Dear Britney and Kevin: I just don't care

In my life, there is little that irks me more than modern society's obsession with celebrities. Everywhere I look the evidence of the problem is rampant. Take the supermarket isle: crammed with trashy tabloids and People and In Touch magazines trumpeting everything from Nicole Ritchie's latest weight gain, to Ashton and Demi's romance, to most recently, the shocking divorce of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. TV shows like Entertainment Tonight, the cable channel E!, and even CNN's daily "entertainment news" segment are just as bad, as they try to convince Americans that concern about celebrities is something they should associate with being genuinely informed with significant happenings in the world.

I must ask the question: what is it that makes an individual who has happened to be attractive or lucky enough (as talent often has little to do with it) to appear in a movie or on TV that makes that individual have so much more worth as a human being than the rest of us? My answer: absolutely nothing. Celebrity worship is simply people immersing themselves in a fantasy world of glitz and glamour where, Hollywood tries to tell us, everyone is beautiful and happy. People who are inherently dissatisfied with their lives try to live vicariously through the life of another, and it's absolutely pathetic. What does it say about our society when the latest happenings in the life of a Hollywood hipster are more important to people than the real news that will actually affect them in their daily lives?

I don't deny that it is possible for some people to lead relatively healthy lives while harboring some fascination with the goings on of the rich and famous. But for many, this isn't the case. According to CBS news, after a survey of more than 600 people researchers across the United States and Britain have recently identified a psychiatric condition they've dubbed "celebrity worship syndrome," which about a third of survey participants suffered from to some extent. The worst of these cases were when celebrities became the central figure in people's lives.

Americans need to realize that celebrities don't at all deserve the adoration that they receive. The time and energy that we put into keeping up with the latest celebrity gossip could well be put to use on things that could help to fill the void that so many have in their lives, like developing more meaningful relationships with the people that are around us. Money devoted to People magazine could be spent, at the expense of sounding a lot like Derek Zoolander, towards things that actually have a bearing on people's lives. But what do we care about the millions that starve around the globe when we're got Tom and Katie to worry about?

Celebrities today are little more than tools for corporate America to get you to buy things. Hollywood plays on the images that it evokes about celebrity life to make us want to emulate it, and tabloids' insistence on announcing every misstep celebrities make - too often in terms of drug and alcohol abuse - skews us into thinking that this is information we should genuinely concern ourselves with. Americans, once again, are duped by the marketers. One would think that eventually we would wise up and see through this scheme, but as we've proven time and time again, we are determined to concern ourselves with what's not important. And I, for one, am thoroughly sick of it.

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