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Is there a point where mocking contempt actually becomes sympathy?
Confused? Yeah, I think I would be too after reading that statement.
What I'm referring to are the young Hollywood starlets who have made such shows of breaking down over the course of the last several years and have edged close to or over the verge of a nervous breakdown and into complete career and personal life destruction mode.
Sure, like many others, I've watched with morbid fascination as someone like Britney Spears who, despite some protestation, is actually a very talented young woman and seems to have it all just erupts. I don't need to recap it, we all know the story. And I will admit that I enjoyed the roller coaster ride. It was more thrilling than a day trip to Six Flags. You watch the news reports, you read some of the trashy tabloid articles while waiting to pay for groceries, you check online reports... and you're enraptured. Sometimes you laugh, sometimes you shake your head in disbelief, and you always wonder what will happen next. That was the fun part, a veritable game of Celebrity Limbo - how low can they go?
I think most of the fascination comes from the fact that I cannot even fathom having that much fame and money and then to sit there and watch it all be squandered. Maybe it's a boring thing to see for someone who is at a similar level professionally or financially, but I'm not, so I typically kick back and watch.
However, at some point, to me anyway, I start to feel a little pity. I don't know what causes it. I don't know where the line in the sand has been drawn that these starlets are crossing. But it's there. I feel bad for them and I almost want to help. Sure, from where I stand, all I can really do is be a bit of a cheerleader, but it's something.
With Britney, I have actually been hoping against hope that her career is permanently on the rebound and that her personal life will similarly follow suit. I want her to finish this tour she's on and make a lot of money and recoup her fanbase. I want her to find love and establish a positive relationship with her kids.
I don't know why I actually care, but for some twisted reason I do.
I'm also starting to feel this way about Mischa Barton. I'm not even a fan of Mischa and part of me, after seeing some of the stuff printed about her the last couple weeks, wants to reach out a hand and help pull her up to her feet.
The thing is, they're doing this to themselves so why do I actually care?
That's the $64,000 question. Although I think inflation may have raised the value a bit.
Lindsay Lohan? I don't know that I've reached the sympathy point with her yet. I still feel a bit ticked because I was such an early adopter fanboy of her performances in The Parent Trap and Mean Girls. LiLo's got some work to do to make me cross the threshold to true sympathy. Keep going, girl. You may get there yet.
Can I just say I'm dying for the return of Mad Men? I want season three and I want it now, dammit! I want to see how far in the future they jump, if at all. I want to see who is doing what and where and with whom. Please, just give me Mad Men or I'm going to have to keep doing stupid stuff on the Web like drooling over promotional stills or creating stupid images like this...
Yes, that's me as a character on Mad Men. Sure I may have fudged the body type a bit, but damn I look good. And I'm there with my own Betty Draper. Nice! Go ahead and make your own!
Please, AMC, make the madness stop and just give us season three already! I beg you. August 16 is too long to wait.
I'd never want to be famous. I like my life to NOT be under a microscope. A part of me thinks that these people do like the attention, not all the time but definitely some of the time.
I can't feel sorry for them because quite honestly we make our decisions and people like Brittany Spears, Lilo, etc. have come this far because of choices they made.
I made my own Mad Men character too! I love it! Where do you find this stuff?
Have a wonderful weekend!
Posted by: Marie | Friday, 31 July 2009 at 11:06 AM
It's interesting who we feel sympathy for and who we carry disdain for. Like for me, no matter what, I just can't feel anything but ick about Tom Cruise. I think we connect with these celebrities because they are in a way part of our day to day life if we watch their shows, movies, listen to their music, etc. And the pressures of being famous? As much as I might be an egomaniac, I would never want that. It changes you even if you go into it with the best of intentions. I think so many of these people have been steamrolled. It's totally sad.
Posted by: sizzle | Friday, 31 July 2009 at 11:12 AM
I'm so excited about Mad Men!!!
I'm actually more hopeful for Lindsay than for Britney. I thought Lindsay had more talent but she's definitely wasting it and has pretty much hit the bottom of the barrel. I want her to move her way back up but I have a feeling it's a long way off.
Posted by: Robin | Friday, 31 July 2009 at 12:37 PM
Oh, I totally felt bad for Britney, I think long before other people did. It's only interesting or fascinating for so long before being human kicks in... It's hard to kick a horse when it's already down, or some shit like that...
Lindsey Lohan - she's... gah. I don't even know. I don't feel much sympathy for her, either, yet - oddly enough.
Anyway, I watched Royal Pains! I like it! I saw reruns on yesterday and watched 4 in a row! Thanks. :)
Now I'll go make Mad Men cartoons.
You're a great suggester of time wasting. :P
Posted by: Sybil Law | Friday, 31 July 2009 at 01:32 PM
I dunno, I felt a little bad about Britney as well. Can't really say the same for the others you mentioned. In fact, I don't even know who Mischa Barton is to be honest. And you know what, I'm ok with that ;-)
Posted by: Kevin Spencer | Friday, 31 July 2009 at 04:27 PM
Love the Mad Men you. Just posted mine.
Started making another version with a guy and he started looking like Jon Waters. Good times.
Posted by: claire | Friday, 31 July 2009 at 06:39 PM
I forget who said but someone famous said that people think they want to be famous but really they want to be rich. There may be something to that.
I don't who Mischa Barton is, nor do I really have any frame of reference for Lindsay Lohan -- it's like they have no skills except self-destruct. So fuck it, let them.
Britney, well, I think we all want Britney to take control of her life and do well... I'm just not sure it will happen. I think part of us still holds to her innocent act. (Even if we knew it's all it was... an act.)
Posted by: Nat | Friday, 31 July 2009 at 09:55 PM
Like all the best crap lately, I found it on Twitter. Sad, eh?
Posted by: kapgar | Saturday, 01 August 2009 at 11:09 AM
Steamrolling sounds about right. How could someone ever possibly
prepare for that?
Posted by: kapgar | Saturday, 01 August 2009 at 11:11 AM
I think Lindsay has quite a bit of talent too. But I'm not suure she's
gotten to a point where she "needs" to recover yet, if you know what I
Posted by: kapgar | Saturday, 01 August 2009 at 11:13 AM
I only wish I had more time I could waste. ;-) no, not really. I think.
Posted by: kapgar | Saturday, 01 August 2009 at 11:15 AM
Ignorance is bliss, my friend.
Posted by: kapgar | Saturday, 01 August 2009 at 11:16 AM
Jon Waters? Nice!
Posted by: kapgar | Saturday, 01 August 2009 at 11:17 AM
I really hope Brit can fix it.
Posted by: kapgar | Saturday, 01 August 2009 at 11:19 AM
I have to admit that I've often wondered that, as grounded as I feel like I am, would that all change if I were to suddenly become famous and rich? But then I think of other celebs that don't spiral out of control and keep it real, like a Tom Hanks and hell, even Julia Roberts is one of the most famous actresses in the world since she was about 22 -- yet she has her shit together.
Posted by: Becky | Friday, 28 August 2009 at 05:31 PM
There definitely are exceptions. Hanks is a good one.
Posted by: kapgar | Friday, 28 August 2009 at 11:23 PM