Smackdown on the Vicarious Vacation

Is he always wet? How much does this guy swim?

          It’s Wednesday of Travel week and you know what that means? Celebrity Smackdown time! If you look at the newsstands and magazine racks, they are replete with pictures that old disgusting men took hiding behind a bush on some beach far from where you live so that they can get the perfect shot of a actresses cellulite or side boob. The magazines rush to buy these pics, paying premium dollars to print them in Technicolor for all of us to see. Because that’s what we want right? We want to see that celebrities are just like us; lumpy and imperfect. So who gets the smackdown today? We do.

          Lee says: It takes two to tango and that line isn’t just about dancing nor having sex. We are glutted with images of superstars in varying stages of undress, taken through key holes with telescopic lenses. We feign disgust and pay the 5 bucks to bring the magazine home so we can revel in it in private while publicly being outraged with this smut or crap as news. We are transported to different worlds when we look at George Clooney riding a Vespa in Italy or see Daniel Craig or Hugh Jackman come out of the water again and again on different beaches. They are our mini-vacations without leaving the comfort or security of our own worlds.

          We live vicariously through them. Not like a stalker who insists they are the real wife of Brad Pitt but the simple connection of familiarity creates a bond with them that is hard to break. Oh wow, Robert Pattison drinks Starbucks too! I wonder if he drinks a venti, non-fat, 2 raw sugar latte just like me? Is he a marble loaf or lemon cake man? This is how we treat our male celebrities and worship them from afar. Few are crucified unless they make the mistake of being slightly effeminate or leave any doubt as to their sexuality and then we are merciless.

          With women we are very different. If they are beautiful, which they usually are, our gawking is mainly focused on finding the flaw. She’s too fat, too skinny, too old for him, too young for him. Look at Megan Fox and her weird arm tattoo or Julia Roberts isn’t as young as she used to be. We sit here in judgment over whether this one should have dared a two piece bikini or is that one anorexic. We destroy there approximation to perfection because it makes us feel better. It doesn’t matter if they have talent. What matters is that they lead a life we don’t. We are nothing special and they are spectacular.

          I have bitched about reality stars becoming celebrities but we are the ones that give them that permission. We buy the magazines, watch their fake shows and wait for them to stumble out of night clubs and get arrested for yet another DUI. We are the ones that created this monster so don’t come crying to me when you are sickened by all of it.  Don’t bitch when you see someone receive celebrity justice. Don’t go to your friends and moan about how this guy didn’t see the inside of a jail cell and this woman was processed and released while your uncle did 180 days for riding his bicycle after dropping some E and drinking a bottle of Jack. We built these pedestals high and the air is thin up there and things are a little distorted in their world. They survived the climb so mazel tov.

          I think I’ll take a mini-vacation right now. I wonder what’s new on TMZ and Perez Hilton right now. Ah crap, more Michael Jackson coverage.   

          Paul says: I’m not a fan of the vicarious vacation via celebrities; the champagne sucks and instead of a suntan, I get paper cuts. The People and Us travel package is cheap but not as relaxing.



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