As I have been off Facebook and Twitter, I have been alternatively reading current events on various news pages. To no one's surprise, I've found that unless you're subscribing to the Wall Street Journal, the Kardashians are just as likely to pop up on a sidebar as Drew Barrymore's marriage or Donald Trump's whimsical musings.
Entertainment news has become viral. Obama may be president, but E! and ESPN are the King and Queen. It's extremely difficult to pay attention to politics when Brad, Angelina and Tiger Woods are being shoved in your face. I don't even pay attention and I still happen to know that Brad and Angelina are engaged, but not setting a date.
Many people were amazed and moved at the Kony2012 campaign. But this guy has been causing extreme violence for years. The only reason he got attention in the States was because it appeared on Facebook feeds on everyone's snazzy new smartphones.
The power of Hollywood, the glitz and glam of it all: We are daily consuming their lifestyles and ideologies. Too many people buy US Weekly and watch Jersey Shore and The Bachelorette. And then we have Vogue trumpeting for the fashion industry, instructing us to purchase clothing that costs 10 to 20 to 30 times the actual material worth. Don't forget social media and the pressure to stay connected. I've heard people say that they can't pay rent, but they will, under no circumstances, go without their smartphones.
Even more influential and less pricey: Movies and television. This is where they feed us with a daily menu of double standards, impossible expectations on our bodies and facial appearance, and massive stereotyping -- all served with a side plate of clothing advertisements. The general message is as follows: "Be like us or you're a loser."
Hollywood continually feeds us with this crack. Some people are able to see through the garbage, but more actually believe these messages.
I hear ol' Hollywood and its actors tend to be liberal. I simply don't believe it. From what I gather from their messages, they couldn't care less about their main audience: the middle and lower classes. As far as I'm concerned, they are just as bad as Mr. Trump and his birther banter.
Occupy Wall Street? Why don't we Occupy Hollywood? Or better yet, unoccupy it? A little easier to do that than camp outside a financial district. Turn off MTV. Stop purchasing mindless entertainment media. No more E! News. Refuse to watch reality television. It's poison. If you watch television or movies, be mindful of the actual message that is being sent via Meg Ryan. And resist the need to know what the "stars are up to." They are actors. They eat, sleep and drink coffee like the rest of us. Stop purchasing Vogue magazine. Start thinking. Need a new shirt? Try the secondhand store. Or better yet, look in your closet again.
I know some people can afford the Vogue lifestyle, but it is destructive on many levels. At some point we have to start being accountable for making the wealthy media and fashion moguls so rich and influential. Furthermore, if we don't, we are promoting self-destructive messages to our children.
Stop buying designer clothes. Stop buying into the idea that you need designer clothes. Stop pretending it matters what kind of shirt you have. Buying designer labels is not a positive example of capitalism. Forget the Prada scarf, and start a small business or nonprofit foundation instead. Educate your children on the power of media and the value of being well-informed.
Many people think their obsession of Hollywood and fashion is harmless. It's not. It's a massive diversion from issues that actually need attention. No more Prada. Watch closely. Listen carefully. Read.