A Vaguely Embarrassing Love

I love to watch TMZ; I do, so sue me. What I enjoy most about it is the Greek chorus quality of the staff when they pitch and comment on their various celebrity reports—never mind that I have no idea who 80% of the subjects are and care hardly a little for the remainder. Several people have rolled their eyes when I’ve told them of my affinity for the show. “It’s so low brow,” they mutter. “How can you waste your brain on such rot?”

 

And it’s not that they’re wrong. TMZ is 100% artificial sweetener, the kind that leaves a bad taste in your mouth; the show has no redeeming qualities, but I faithfully watch it, anyway. As a form of perversity, I kinda like being an outcast amongst those types who consider PBS NewsHour or Meet the Press a more valuable way to spend their precious time. (Yeah, those shows really provide useful insight and cutting edge overviews of the nation’s business.) Sometimes, you just need to make peace with loving an activity that vaguely embarrasses you.

 

I cannot justify my love for TMZ anymore than I can justify my love for the Dallas Cowboys. I know there are a million better ways to spend my time than watching a show reporting on the goings on of ignorant and grossly extravagant minor celebrities behaving badly, but I remain undeterred in my devotion. For me, anticipating the snarky wisecracks of the TMZ chorus is worth the grief I get. TMZ staffers have no filter in what they say and it’s pretty darn droll!

 

OK, so that’s my confession. Your turn.

What is that thing you love to do but hunch your shoulders and drop your head at the thought of admitting this secret devotion? Do you have a disturbingly large collection of painted toy soldiers? Are you so hooked on comic books that you stash them under your bed, more coveted than a centerfold pull-out poster circa 1983? Do you keep a secret, year round, supply of emergency MREs just in case Armageddon occurs? Is your default channel set to QVC or the Hallmark Movie Channel?

 

Don’t tell me you have no humiliating proclivity because you do. We all do.

 

So, this is what I have to say about such matters: be loud and be proud. As long as whatever you’re indulging in doesn’t hurt children or small animals, don your Civil War reenactment costume, pull out that book of Klingon, reenact the modern dance scene from Oklahoma! If it makes your heart sing for whatever mysterious reason, I say go for it. A little message of inspiration from me to you.

 

On an entirely different note, I have two book recommendations for all of you. First up: It’s a great, quick read about a masterful con man who is now in the pokey for murder. The book is called The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor by Mark Seal. What a Svengali this guy was! Here’s this German fellow who comes to the United States and masters English by studying Thurston Howell III in reruns of Gilligan’s Island. What he gets away with and the vast array of people he fools is astounding—a terrific read, if you’re up for a fun distraction. The other highly entertaining read I recommend is This Town by Mark Leibovich. It’s all about the Washington game of glitz, manipulation, and mutual masturbation adoration that goes on between the political and media elites here in DC.

 

Ok, so this isn’t a typical DR blog post, but you get what you pay for around here. Let me know if you like the books (or care to confess your embarrassing activity.)

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3 Responses to “A Vaguely Embarrassing Love”

  1. Jim Patterson Says:

    This is one of your better and more fun blogs.

    I do not watch TMZ but it is a perfect example of being able to say whatever you want, to anyone you want, about anybody you want, and have no factual backup or good overview on the subject matter. It is the ultimate example of self absorption reporting and what makes it appealing is that it is so stupid it is funny. It is like Seinfeld.

    Jim

  2. dignitarysretreat Says:

    Thanks, Jim! Maybe I’ll be inspired/courageous enough to post some slightly more humorous pieces. I was stuck because I couldn’t come up with anything worthwhile for May Day, so TMZ was the result…

  3. helenga Says:

    I second that this is fantastic and funny! I haven’t watched TMZ, but I do love my US Magazine–and Candy Crush Saga. There I said it. 😉

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