Friday, January 15, 2010

Thank God I don't live in LA.

Because it would not be a good situation.

Can I confess something to you guys?  I have a habit that I am embarrassed about, even though I know I share this habit with roughly 98% of other Americans. It is nothing new. I, having posted videos of Lady Gaga and what not, have in fact helped perpetuate it.  But friends, my bad habit is this:

I read celebrity gossip websites.  Often.  Entirely too often. And it makes me feel...dirty.

When I was in grad school, I devoured sites like The Superficial, Go Fug Yourself, and of course grand dame Perez Hilton.  I read them obsessively as sort of a counterbalance to academia, to keep it real or something. Also to procrastinate from writing my papers. But mostly to feel "connected."  I mean, I enjoyed my given topic of grad school study (Victorian literature) and as a matter of fact, still do.  But grad school does this weird isolating thing where, if you're not careful, you start to disengage from the stuff normal people talk about. Did you hear about Miley Cyrus? No, but I DID hear about rhizome theory and the collective unconscious! Who wants a shot?

And that's where the habit started.  Based on the faulty reasoning that celebrity websites would bring me back into the realm of "stuff everyday folks care about," but I think my motives were a lot baser than that. This would have been, let's see - 2005 to 2007, so I believe we were dealing with Jessica Simpson's rise to power (and inevitable fall from grace), the dissolution of Witherspoon/Phillipe, with a touch of Beyonce backlash thrown in the mix.  Does that sound about right?

When I moved back to Austin in 2007, the urge got coaxed out a bit. But I still need a fix every now and then, which is why I spent half an hour on Lainey Gossip last night.  And what did I learn?  That Heidi Montag had 10 plastic surgeries in a day.  That Lindsay Lohan has, apparently, a new sex tape.  Something about a Kardashian.

Do you see why this is a problem?

NOTE to Austin event planners: PLEASE, please, do not ever get in the regular habit of booking "celeb events." This might be a controversial opinion. And I'll give you a pass during SXSW. Also, legitimate musicians and rockstars are different than celebs plain and simple, or more specifically, famous-for-famous'-sake celebs.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  And, one more freebie: Drafthouse, you do it right as far as I can tell. John Krasinski for example. That was a totally right move.

Sorry if any of this comes off as preachy or holier than thou.  I know that I'm in publicity, and the fastest way to guarantee a good crowd at an event is with a celeb.  But let's not do it, Austin. You and me, let's keep on hawking booze and bands.  I'd rather drink and dance than celeb gawk.

(Am not totally sure where this post is coming from; I think the sudden realization that Austin is ripe for mass celeb descension, along with Heidi Montag's plastic surgeried-out face on the cover of People Magazine.  Which may or may not have pulled at my heartstrings a little.  How bizarre is that?  I mean....self, it's Heidi Montag. Honestly.)


Amanda said...

Quitting Perez Hilton is like addiction breaking - I used to scroll through his posts everyday after work - one to two hours to take it all in. Sometimes I miss it the way I assume smokers miss cigarettes, especially in social situations. I don't even have cable anymore. Lame.

And I agree with you on both counts - booze/bands, and John Krasinski.

@TheresAfuknknit said...

I'm with you on this, Tolly. I been off Perez for awhile now. I just realized, though, that we need to keep an eye on his site in the next couple of months so we know when to sign up for his SXSW party. That was pretty awesome last year and is probably the only good thing he has going for him.

Austin Eavesdropper said...
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Austin Eavesdropper said...

Haha, Andrew as soon as I posted this, I remembered Perez's SXSW party. :) And immediately thought to myself: "I'm a lousy hypocrite, because I loved that party."

But SXSW gets a pass.

Amanda - Yes, that's exactly how it feels! Wanting some fodder for social situations, just like smoking temptation in social situations. Like ex-smokers, I feel like I've *pretty much* kicked the habit, but when I get the itch it comes back in a BIG way. And I read too many sites, for too long, and am way too informed on the likes of The Hills/Jersey Shore/Ryan Reynolds or whatever afterwards. Like smoking a whole pack in an hour, to continue the analogy. said...

I know what you mean. That show about the Kardashians really has me addicted.

Michelle said...

Even as someone who has NO interest in celeb dealings whatsoever, celeb gossip still has some kind of weird pull. I think they must enchant the websites that have it or something, because I (again, someone totally not interested) can easily burn an hour or two reading it...

Tolly, you should do a first-timer's guide to SXSW! Or like, how to meet the cool people even though you couldn't afford the tickets. I couldn't justify shelling out since I only want to see like three panels and a couple of bands - I'll probably still see the bands but it looks like I'll have to wait for them to put the panels out as podcasts (they do that, right? someone told me they did...). I'm kind of worried I'd get overwhelmed by it all and just end up staying inside my apartment all week instead of enjoying the madness!

Hipstercrite said...

Hahahaha....when I lived in L.A., the celeb culture was so overdone, that you wanted to get as far away from it as possible. It's overkill there. So maybe it would be a good thing if you lived in L.A. (but please, don't move there).

Breanna said...

I heart Go Fug Yourself. I think of it as "celeb gossip/critique for smart people" (even though it totally isn't).

T, you know I'm with you on the celeb lovin'. I mean, for Jeebus' sake, I Google Robert Pattinson daily. You know, just to see how he's doing.

Austin Eavesdropper said...

StarCake - I am kind of hooked on that show too, but mostly because they make it look like this fun, sisterly romp (sprinkled with bits of intense drama). For an only child like me, it's like crack.

Michelle - BRILLIANT! I love that post idea. Here are some event posts I did last year on SXSW, but I like your pre-SXSW "guide" suggestion even better.

(The blog looked so different back then! She's come a long way. :)

Haha, this one is funny - a Perez party recap:

Anyway. It's SO easy to do SXSW for free Michelle, and have a badass rockin' time. I shall post.

Hipstercrite - Word. I thought about you while writing this post, and your past LA-ness!

B - I'm determined to shake the habit. I "love" celeb gossip in the same way I "love" wine coolers. A cheap thrill but ultimately bad for me, you know? I want it out.

That being said, the Fug girls never fail to crack me up.

That Chelsea Girl™ said...

I am so glad Austin is not LA, not just for the obvious reasons but also for this whole post. Celebrities like Heidi Montag scare me. After so much plastic surgery, I have to ask: would she melt in Texas heat?

Anonymous said...

thank god i live in LA not Austin!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

really stereotypes from people who have never lived in LA is pathetic
for one not everone in LA is a celeb
two not all celebs are bad poeple
three heidi montag is a celeb because others make her one - alot of mexicans live in Los Angeles and aisians
have you been to LA
i have been to austin
thank god i dont liver there
nothing to do except go to bars and if you dont like the longhorns
well there is always the johnson library
but come on
i love LA
and thank god i do live here!!!
stay in texas you hicks!!!