Poor, poor, pitiful me . . .

So I was reading the celebrity gossip on MSN this morning, and I decided to delve in the he said/she said of the John Mayer/Jennifer Aniston breakup. Today’s story was John Mayer’s version of the breakup, that being that he did the parting but she is a wonderful, talented woman, etc…. My son Brett wonders why I read this schlock, and I try to explain the whole train wreck aspect of celebrity news: you just cannot turn away from the impending crash of someone else’s lives going to hell, and at the same time, you are amazed that people actually care about this crap (including yourself). I will admit that I have glanced at stories about Britney, Lindsey, and Paris–the trifecta of the intellectual vacuum of fame. I will also admit that I have spent a few brain cells wondering why people care about these vapid females who have absolutely nothing to contribute to society.

On the other hand, I will freely admit to being an admirer of Angelina and Brad, not because they have a brood of children, but because they are savvy enough to use the media to their advantage. If People magazine is stupid enough to pay $15 million for pictures of the happy family’s new babies, then the Jolie-Pitt pair is going to be smart enough to say, “Why yes, we will happily take the money that you are shelling out and turn around and use it for one of our foundations to help save lives, better the living standards of people who would otherwise do without.” In other words, you would hound us and try to get these pictures for free, why not use you to our advantage and pass that on to people who really need the money because we sure as hell don’t need any more.

And then there are those famous people who do things that really stupefy me. They are not in the “truly stupid” category, nor are they in the “working for humanity” category. They are in the “I’m an artiste” category, and so I’m allowed to treat people badly and say things without engaging my brain. I’d classify John Mayer in this category. Mayer, when speaking to the press about his break up with Aniston, insists that “you have to give everything up because you can’t have it all and it sucks.” Poor John. Can’t have it all. So, I suppose he’ll be writing on his blog soon about how his heart is aching and love has eluded him once again because a beautiful woman has done him wrong. Maybe if he ever learns not to pour his heart out and tell the world about his love life, he might find a woman who is willing to go the distance with him, that is, if she can tolerate his incredible ego.

Speaking of which, why does the world tolerate the incredible egos of these supposedly famous people in the first place. Paris Hilton? What has she done to be famous, to be idolized? Come on now, think very hard . . . she was born with a famous last name? Where will she be in the grand scheme of things in twenty years? Same place, no doubt. Britney Spears? We watched her have a mental breakdown in public. Everyone tuned in to her public shearing. Couldn’t turn away. Now her public redemption: Her picture on the cover of a rag with her two boys in mini tuxedos, everyone in white. Pure as the driven snow. No more crotch shots. Twenty years? Will we care? Probably. But the real question is why?

How many people who buy People and US will vote in the upcoming presidential election? If we could have half of those people, it would be a record turnout. In the first free vote in South Africa, people stood in lines that went on for miles in the sun and heat to be able to say that they had voted. Old men and women walked, WALKED for miles to get to voting centers. When asked why, they replied that they wanted to be able to say that they had voted at least once in their lives in a free election. Americans have had the right to vote in free elections for hundreds of years, yet would the American public do that? Maybe if Madonna or Paris offered to be there signing t-shirts.

Otherwise, forget it.