so true. It has been disgusting to watch. I turned it off because I didn't want to hear it anymore.

Nilsa S. said...

Like others, I agree - this post is great. But ... and I hate to go here ... does fault rest completely on the media's shoulders? Or is the media doing exactly what we viewers / listeners / readers have come to expect?

If the masses didn't want it, the media would be ignored and they'd change. Let's face it, our society is glutton for this crap (probably everyone here, including myself, is at fault).

So, until society changes our expectations, how can we blame the the media for reporting what interests us?

Britt said...

I agree with you. Unfortunatly, however, I also read Pinkisthenewblog.com soooo I guess that makes me a hypocrite.

Great post :)

Feminist Gal said...

haha, this is brilliant! great post :)

1218Blog said...

It is so true what you say. I wish we all would just boycott every gossip, media outlet there is. But I fear we won't. I sadly admit I am guilty as well. I don't remember it being like this when I was younger. I don't remember knowing every detail of a celebrities life down to what is in their shopping carts. I feel like over the years it has gotten way out of control. Snapping pictures of celebrities as they grocery shop, when did that become our interests.

What really disturbed me was the day Heath died the very next day People Magazine had a full mock up of their next issue that was going to come out this coming Tuesday. Heath was on the cover and they had spreads, photos, stories and all. All this ready to go in 1 day. They could not even had the proper information to print at that point. This really worries me.

1218Blog said...

So way off the subject, sorry but...did I tell you I tagged you. Head to my blog for details.

IndianRed said...

i love your writing and i completely agree with you. you did a great job of discussing something that really does have a larger effect on society than i many of us realize, and like so many others i too am guilty of falling into the media's net. i am a sucker for all things celebrity and "reality"

Jess said...

I agree with this, but also I read TMZ regularly so what can I say? People will do anything for which there is a market. It's sad but I am part of the market so what can I say?

Jamie Lovely said...

I absolutely agree. I'm not going to lie, I am always on ONTD! reading about celebrities. I do believe it has gone too far though. Paparazzi streaming live waiting for the body to come out. Last week Jessica Alba was walking down the street and there is a photo of her and behind her you can see a paparazzo sticking the camera up her skirt has she is walking. Seriously? That's disgusting. It has gotten completely out of control.

I've been completely disgusted and I'm pulling away from this nonsense.

the fanny said...

I completely agree with this post so wholeheartedly that I have nothing left to add. Well done!

:)

Alexis said...

I'm like that lady in church right now, reading and all, "Preach!," and "Mmm, yes!"

I like you, Chelsea (do people call you Chels?), we should hang out...except you know, we have all the miles between us.

Camels & Chocolate said...

Amen, sister. As an entertainment journalist/former pap, I even find it all disheartening.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Nicoleanoitnette-THANK YOUU!!! lol, you're so sweet, I really appreciate it, seriously thank you ;) And I HOPE you listen to them all night lol, not strange at all.

Sequined-Hm, I've heard this, but it sort of seemed like an immature thing to do with Britney, something to do almost as a joke.

Ana and Chele-Thanks man :)

lspoon- exactly and exploiiting things that don't even NEED to be exploited.

Irunwithscissors and maxie- I'm glad you agree.

Nilsa-Oh, of course it does. WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE, and by no means will I pretend I've have NOTHING to do with it, i've had everything to do with it- to a certain POINT. Then, there is a point when they can push it a LITTLE too far...and when the information theyre producing is the oversaturated and then our CHOICE to not read it, or PAY ATTENTION, isn't as much of a choice.

Britt- at least pinkisthenewblog isn't perez hilton...who I think is just mean. Trent actually roots for the celebs most of the time.

Feminist gal- Thanks!!

1218blog- EXACTLY. and youre right when we were younger it WASNT like this, at all. Its a combination of even more media outlets, i.e. internet, etc. but like I said to Nilsa above, of course we are all guilty- we live in a pop culture society, where our celebrities our royalty...but the way the information is produced is lacking class, and it doesn't need to.

Indianred and Jess- right, like I said above- WE ALL ARE. and that is why we should be aware because what we're ingesting is 80% trash. And that isn't entirely our fault, its oversaturated and on every channel, every homepage, every stand, etc....

Jamielovely- perfect example. That is NOT right. If that were a non-celeb, you would file a lawsuit.....and I think celebrities should be treated in the same respect.

The fanny- thanks!!

Alexis- lol yes people call me Chels :) Feel free, I fee like we're friends, so you're allowed lol. We would definitely hang out if we were in the same state.

camels and chocolate- I do want to say, that I don't think ALL entertainment reporters and paparazzi are SCUM, I don't....they walk a fine line, where there are chances to make better decisions than most of them have- at least as of the last 5 years...and now, its more acceptable to be scummy...

iheartthirty said...

So true. I think the last few days are what did it for me - it's like they are determined to turn this whole thing into a sordid drama when it's exceedingly more likely to have been a miserable accident.

L Sass said...

That Britney obituary story is nuts! I see the cold hard logic behind it, but it just makes me so sad.

Sparkling Red said...

Well said. I totally agree. I don't follow celeb gossip. It's all just too much.

Apparently France has really strict rules to protect celebs. You can sue a French periodical for printing your photo without your permission.

When Owen Wilson recently attempted suicide, the Sun, Toronto's crappiest newspaper, ran this full-page headline with his photo: "Tears of the Clowns". Made me nauseous. If I was recovering from a suicide attempt and I saw that headline, I'd be motivated to kill myself all over again.

The Ex said...

Sometimes I feel like people in the heart of this whole drama of celeb vs. paparazzi can explain it so much better. If you’ve ever lived a second in LA then I’m sure you’ve seen someone, somewhere who is famous and you know what? They’re doing the same old regular shit the rest of us are. One time I sat in traffic on Robertson for 45 minutes because the paps were taking pictures of someone inside Kitson.

I mean, why do we GIVE A SHIT about someone shopping. It’s a false reality and it creates this sort of parallel morality where celebrity is far more important than it actually is.

Ugh, I love you for writing this.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

the ex- DUDE. I used to work off of Burton way, around the corner from Robertson and it would take me an extra forty minutes to drive home, because the street was always so PACKED with photogs chasing celebrities into Lisa Kline or The Ivy. IRRITATING.

brandy said...

Damn. It's hard to say something original when you are this far down in the comments. But like everyone else, I 100% agree with what you are saying. I get frustrated when people talk about the 'choice' we have when it comes to media. Granted, sometimes I do believe their are healthy choices of what to watch/read/listen to, but when the center of media turns negative, when mainstream media turns negative, and it's impossible to FIND an alternative to the negativity that's out there, that's when I get frustrated. A choice means there's more than one option and lately? It all just seems like shades of the same.

Raven said...

I refuse to hear anything that has to do with britney anymore. Seriously. I will change the channel. I don't watch the local "news" because it's a freaking joke.

so in short "hear hear"

PrincessPolly said...

I feel like by buying gossip rags etc I am fuelling these people yet I can't seem to stop. I think some famous people can handle the paparazzi always in their face to some extent - I suppose they realise that it is kinda what they signed up for when they chose their career - but to go after someone like Britney for example who is clearly at one of her lowest points, is just shameful. It would be nice if the media rooted for her for a change instead of just turning her life into some sort of sick docu-drama. Poor girl. If she DOES end up needing that obituary, its gonna be on their heads. And I suppose that also means it will be on the heads of the public too. :(

Captain Backfire said...

YES! Good for you! Send this baby off to every media outlet! :)

Katelin said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Granted I have seen a few glimmers of decency regarding Heath, I have some hope for society, some.

Joanna Goddard said...

great. i second this.

Marcheline said...

Ummm.... I can't believe I'm the only one to ask this... but here goes.

When you say "I am done with you" in this letter addressed to the various media, do you really mean you will never watch TV or buy another magazine? Never surf another celebrity website?

I'm thinking that when you said that, you probably meant the same thing that I meant when I said I was done with eating desserts and stuff that had too many carbs in it.

I'm thinking you really wanted to mean it, but in the back of your mind there was that little tiny voice that whispered "YEAH, RIGHT!"

-M

Princess Pointful said...

Amen amen amen!
(you have songs? I must check them out when I'm not at a stupid soundless computer in my lab.)
The Britney thing gets me most of all. Joking about suicide is horrendous. I don't get how everyone is so fascinated by watching her drown, and no one is offering a hand, like this isn't real.

Exposed said...

Oh yeah, our media have been reduced from college graduates to middle school bullies- praying on the mindless, knee-jerk reactions. And it blows my mind how many people respond to this sentiment with "yeah, it's despicable....but I still want to read/buy/etc". If we're not part of the solution, we're part of the problem.

I'm not saying cold turkey, because honestly avoiding celeb reality would be like being allergic to cement in Manhattan, and I'm a firm believer in moderation, but baby steps can help. Put down direct support of paparazzi (like US Weekly/In Touch) once a month and try a book. Or even the next time someone bashes Britney, instead of joining in, voice a little sympathy.

Or, I know, let's start a petition to see how many people DON'T CARE what's in someone's shopping cart but do want to see the pretty dresses in the front. Email the editors and make your voice heard.

Lisa H. said...

Unfortunately, I think gossip is part of life that we won't be able to change. People are social creatures, we converse a lot, and those conversations often involve other people. Families talk about family members, friends discuss friends, co-workers gab about co-workers....

However, I think the media has a misconception about what we want to see. I highly doubt the majority of the world wanted to see Heath Ledger's body. No one I've talked to wanted to see that, yet its on the news over and over again. Reminds me a little of how appalled I was that the news was showing people jumping from buildings on 9/11. The media really should be interested in showing the people what they really want to see, not trying to one-up each other with the most outrageous story/footage.

Sorry, this got long!

the boy who likes to... said...

I completely agree. Everytime I opened the free papers I used to get annoyed at all the tabloid reports, especially concerning celebrities.
Ever since I stopped reading said papers I have felt so much happier, although I know that this kind of "journalism" if it should be called that, is still taking place whether I care to read about it or not.
I think more people should stop buying newspapers and magazines.

(I also read someones comment above about France outlawing this, maybe we should all move to France.)

 
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