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Posts Tagged ‘Celebrity Culture’

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Source: Newsweek

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Now that I think about it and this Newsweek article that was written by David Friend contributed to it and even though he didn’t argue this himself, but the more I think about it the 1990s is the decade when Liberals won the Cultural War. Because there was one scandal after another both in politics and government, but in entertainment as well and yet America survived it and we prospered so much as a country in that decade with the end of the Cold War and the economic boom of that decade thanks to new trade, new technology, the deficit coming down and actually leading to a balanced budget by 1998. (Ask a Millennial what a balanced budget is and they’ll tell you its a budget where everything is spent equally, because they’ve never seen one before) And a lot of Americans perhaps especially my Generation X, but Baby Boomers decided as a generation and country that its OK.

So what if a politician sleeps with women they’re not married to and cheats on their wives. Thats bad for their wives and their children, but that doesn’t affect me and its not my business anyway. Which I believe was the attitude about all of these scandals where it didn’t involve people actually getting physically hurt or falsely accused. We go from the King of Tabloids who was Donald Trump (yes, the same man) in New York and all of his affairs with other women when he was married with kids at the time, to Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas who just happened to be running for President in 1991-92 and one famous affair that he had in that time period of the late 1980s and early 1990s with Gennifer Flowers.

To entertainment celebrities like Tommy Lee (from Motley Crew) and actress Pam Anderson and they having their sexual affair literally in public and making a video about it. O.J. Simpson was a real true crime story with two real murders involved and in that sense at least was a real story with real significance. Ao in that extent at least it was a serious story. But it was a tabloid story because of the main character involved, the other serious characters involved and where the story took place which was Los Angeles.

But go from the mid 1990s to the late 1990s and again with Bill Clinton who in many ways was a Hollywood character the John F. Kennedy with the cameras always on him with reporters writing down everything they hear and find out about him, but then reporting it, unlike with JFK. With the Jack Stanton character from the movie Primary Colors (played by John Travolta) almost seeming too real. To Bill Clinton’s last sex scandal from the 1990s involving him and a White House intern in Monica Lewinsky who is only two years older than me and 27 years younger than Bill Clinton obviously young enough to be his daughter.

But if that doesn’t seem to be a big enough Hollywood story for you, how about the Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich who made it a priority of his to remove President Bill Clinton from the White House (one way or another) and was President Clinton’s biggest critic of the 1990s, as well as one of his best partners as far as the legislation they were able to pass together in that divided government and continually bashed the President as being immoral for his sex scandals especially the Lewinsky scandal, gets caught having an affair with his secretary while he was married to another women. Newt Gingrich winning the title of Hypocrite in-chief. He closest he would ever come to being President.

America goes through all these scandals, the Christian-Right in America which has had more of their own share of sex scandals and other scandals in America (Jim Bakker, Jim Swaggart, etc) and yet they reach their highest point in America as far as political power and having a veto voice inside the Republican Party as far as where they have to be politically and get to decide its presidential nominees. The Republican Party wins complete control of Congress of 1994 winning back the House for the first time since 1953 which they would hold onto until 2007 and win back the Senate in 1994 that they would hold onto until 2001. Plus the GOP would hold at least 30 governorships and a majority of state legislatures in the mid and late 1990s and would hold all of that power other than losing the Senate in 2001 and win back the presidency in 2001, until the late 2000s when Democrats finally won back the House and Senate in 2006.

With all of this political power moving to the Right and even Far-Right in the 1990s, Americans as a people and I believe with Generation X completely coming of age in the 1990s being a big factor of this, we essentially decided as a country, so what! So what if free adults have consensual affairs with people other than their spouses. Thats a matter between them and their families. Not something that should be decided by government certainly and shouldn’t cost people their jobs even in public office simply because they’re in loyal spouses.

I believe the 1990s gave rise to gay rights movement of the 2000s, and movements that opposed the War on Drugs, privacy thanks to the War on Terror in the 2000s, becoming a big issue and concern with the belief that government was becoming big government in our personal lives. The Culture War was ending in the 1990s because of everything that we went through as a country and people being able to see all of these individual scandals that in the 1950s would have ruined most Americans if those scandals were made public and in many cases people would have faced serious legal consequences for them even if they were private and consensual.

Americans saw these scandals and saw a lot of people behaving badly and irresponsibly, but deciding that those affairs aren’t mind and people weren’t getting hurt physically, financially, or being falsely libeled because of what someone did to them, this is not something that I should be personally concern with. And just let the people who were affected by this personal behavior decide for themselves what and if should be done about it. Instead of big government stepping in.

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Source: Watching Mojo- OJ, WJC & CK

Watch Mojo: Top 10 Defining Moments of 1990s America

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Source: Dark Documentaries 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I can’t say that I’m shocked about what happened to O.J. Simpson post 1997 wrongful death civil case against him that he lost and of course he literally getting away with murder in 1995. Actually not what happened to him, but what he did to himself, but I’m certainly surprised by it.

O.J. will never get mistaken for a genius or for the twin of a genius, perhaps the evil twin of a genius. But I would have to think he was smart enough to at least have people around him who were smart enough to tell him, “look O.J., you literally just got way with murder here. Even with the 1997 judgement against you, you still have the resources to live the rest of your life fairly comfortably. Don’t blow it! And stay out of trouble and enjoy the rest of your live as a free man”. O.J. never figured that out and literally pushed his luck.

The message O.J. got was, “I just got away with murder here! I must be a God or something, lets see what else I can get away with!” Again we’re not talking about a genius here or someone who would be confused as the twin of a genius. And instead figures what the hell and starts his own criminal career around 2006 or so and is apparently broke and decides he’ll steal to support himself. Dumb narcissistic people do dumb things, because they believe they are either untouchable, or don’t deserved to be touched, or a combination of both. And what happened to O.J. is that he finally got caught in 2007. And is now doing the time in prison in Nevada that he should be doing in California for the 1994 double homicide.

Dark Documentaries: True Crime With Aphrodite Jones- O.J. Simpson 2010

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O.J. SimpsonSource: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I have to believe that looking at the evidence from the outside in the O.J. Simpson case, the case against O.J. Simpson that the man has to be guilty of murdering Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. I think commonsense has to tell you that especially the fact that O.J.’s blood is all over the crime scene. A holy bloody river, game, set, match at least as far as I’m concern. I mean if I’m a prosecutor or a police detective or sergeant and you forget about all the side stories in this case, I don’t think I could dream of a better case to have.

And having said all that with perfect case presented to the Los Angeles Police Department and District Attorney’s Office, they still managed to screw it up. But putting that all aside, if I’m on that jury and even with Mark Furhman garbage in the case that makes him look like he should have no business in law enforcement, except as a defendant, just based on the evidence in front of me I would have to think that O.J. is probably guilty here. Otherwise what is all of O.J.’s blood doing at the crime scene.

One of the best cases possible that you could possibly dream of, at least as far as the evidence. And the jury in that case still screwed it up and that is assuming that they actually went into the case with an open mind and didn’t decide well before that they weren’t going to vote guilty regardless. And just argue that Detective Furhman planted all the evidence against O.J. Including his blood, which would be borderline impossible to imagine. I mean Furhman would’ve had to of stabbed O.J. over and over to get all of that blood out of him.

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O.J. Simpson
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Without the O.J. Simpson trial would we of gotten so-called reality TV that became popular in the late 1990s or so? The O.J. trial was reality TV because it was real and it was happening everyday. Not wannabe celebrities who find themselves on a TV show and act out trying to make a career for themselves as a full-time celebrity if nothing else. And this certainly wasn’t a fictional drama. This was a real thing with real murder victims and a real defendant.

And not Joe Smith Pittsburgh truck driver defendant who perhaps was caught driving his truck drunk and ends up killing someone as a result. This was one of the most popular celebrities and former athletes of all-time. Who also made a career for himself as an NFL analyst for NBC Sports and as well as a somewhat accomplished movie actor and corporate spokesman. Who also lives in the entertainment capital of the world in Los Angeles. Who was culturally and racially mainstream and loved by Americans of all backgrounds.

But if that is not enough for you. throw in a wealthy famous African-American man, accused of murdering his ex-wife who is Anglo and their friend Ron Goldman who is Jewish. And throw tensions between the African-American and Jewish-American communities, at least in Los Angeles. The justifiable mistrust of the African-American community, perhaps especially in Los Angeles of law enforcement. I mean better scripts aren’t written in Hollywood than this.

If you want to know why celebrity culture at least in my opinion is out of control and why it now replaces and takes over for hard news, I give you the O.J. Simpson trial of 1994-95. Perhaps the two most unforgettable years at least in the last twenty years or so. Because now you have the internet, even in its early days to go along with cable news. And then throw in where it happened and who the defendant is and there’s no secret why this case got as much attention that it did.
Delicately Durable: The O.J. Simpson Trial- Drama of The Century

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Tabloids
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

The guy, lets call him Bob, because I’m too lazy or not interested enough to look up his real name, made a good point at the end of this video about the agent who works for people who get caught up in these tabloid stories. Either simply as victims of suspects of whatever the crime might have been. George Zimmerman would be the obvious example of a suspect put on trial for the killing of Travon Martin. And the way, again Bob talked about this agent that looks for “OMG stories” and people caught up in them and how to make money off of the stories.

Because seriously that is what these stories are about. What is awesome, what is hot will make people go or think oh my God about and get them to watch their program or network and read their publication about. That is just the culture and society that we’ve become, or have been for a very long time with the internet and now throw in the social network age has just made obvious to everyone. It is not what is important and what people need to know that is important to cable networks, meaning so-called news networks. But what is hot, what is awesome, what grabs people’s attention and drives them to their shows.

This might sound like an extreme example, but I could a time when, let’s CNN who at least prided themselves at one point for their hard news coverage, but I could see them with an issue involving what to cover at this exact moment with two competing breaking stories in their laps. “Should we cover America’s invasion of Syria to oust the Assad Regime that just murdered thousands of Syrian citizens in Damascus? Or should we cover Paris Hilton being arrested and arraigned for shoplifting?” Again this might sound extreme, but anyone old enough to remember the wall-to-wall CNN coverage of the O.J. Simpson case in the mid-1990s.

Cable news doesn’t mean hard news, meaning important news. Cable news is not another term for 60 Minutes or Frontline. It just means, “this is what is going on right now that we think you are interested in and why you should watch it and boost our ratings, because we’ll give you the best coverage of what you’re interested in”. Cable news is now combined with tabloid news into one entity. And they go where they believe is the most popular story at the time to drive up their ratings.
Matt Pentone: The Newsroom- Casey Anthony

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Justin Bieber
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

MSNBC- “This just in Justin Bieber arrested for drunk driving which of course is our top story today. Also in the news on our back story, New York City has just been hit by a nuclear missile attack. Hundreds of thousands of people reported dead. Several of our staff are here at NBC News World Headquarters including reporters and producers, have been unable to check in to give us a full report on that yet. Luckily our reporters and producers on the Bieber story were here all night working non-stop to give you the first breaking news footage of the Bieber story.

Our real news reporters and producers are only human and needed to go home before coming back to work. We hope to bring you coverage of the NYC nuclear missile attack on our late night insomniac news coverage. If there isn’t any Bieber related or other pop culture related breaking news. We are also following the latest Khloe Kardashian nightclub fight. And what shoes her sister Kim wore when she was out shopping last Saturday”.

I already knew MSNBC was a joke when it came to news. They use Michael Moore as an actual news commentator and analyst and actually take him seriously. The prime time lineup is really nothing more than far-left commentary and a lot of their afternoon drive is that as well. And they really only seem to interested in what anti-corporate, anti-capitalist Socialists in the country think about news. Even though MSNBC is as pro-capitalist and pro-corporate as they come. And I don’t believe they are fooling a lot of people, but that is what they do.

The Justin Bieber story just sort of takes the monster huge monster size cake to use an old expression, about what the so-called mainstream news media is about and interested and what the American people are interested in. And how our country and culture is so dumbed down now that they feel the need to know all about their favorite pop culture celebrities and as little about things that actually affect their real lives. Like their privacy, civil liberties, the ability to download, photos, videos, and other information of their favorite celebrities and whether their government monitors their online activities. And also little things like how much they are going to have to pay in taxes. Just to use as examples.
David Pakman Show: MSNBC Interrupts Representative on NSA For Report on Justin Bieber

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OJ Simpson
Source: CNN: June 17th 1994- O.J. Simpson’s Ford Bronco Chase

I remember this very well, because I had just graduated from high school. And was in Delaware vacationing with my family and I believe I was watching the NBA Finals on NBC. And then of course NBC News breaks in with live coverage of this chase which was different from other Los Angeles car chases. Which of course aren’t rare in Los Angeles, but what made this care chase different was that it involved a celebrity and NBC News and other news organizations breaking into a championship series, or whatever they were showing and stopped showing, to cover this tabloid story. Is just another example and perhaps the biggest example of what news has become in America. At least TV news, where it’s not what’s important to cover that is important, but what is popular to cover and how you make the most money. Covering that story to spend so much time and energy covering one murder trial. Not that it shouldn’t of been covered, which of course the supporters of the coverage will say. But to cover it basically at the expense of every other news story that’s going on.

So-called reality TV, which of course isn’t reality TV, but tabloid TV, didn’t start in the late 1990s or 2000, with Survivor on CBS. It started in the mid 1990s in 1994 with OJ Simpson. And his famous duel murders and his Trial of The Century. Before social networking and before Google, but right in the early days of cellphones and the Internet. And when cable news was becoming very important with the 24 hour news cycle. You also have to remember that OJ, was not just an actor, but an accomplished one and perhaps not someone you want doing your taxes for you, but smart enough and with the personality to get people’s attention and put the focus on him. He knew he was going to jail and perhaps never coming out and had money and a gun in his truck. And I guess was going to make a run for Mexico, but perhaps smart enough to know he probably wasn’t going to make it.

The Ford Bronco Chase, was the ultimate publicity stunt and so-called reality TV. But it wasn’t what is called reality TV, which is not reality TV, but tabloid TV. Where producers of those shows encourage people to act out to get the most ratings possible. But this chase was real reality TV. A grown man, who up to this point was a very well-liked and respected man. Who had a Hall of Fame NFL career and one of the top 5-10 running backs of all-time. Who put together a solid sportscasting career with NBC Sports and acting career and did commercials. Who was going through a horrible time, I imagine and perhaps feeling horribly guilty about his two murders and perhaps lost it and didn’t know what to do about it. But again, we are talking about an actor here and this could’ve simply been a publicity stunt. But this was real reality TV and not made up.

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