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Dec 22

On Being a Celebrity and the Objectification of People

Posted on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 in Theories

The American culture is dependent on the possibility that anyone can make it big. It’s the illusion that keeps the poor in line and the rich in power. The American rich 1% holds more wealth than the bottom 90%. That is hardly fair and Americans are addicted to the idea that they can become the 1%.

Due to wanting to be wealthy and not having it, America settles for the next best thing: living vicariously through celebrities and the rich. The rich and famous become objects – not people – as portrayed by the television, magazines, and news. They become a name – a brand – to be packaged, bought, and sold like any other commodity in our capitalistic system.

This is a system of control. The poor are appeased by having the rare possibility that they too – with their talents and uniqueness can also make it big. The rich and famous; who are also inmates in our cultural prison who have more privilege, are treated like gods.

For example, I just went to see a concert a few weeks ago and during the show the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars walked into the crowd. People went out of their way to run up and touch him (it was really bizarre) to have bragging rights. To touch a celebrity or have an object that they were associated with is like touching divinity in our culture.

This is a really weird aspect of American culture that I don’t really understand because in my understanding of humanity – we are all equal. I wouldn’t want to touch another human unless I was close to them but for it to be socially acceptable to forcefully touch another person without consent on the mere fact they can sing, act, or dance is ridiculous.

This living vicariously through fame is destructive to celebrities. The latest example being the Tiger Woods incident and how people just can’t seem to mind their own business. Who cares? I have my own life to deal with and I don’t have time to be focusing my life on people I never met.

Even in death, celebrities can not escape their fame and be given an ounce of peace. Grave robbers if given the chance, will steal famous people’s remains. The Hollywood cemetery is now a tourist attractions where you can visit your favorite dead residence. Even a corpse is marketable.

People need to stop worshiping celebrities and the rich. People are people, not objects.  People need to learn to live and let live and mind their own business. Here’s a secret for you: The rich and famous only have “wealth” and “power” because you give it to them. If you would stop giving them power, they wouldn’t have any. If we spent more time empowering ourselves for our own beauties and less time drooling over our fellow apes – we’d have a much healthier society.

Dec 14

Alternative Rock Isn't Really Alternative – Show Review

Posted on Monday, December 14, 2009 in Reviews

I went and saw a concert called “WreX the Halls 2009” with a handful of bands, notable: 30 Seconds to Mars, Rise Against, and AFI.  I was disappointed with 30 Seconds to Mars because they played a song called “Kings and Queens” and they claimed it was “about you” which it clearly wasn’t as it was enforcing a gender binary.  The show was filled with heteronormalivity and the crowd was eating it up.  It probably all went unnoticed by the people in the audience who claimed to be alternative.  They’d go to a show about being against the establishment but work and live within the system with being the servant not the master.  How do they expect anything to change?

30 Seconds to Mars released a new album called, “This is War” and the title track talking about battle and believing in nothing but the truth of themselves.  I don’t think they can even begin to know “truths” being so caught up in illusions, gender roles, and maintaining social order.  It was like going to a show filled of Hot Topic punks.  It was corporate punk with corporate sponsorship trying to pass itself off at alternative.  You can’t fool me.

Rise Against is a good band and I appreciate their music but the show seemed almost as a joke.  At $39 dollars a ticket – it wasn’t a diverse audience with it being mostly white males in their 20’s and 30’s with their girlfriends.  It was white men playing for white men.  Rise Against is a bit political but I was surprise they had a song for the soldiers called “Hero of War” which is pretty violent and sounds almost patriotic of supporting war and not being given the support back home.  They sing of the hungry and the poor to the middle class which will never do anything to change things.  The show was full of a bunch of liberals who are useless.

I was wearing my sweatshirt with sheeps being abducted by a UFO and I had a pretty good response to it.  However, one girl came up to me and was like, “That sweatshirt is gay.”  I was like, “No, it’s not.”  She was like,”Yeah, it is.  I mean gay like absurd.”  I just kind of stared at her blankly and was like, “I got to go.” It was neither the time or place to explain to her that gay doesn’t mean absurd.  It either means homosexual or happy.  The sweatshirt was silly but wasn’t gay.  It might have been queer because I was wearing it but it was odd that the girl felt the need to stop me and use the wrong words to explain things.  I also had a moment of gender confusing the ticket lady, “Ma’am… Sir…” I was tempted to say “Call me ze” but it really wasn’t a genderqueer safe space in the middle of lots of straight males who are angry at the establishment but are mere sheeps and pawns.

So, the reason I went to the show to begin with was AFI.  They were amazing and put on a great show.  I know, I know, AFI isn’t punk rock anymore but I am still a fan. One of my favorite albums of all time is The Art of Drowning.  I go to hear their old music.  Their new music isn’t bad but not as good as their old music.  I rocked out the entire time.

I just wished the alternative scene was really alternative with radical politics instead of supporting a liberal agenda and pushing faith in the system.  The system was and is working for the angry people at the show who are just angry at their own banality.  They are boring.  Going to shows and having to drink to have fun.  It’s like dude, you are at a show, you should be able to have fun without alcohol.

I was surprised at how much the music was about being broken inside with no solution how to fix it or make it better.  Or how they didn’t want to make it better.  Like being broken is okay and feeling nothing or pain is the way life should be.  Experience, learning, is painful but life is joyous if you find the beauty in small and large.  There was just a lot of hollowed shells of people, like the living dead, it was almost overwhelming.

I know I’m not perfect – but I am working on healing myself from past hurts so that I can be as productive in the world and help society.  In order to heal the world, you first need to heal yourself.