Yes, I heard Tiger Woods apology like millions of others on Friday. I was working and CNN was on (as always) so I didn’t have much choice. But I did hear the frustration in his voice when he asked that his family be left alone. HAH! Good luck with that one, I thought. The public OWNS you, big guy, you don’t get to take a shit in private anymore.
As the day wore on, I thought back to that over and over. You know, this is beginning to get really stupid. The United States has become a nation of celebrity groupies. We (as a culture, not me personally) slobber all over news about Britney’s newest boyfriend or pregnancy or whatever, stop whatever we’re doing to listen to “news” reports of rehab progress on…take your pick of celebrity addicts.
There are entire magazines whose sole purpose is to print photos of celebrities….walking to their car…buying an ice cream…walking down the street with their children…gee, the sorts of things all of us do …but we don’t take pictures of it! Are our lives that tiny?? Are we that bereft of creativity and imagination that we need to WATCH the lives of people we will NEVER MEET to have something to do?
We all remember Princess Diana. I always felt she was one of the classiest people who ever lived, She and her children couldn’t go anywhere without being followed by photographers. The night she died they were trying to sneak away from photographers. Photographers took photos of her dying. And magazines were frothing at the mouth to buy those photos. They knew the magazines would be a sellout-and they could up the advertising rates for that issue and make lots of MONEY. And they did. News reports of people’s outrage at the photographer’s callous behavior took up newsbites for weeks. lawmakers got in on the action.
SO? Nothing has changed. Celebrities still have no privacy. For the most part, I think well, you wanted a public life, you got it. Celebrities should understand that if they want to be rich and famous they must sell their privacy. All of it. Then I think about the children. They didn’t ask for that. They have no choice. And growing up with flashbulbs popping and people walking up to you in public places as if they are entitled to your time and attention has got to make a person a little odd. I can’t imagine not being able to get in my car, drive to the grocery store and drive home…unmolested by strangers with cameras. The again, I’m not rich and famous. No one owns me.
But I keep coming back to the children. Besides making them…odd…their safety is always compromised. They can’t possibly have a “normal” outlook on the world or how to interact with people. It seems too big a problem to even contemplate. Growing up rich makes its own problems, but growing up exposed has to be something else altogether.
My point in all this (I do have one) is that we can do something to help. Yes, we can. You know those shallow, stupid magazines that publish all the photos? STOP BUYING THEM. We have the answer in our hands. If the magazines can’t sell, the photographers will have find another way to earn a living. Like real photo work.
If any of you feel the same way, that the “paparazzi” has stepped way over the line by following a celebrity’s family and publishing where they live and go to school, etc., do your part. Stop buying the magazines. Make it a public thing that you are going to do that. Publish it on your blogs, websites, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Even if you don’t like Tiger Woods, think about the concept of privacy and decency. Take pictures of YOUR family walking to the car, buying ice cream, spending time in the park.
What do you say? Let’s make this an online thing-publish the names of magazines you’re going to stop buying and STOP BUYING them. Let’s stop this stupid paparazzi crap. Let’s live our own lives and enjoy the movies at the movies. Let’s stop telling ourselves that it’s OK for us to view photos of celebrities private lives. Let’s drop this ownership idea. Let’s act like human beings with compassion and respect. Let’s grow up.