Friday, May 09, 2008

These are the things I worry about, besides John McCain

I maintain that if I were to go back to school, one of my top five choices would be as some kind of media studies person analyzing "The Hills." I don't even watch it anymore -- my tolerance level is way, way too low for that kind of bullshit -- but I maintain a mild academic interest in it as a cultural phenomenon. Read this article about Heidi and Spencer to understand -- it's unfathomable and creepy.

Together, they have leveraged many bits of their lives -- Heidi's plastic surgery (nose job, breast implants), her real and continuous falling out with Lauren, the possibly faked ups and downs of their relationship and the cruel public mockery of Heidi's popstar aspirations -- to fit the 24-hour news cycle. They have retained a publicist, Cindy Guagenti of BWR Public Relations, but she seems to have a hands-off approach to their full-on courting of the press. Often, staged-looking paparazzi shots accompany their doings: It's Easter, and Heidi and Spencer have bunny ears on! Spencer comforts a crying Heidi after people are mean about her music video for "Higher" on the Internet!

Harvey Levin, the TMZ guru, said this fakeness factor actually adds to the fun: "They are so lame, and so staged and canned, that it makes it almost entertaining and fun to poke fun at. The secret for them is that they get the joke."

And Hilton, whose lawless blog has caused frequent earthquakes that shake the publicist-driven and fawning Celebrity Industrial Complex, mused over the setups and fictions in a telephone interview. "Genius and pathetic at the same time," he said. "But more genius than pathetic."

I really hope not. Stuff like this actually makes me feel like America is doomed; the apocalypse is, actually, closer than we think.



Casey said...

I admit it: I absolutely adore The Hills. My dad and I watch it and then bag on Lo. She's SO lame.

Kim said...

Yeah...sigh. Sigh. And sigh again. Watching The Hills is not something I'm terribly proud to admin, but it's such a damn guilty pleasure. It's just constant dumbness. A show that I like to place in the category of "stupid pretty people doing things."

Like I said...sigh.