hmmmm....I find it odd that the same things that piss people off in fandom, happen to be the exact same things that piss me off about real life. The thing that I find funny about the whole mess is that no one seems to realize that it all easily translates. Yes, "tin" happens to the people around us everyday. Gossip is gossip. Is "tin" any different when you're talking about your "OMG my neighbor is so gay"? The only true difference is that you aren't slapping icons with "OTP" on your journal of your "maybe gay neighbor". Whole commercial groups and industries are built on tin and how much the public loves it. If E's Kristin wasn't convinced that she knew the Lost crew so much, would anyone really read her chats each week? And if shows with name dropping commentators like "The Insider" and "Entertainment tonight" aren't existing on the sole promise of "tin" than I don't know what is.
The truth is that no one knows anyone any more than we "know" these celebrities. Yet, it is a human urge to want to make connections, to understand, to see, and to want to make all of us the same. We yearn for connection with other human beings, never more so when we see some chosen as "godly" over all of us "lesser" people. We seem them lauded, and hypercriticized and we want to find some of us in them. We want to see them doing things to make it acceptable for us to do them. We want them to have personality traits, so that ours are more desirable. We want to be friends of theirs so that we seem more "godly". It's the psychological principle of attraction. If you are with a group of attractive people, you in turn are seen as more attractive. Perhaps that is what we are looking for, rather than some other principle. However, celebrities are no more extraordinary than us, and that is what surprises many people all the time. Their privacy is no more important than our own. Their lives are no more open to dissection than mine. And their secrets, while publicly exposed, are no more surprising or terrifying than ours. So if someone wants to spread gossip about celebrities and their personal life, it's not any more extraordinary to me than if my coworker is talking about someone else in the office. It's all gossip, it's all conjecture under the clothing of fact. In fact, I must say that people talking about celebrities and their lives makes me less uncomfortable than hearing talk about people who are actually in my life. Why? Because at least the celebrity has some chance of never hearing the gossip, and if they do, it may hurt less. I won't say that there is less harm, because of course celebrities are just human and hurt all the same. But it's not any different.
We are all human, celebrities and non-celebrities. We all make assumptions, and most of us like to feel like we know more than we actually do. Talking about celebrities as if we know them, or discussing sordid things in their lives is really about wishing. If wishing could make something possible, it's safe to say that most of the celebrities in this world would be cohabitating with their multiple slashy partners. None-the-less, people will continue to discuss celebrities, and that is okay. It is okay to want to know about them. It is okay to feel that they are one way over another. It is okay to feel like they are someone you would befriend.
What isn't okay? Wanting to know them so much that you make up stories, begin to believe you're actually a friend of theirs, or stalk them. It's not okay to think that they read your journal and are communicating to you through the color choice of their clothes. It's not okay to go on a campaign to separate them from whoever they have chosen to go through life with because "OMG THEIR LOVE IS EVIL" or "HE SHOULD BE WITH DOM". It's not okay to cry yourself to sleep because it's so unfair that you are being slighted because he got a new girlfriend. It's not okay to believe that you are on some throne of fandom and can dictate what topics/pictures/stories are acceptable and which are "private". It's not okay to believe that what you say does no harm. It's not okay to be so stringent on cutting talk about celebrities' private lives when you are airing every other person's dirty laundry to the world.
It's trite, it's overused, it's tiring, it's often laughed at, and yet it always has a ring of truth: "Can't we all just get along?" The world isn't pretty and human behavior is often pretty despicable, but we all can be better if we just chill a bit about topics in fandom. We can despise it, we can rant about it, but nothing is going to change. There will always be the haves and the have nots, the dissenters and the sheep, and the tins and the "privacy queens". We will never stop looking towards our "famed" people in interest, if for nothing else than trying to figure out what was so damn special about them. Today it's entertainment people. Tomorrow it could be politicians again. Who knows? I for one will still be here trying to dodge through the crowd.
**This semi-rant is not directed at anyone on or off my flist or at anyone in particular. I have no problem with anyone....I'm just saying...I simply read through the discussion today, and it sent me off.