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.

3 responses to “Paparazzi

  1. I shouldn’t get started on regular celebrities and famous people, because I might not stop, and it is your blog, afterall.

    The one thing I am going to say that disgusts me and angers me about the way society is about this stuff these days is when we glamourize and make into celebrities people who commit crimes. Not just that, but also, people who do horrible things to other people. And people who are just basically trash. And the list goes on. I know that last item on the list makes me look judgmental and like I go on judging and criticizing people, but I don’t care. You know what I am talking about. There are SOME good reality shows out there…shows that are actually about something real, something people are really interested in. And then, there are ones where people get onto them and become famous basically by just acting like trash. This last statement, and my statement about people like that has nothing to do with socio-economic status or anything like that. I am not referring to poor people, people who work their skin to the bones at 3 minimum-wage or less jobs, just to make ends meet. I’m not necessarily talking about people who live in a trailor…I don’t think that way about people who are in those life circumstances. I believe you can have the most awesome, shining example of a person living in basically a shack in the middle of the woods…and that is not what I am talking about. I’m talking about people who lack decency to treat other people like human beings. People who are so selfish and wrapped up in theirselves that they disregard the other people around them and discard them like they are trash. They could live in mansions (and not all people in mansions are bad or like this, I’m just saying…they are not excluded either), they could be dressed in today’s finest top-dollar outfits and brands, they could be driving the best cars, and they could still be trash by the way they act and treat people.

    It’s sad, really, more than anything else.

    The thing I will say about celebrities is this…although I know sometimes things happen, and as I have said before, I am not fond of adults telling other adults how to live…I am not sure yet how I feel about celebrities purposely having children, especially when they have them and then continue on in their celebrity lives as if nothing is different. On the one hand…I recognize it’s everyone’s right to have children, and they shouldn’t be excluded from the joy of having children just because they are celebrities. On the other hand, they are exposing their children to all kinds of havoc and things that, as you said, THEIR CHILDREN DID NOT ASK FOR!!!!! It really irritates me when you see these glorified celebrities and their children and their nannies, and then mother’s day comes around, and one of them is on a magazine as “mother of the year”…and it is talking about how she is doing things she should do AS A MOTHER…and about ‘how much care’ she takes in choosing her ‘nanny’. It’s balogna. These people have kids and then they pawn them off on other people to take care of them. It’s one thing if a mother is FORCED to go to work financially to pay her bills and HAS to leave her children at a daycare. That is a heart-wrenching choice…trust me, I know from personal experience! It’s different when a mother has the means and CHOOSES to only be a temporary baby-sitter for her kids, and let the ‘nannies’ take care of her children and all of the rough times and true ‘mothering’ times.

    There is a celebrity kid…actually, I am sure there are many, but right now especially one, and my heart goes out to her, with the way the press and paparazzi are treating her. I want to go and see her and see the paparrazi and yell out to them, LEAVE HER ALONE!!!!!!!!! It’s shameful the way I treat her, and I am sure anyone who is reading this knows exactly who I am referring to. In a month’s time, if you shop in a grocery store for groceries, you can not go without seeing her face on one of the magazines. If she were an adult, heck, if she were a teen, and she choose that life, then I wouldn’t be so aggravated. But she’s a baby…and she hasn’t even really been given a choice. That makes me so sad.

    One last thing…one of the things about this blog that struck a cord was a memory it brought up. I remember, many times as I was growing up, times I would want to talk to my mother, and I would start talking, and she would say, “shhhh…” And the TV would be on, and she would be listening to something about some celebrity, or something….something that was none of her business! Getting into someone else’s business. And I am sure that’s how a lot of kids are treated these days. It’s really sad when we are SO enthralled in some other people’s lives that we neglect even our own children to keep up with the latest ‘important people’.

  2. Reta
    Thanks for reading-and getting it again! It amazes and puzzles me that people will push their own families away (families they CHOSE to create) so they can watch, listen to, talk about peoplehat they will NEVER KNOW. If your life is so unsatisfying that you want to escape it all the time…maybe you should do something about it? Children, as you are experiencing, don’t “et over” being rejected by their parents in favor of anything else. Why should they? Children are here because we chose to bring them here. The way we treat them and other people around them, is how we teach them. So what are you teaching your child when you wanthem to shut up so you can watch the celebrity gossip? Oh dear, I could go on and on, but it makes me feel better to know there are people like you who understand the power of parenting-nd feel honored to be entrusted with it.

  3. I agree! I don’t really get ‘tv’ as in ‘a signal’ at my house. It’s mainly a money thing, partly a choice, too. If I had the money, I would probably get it, just for the heck of it, just to have it. But in a way, I am glad I don’t have it.

    I have a friend whose house I go over to sometimes. It seems every time I go over there, she has the tv blaring. It’s hard to have a conversation sometimes because the tv is so loud. One time, I had to literally tell her to turn the thing down so we could talk. Even if I had a tv, it would rarely be on. My parents did raise us (one of the good things they did as parents) to value things besides the tv. We had limited tv time, and none of us were allowed a tv in the room we shared. Will also does not have tv at his house.

    And the tv shows that she watches are garbage, but that’s another topic alltogether, and I have already ranted at least a little bit about those.

    I have a few shows that I find value in, and I have box sets of some of those. I have some movies. I watch them on my laptop when I am really wanting to watch a movie or a tv show. My little girl and I, when we get home from school, we READ. We READ a BOOK. Imagine that!!!!!!! We also sing and do our ABC’s. It’s sad that most people these days are raised by the tv instead…

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