Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pop Cultured: The Glamorization of Criminality

Preface: I know I haven't blogged in some time, I'm just too busy.  I know that's not a good excuse, just as it wasn't the other hundred times I've said it.  Between school work and my work at my university's newspaper The Contraband, I literally have no time, nor the urge to write anything else.  To hold you over until a time when I might be more willing to write something again, here are some pieces that originally appeared in The Contraband.  I write a weekly pop culture piece, sometimes they are funny, sometimes they're not trying to be.  Although I think if you look hard enough you'll see some of me in there.  I hope you enjoy them, as I'm posting them one right after the other.

I’ve been trying to figure out for the last year and half why Lindsay Lohan keeps trying to avoid jail time.  Basically the timeline of a typical month for Lohan looks like this: reckless behavior fueled by all of the crystal meth produced by the world’s largest trailer parks, she gets arrested due to reckless behavior;  she gets bailed out of jail within a matter of hours,  then gets slapped on the wrist, and repeat.   I’m just wondering why she’s even fighting it at this point.  You know that the Los Angeles county jail probably has a cell with her name on it, like a fancy dressing room.  I’m imagining it’s even set up with all the necessities she requires like an on-call female inmate named Ron who’s been taught to be a masseuse, and a marble toilet in which she can spew her bulimia into.  If I were Lohan I’d take the jail time.  Trust me, you’re not going to get any movie roles anytime in the foreseeable future, this would be a better use of your time, and uh “talents”. 

 I guess my biggest problem with the whole ordeal is the fact that as a society not only do we take celebrities and hold them up as Gods, but we also glamorize their criminal behavior.  For instance if you’re watching the five o’ clock news and see a woman addled by drugs in a high speed chase, you would judge her for it.  You would see a skanky drug user, as a skanky drug user.  But for public figures like Lohan, we can’t get enough of it.  We want to know what she wore (or didn’t wear) to court.  We want to know where she’s serving her sentence, we want to know how short of a sentence she’ll serve, and we want to know if she’s got any movies in the pipeline.  We want to see everything but some kind of punishment. 
  And it’s not just Lohan, in the past five years celebrities have gone from can-do-no-wrongs to hardened criminals.  Hell, in the past week rapper Soulja Boy has been arrested, and Hannah Montana co-star Michael Musso has been busted for a DUI.  And although admittedly neither of those celebrities are what you might call A-List, we don’t even seem to judge them for their bad behavior. 

Criminality is so glamorized these days that it’s even showing up in art.  The newly released music video for the aptly titled “Criminal” by Britney Spears plays as a Bonnie and Clyde-esque love letter to criminal behavior.  Within five minutes Spears and her real life boyfriend are shown: robbing a bank and a convenience store, stealing a car, having at least seven different kinds of shower sex, and then making out in the middle of a hailstorm of bullets.  It really makes a statement of: I am a celebrity and I can do what I want.  And that stands as true, because we let them. 

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