Tuesday, April 5, 2011

As I mentioned earlier, I gave up swearing for Lent.  More on this here, but in addition to giving up cursing, I also gave up celeb gossip.  I had already given up TMZ (for the most part) as part of my New Years Resolution, but I was sitting there on Ash Wendsday, reading The Superficial and wondering how long I would last before I dropped my first f-bomb (6 hours) and I realized that here I was, ingesting something that was fundementally bad for me and a waste of my time.  Because really, what does it matter in my life what Lindsey Lohan had for lunch?

So I clicked out of the page, and haven't read any since.

Negativity breeds negativity.  When I was living in NYC, I was surrounded by newsstands and glossy gossip rags screaming about Nick and Jessica's divorce.  It actually depressed me--I got anxious just walking past a rack of magazines, the bold headlines of their impending marital doom made me really, really sad.  Not because I gave or ever have given a fig about Jessica Simpson.  I'm not even sure what a Nick Lachey is.  But the public airing of their dirty laundry made me sad for humanity, and I had to make a deliberate effort to look the other way.  And you know what?  It worked.

I'm doing this, partially, for Charlie Sheen.  And again, I don't care one way or another about Charlie Sheen; I've seen exactly one of his movies (The Three Musketeers) and watch Two and a Half Men only when I'm staying in NYC, it's 1AM, I can't sleep and it's either that or the Times Square traffic cam.  And as his spiral started downwards, I, like everyone else in America, watched in horrified fascination. 

But then I realized that I was a major part of his problem.  I had become one of the people who clicked on every news item, thus giving him the audience he sought.  I realized that I couldn't actively participate in a man's public suicide--it was sick and it was wrong and I'm glad to be rid of it.

I no longer read gossip headlines at the grocery store--instead, I look up recipes or *gasp* talk to my boyfriend.  The time I was wasting catching up on Heidi Montag is now spent writing or listening to records or writing letters to my friends.  My productivity has increased and I don't feel so bogged down with the ugliness of the world--because gossip is never nice, it's always judgemental and this world is too beautiful for the feuds on Teen Mom to fill it with poison.

This isn't to say I've given up celebs--but rather, I've switched my focus.  I look up old interviews with Walton Goggins because the way he creates his characters inspires me in my writing.  I read about Geena Davis' work at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media because I think she's a rare breed of woman.  I try to find people who inspire me, not waste my time with their petty garbage.

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