Celebrity Divorce: We’re so sick of it!

I am so tired of reading about celebrities, their dalliances and the inevitable domestic fall-out. The rollcall of recent divorce stories seems to have no end. Tiger Woods, Jesse James, Charlie Sheen, Matt Lauer, Larry King, Kate Gosselin, John Edwards, Halle Berry, Mel Gibson and Kate Winslet. And how could you miss the constant barrage of headlines that heralds the impending divorce of Brad and Angelina!

Clearly, these stories sell magazines and attract “hits” on gossip and celebrity websites, which also seem to have increased over the past several years. But honestly, why do these stories have”legs”? Why does the public have such an insatiable need to savour every nuance of the problems of people they do not know and will likely never meet?

Is it because they take some comfort in knowing that wealthy, overpaid actors, athletes, politicians and reality TV stars are no different than the rest of us?

What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “Celebrity Divorce: We’re so sick of it!

  1. Really who can deny being interested in celebrity divorce? Especially these days when the 24 hour news networks make celebrity infidelity the lead story of the day and interrupt regular programming to carry press conferences about it live worldwide (yes, of course I mean Tiger).

    The root of it all is that we live in a culture that adores celebrity. The best description I’ve heard is that we view celebrity much like the cool kids at high school. We look up to them in both admiration and derision. We can’t help but admire and wish for their seemingly perfect lives and marriages, but we also can’t resist following their fall from grace and the nasty disintegration of what appeared to be a perfect marriage.

    Everyone’s fascination with celebrity divorce probably stems from a variety of different reasons – and I agree that part of it probably is that people like to be reassured that celebrities have problems too. They’re human, they’re fallible. But I doubt that the complete answer is that straightforward. My guess is that the majority of society’s fascination with celebrity divorce probably falls into the territory of schadenfreude. Society seems to enjoy building up celebrities and then knocking them down. Maybe it makes people feel a sense of superiority. Maybe it’s like watching a fight with every new salacious allegation signaling a new round. Maybe it’s the voyeuristic thrill of peeking behind the normally closed doors of celebrity life.

    Or maybe the fascination isn’t that mean-spirited and people do primarily enjoy it because it humanizes their idols or because it’s a like a support system letting people know they’re not alone in their failed marriages and that there is light and love at the end of the tunnel. But, as nice as those sound, I seriously doubt that ‘kindly’ fascination alone drives the magazine sales, TV ratings and gossip page hits. So, I think I’ll go with the one-word German explanation for now. Schadenfreude.

  2. I agree with your take on this. It is often said that schadenfreude is the defining emotion of the 20th century. Some also insist that it is a stress reliever and a healthy part of modern life. Thanks for your views.

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