The title is from the song “Hollywood”, by Marina and the Diamonds. I downloaded her album recently and I really, really, really love it. But that one line stuck out to me: I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America. This statement, is unfortunately true; not only for me, but for much of the world. Marina is British and in her song she talks about Hollywood; the standards, the craziness, the perceptions, all of it. Listening to it made me wonder, why? Why do we care so much about America?
I’m not talking politics, because clearly whatever the U.S. does affects the world. I’m talking about pop culture: reality television, music, tabloids etc. We, western society, seem to be addicted to drama. The more dramatic, the better. Take Charlie Sheen for example. Well he’s just spiralled downward. Of course most of his issues are of his own doing, but we as a people seem to have pulled up a front row seat and are glued to the downfall of this man. We like it when people’s lives go south because it provides us with entertainment and it keeps many businesses afloat (take People magazine or US Weekly for example).
Do we pay a attention because we are jealous of the lives these celebrities have lived? Because of their status and fame and fortune? Or have we all be trained to care about what Nicki Minaj was wearing yesterday or whether or not Lindsay Lohan’s 3 day stint in rehab cured her. I admit, I tend to click articles entitled “Fashion Police” more than others about current affairs. It’s sad but it’s a fact for many people. A good percentage of the population are more aware of Kim Kardashian’s new song (which is horrible btw), than the violence and rebellion that is occurring in Libya or the fact that the Ivory Coast is on the brink of a new civil war.
Ultimately these people are here to entertain us, to take us away from the daily hustle and bustle of life. Musicians create sounds that we enjoy and actors take us to places and situations we could only dream of. That’s a good thing. Talented people should be appreciated. Although, that does not mean that we should be creepy stalkers or obsessed fans. But it’s a sad reality that Hollywood is just one, big, dramatic mess to which we are addicted…
FYI: What do Serbia, Switzerland, Timor-Leste and Montenegro all have in common? They were the last member states to join the U.N. Serbia in 2000, Switzerland and Timor-Leste in 2002 and Montenegro in 2006.