August 28, 2006

People I Don't Know

There are billions of people I don’t know, whom I’ve never heard of, and whom I never hear about.

Please. I implore the world. Please may I add Paris Hilton to that list of people?

I know I can’t un-remember that I’ve ever heard of her. However, I’m willing to try if everyone else is willing to stop mentioning her.

My list of people I would like to un-celebritze is longer than that, but I know this request is a longshot and so I’m starting small. However, maybe we can get together in the comments section and all come up with a list of people we would like to fall off the face of our collective Earth. I bear them no ill will — they can go off and play out their lives in obscurity like the vast majority of inhabitants of this planet. I just want them out of my world.

The great thing about compiling a collective list is that there’s some give and take. Maybe I don’t mind hearing about celebrity X, but you hate him. I’d probably be willing to give up that celebrity if it meant also getting rid of Paris Hilton. And then we can fantasize that this list could actually be submitted to some authority and posted somewhere to remind people that NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT THESE PEOPLE ANYMORE.

And to those of you who think we need these people around because “what would we do without the joy of making fun of Kevin Federline?“… to you folks I say it’s just a coping mechanism.

Help me out here. Who are you voting for? Feel free to vote both early and often.

Posted by James at August 28, 2006 9:51 AM
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George W. Bush?

Posted by: Maggie at August 28, 2006 10:13 AM

Britney Spears.
Carrot Top.
Andy Dick.
Jon Benet Ramsey and anyone connected or accused of being connected to the case.

Posted by: mjfrombuffalo at August 28, 2006 11:02 AM

bono...for the love of god, let's all just forget bono ever opened his annoying, save-the-starving-insert-latest-bono-cause-here face.

oooo and dave matthews...he needs to go too

Posted by: ryan at August 28, 2006 11:23 AM

GWB for sure, yeah. If this means we have to go without a president for a short time [insert joke here], I think we'll be okay.

Tom Cruise.

Madonna. I don't hear about her as often as I used to, but the annoyance per reference is greater than it used to be, too.

Michael Jackson. Ditto.

Posted by: Julie at August 28, 2006 11:30 AM

Funny timing. G and I usually play this game with celebrity award shows (because they need to award themselves for being rich and famous apparently) with "Would you be willing to lose X and Y celebrities you like if they nuked the building right now and got rid of A, B, and C?"

My list:

Tom Cruise
Paris Hilton
Carrot Top
Farrah Fawcett
Oprah (she's gone way past inspiring to downright annoying)
Dave Grohl
Wil Wheaton

not necessarily in order of self-importance, mind you.

Posted by: pippa at August 28, 2006 11:36 AM

I'd also like to add Katherine Harris to the list.

Posted by: Julie at August 28, 2006 11:41 AM

I'm going mostly based on how much disproportionate media play they get.

But I think it is an important question that we all have to answer for ourselves: which celebrities are wasting our mental energy like ubiquitous psychic vampires?

MJ: The whole JonBenet thing was almost faded from our collective consciousness. This proves that this stuff can flare up at any time.

Michael Jackson (and, indeed, any of the Jacksons)

Britney Spears, any relative of Britney Spears, anyone whose ever had sex with Britney Spears and anyone anyone ever suspected of having sex with Britney Spears (sorry, Justin Timberlake).

Christina Aguilera already took herself off this list.

Lindsay Lohan

More later...

Posted by: James at August 28, 2006 11:53 AM

I like most of the choices here. Can we also add O'Reilly, Larry King, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity?

Posted by: briwei at August 28, 2006 12:17 PM

Jill Carroll. Nothing to do with her, necessarily, but the never-ending media chronicles of her abduction.

Bill O'Reilly

Wolf Blitzer

The city of New Orleans

The entire Middle East

Posted by: Mike at August 28, 2006 12:17 PM

I'd say T.O., but lets face it, that's not gonna happen. Plus, the guy is a damn good athlete and the stuff you hear about him tends to be directly related to football, rather than his drunken partying, car accidents, and who he may or may not be dating.

I actually heard something on NPR about how there's basically a deal between publicists and tabloids to raise an actor or singers profile by tabloid overexposure (see Lindsay Lohan). So that needs to stop. As does the whole "famous for being famous" phenomenon (Paris Hilton). And the conflation of two names to create one. It's neither cute, clever, nor original. If there was like one gossip columnist who did it as their trademark, I'd say its okay, but when I hear regular reporters and comics talking about "Vaughniston" the shit has to stop.

Posted by: DG at August 28, 2006 12:20 PM

Terrell Owens

Barry Bonds

Keith Foulke

Mitt Romney

Dick Cheney

Posted by: Mike at August 28, 2006 12:21 PM

Jessica/Ashlee Simpson

Nick Lachey and whoever he's dating

Nicole Richie -- has it struck anyone else that when she was paris' chubby sidekick she was the butt of jokes and now that she's ridiculously skinny she's suddenly a serious style icon?

Angelina and Brad and their children

Ditto Tom, Katie and the mystery baby

Actually, any pregnant celebrity; pregnancy and childbirth are only a big deal personally. Just because they pay more for a pair of maternity jeans than most regular women spend on their entire maternity wardrobe does not mean they're extra special.

Celebs and their religious affiliations (read: Kabbalah, Scientology etc.)

Oh, I could go on and on ....

Posted by: sarah at August 28, 2006 12:43 PM

I just wanted to point out how embarrassing it is that I know how to spell these people's names.

Posted by: sarah at August 28, 2006 12:45 PM

Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, who otherwise seem like nice people.

Tucker Carlson, who doesn't.

I'd suggest Hasselhoff but he's harmless.

David Blaine

Posted by: Mike at August 28, 2006 12:56 PM

Gee most of the good ones have been taken.

How about the Boston Red Sox (at least 'til next year) it's just too painful right now.

Mel Gibson? No, on second thought he's good for a laugh.

Turd Blossom (ie. Karl Rove)!!!

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at August 28, 2006 12:59 PM

Oh and anyone who's ever been an American Idol contestant, judge, host or has just mentioned the name of the show in public.

This goes for every other "reality" TV show as well.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at August 28, 2006 1:03 PM

You know, I think I must be fairly immune to these people, not watching television or reading beyond the "nation" section of the headlines I get. I suppose I'm out of touch, but I'm only barely aware of most of them, unless they're blatantly horrible, like Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise.

I was tempted toward the TV end of the room by the roast of William Shatner on Comedy Central, and so Andy Dick definitely gets my vote -- what a worthless, annoying, potty-mouthed, unfunny waste of flesh.

Posted by: Maggie at August 28, 2006 1:19 PM

It's OK if the good ones have been taken. Repeat votes are welcome.

Wow - Sarah, how did I miss Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey?

BTW - I officially excuse all of us from any blame in keeping these people in our consciousness (I can do that, don't question my authority!) because if we're going to be inundated, we have to be allowed to fight back in the form of making fun of these people.

Posted by: James at August 28, 2006 2:03 PM

Maggie: Yeah, but it was fun to watch people attack Andy Dick at the roast, so there's that.

Posted by: James at August 28, 2006 2:04 PM

Yeah, but the roast was largely painful and un-funny.

Posted by: briwei at August 28, 2006 2:24 PM

I agree that a good portion of it was pretty bad, but it had its moments.

I attibute its bad-ness to Sarah Silverman being missing.

Posted by: James at August 28, 2006 2:47 PM

Re: the roast, I loved Betty White. I forgot how funny she is. And I thought William Shatner was funny. I laughed at some of the others here and there, but I got really tired of the homosexual jokes. They really weren't much funnier than, "Did you know that George Takei is gay," and "Gay men have anal sex." Oh, yes, hilarious.

Posted by: Maggie at August 28, 2006 3:19 PM

I didn't watch long enough for it to get funny, I guess. I bet Betty White was funny. And shatner is pretty hilarious. But most of them were people I would go out of my way to not have to see or hear.

Posted by: briwei at August 28, 2006 3:45 PM

It got funnier towards the end, but it still wasn't very good. It was still better than the Pamela Anderson roast, though.

I think Andy Dick is funny in small doses. I don't think jokes about Andy Dick are especially funny since it takes no imagination to make them up. Some of the lesser "comedians" (like Artie Lange and the ones whose names I didn't catch) at that roast weren't funny at all, and the jokes *about* them were a complete waste of time. (Yes, Artie is fat and he drinks a lot. That's been the case for quite a while. Next joke, please.)

Posted by: Julie at August 28, 2006 4:02 PM

Huh... that would be a long list. Oh let's see, in the celeb department:

Anne Coulter
Tom Cruise
Anne Coulter
Lindsay Lohan
George Bush
Anne Coulter
Dick Cheney
Karl Rove
Donald Rumsfeld
Anne Coulter
Paul Wolfowitz
Katharine Harris
Anne Coulter
All Televangelists
The whole ID crowd
Anne Coulter
The Republican Party
Psychics (aka charlatans)
Anne Coulter
John Kerry
Anne Coulter

Posted by: Chuck S. at August 28, 2006 9:41 PM

What Sarah said - that's my list exactly. Oh, and add Regis while you're at it. I don't know REgis' last name, I don't care, call him anything you like just as long as you make him go away. And stop with that chuckle. I'd rather have an earworm, listen to 'It's A Small World' one hundred times over than hear REgis chuckle.

Oh dear, I'm ranting again. I get over-emotional about stuff like this, but JP started it by saying "Paris Hilton".

Posted by: Cindy at August 28, 2006 11:00 PM

It seems to be a problem of promotion for promotion's sake, or promotion for wealth, rather than promotion based on merit. I think the cure for this might be required reading of biographies of people who've actually *done* something. Then perhaps these shameless, stupid, valueless, self-promoting culture-suckers would pale in comparison and people would stop paying attention. Heck, if people read instead of watching channels like E!, these people would fade away.

Can humanity rise above the hanging and the cock-fight as entertainment?

Posted by: Maggie at August 29, 2006 12:00 PM

Sadly, Maggie, I think the answer is no. And I have to admit, when I was sitting in the salon for 3 hours last week, I "read" a handful of tabloid mags (Us Weekly etc). I must have been making somewhat unattractive faces as I read and, having an educational background in journalism, wondered if the people who produce this pap think they're contributing something to society or if they spend their workdays feeling smugly superior to those who spend hard earned money on newsstand purchases or subscriptions. I've been offered "free" subscriptions to different publications in the past as a "thank you" for a donation and the person on the other end of the phone just can't believe that I don't want it. At least online gossip sites don't destroy trees.

Posted by: sarah at August 29, 2006 1:41 PM

Chuck, you forgot Ann Coulter.

I'd like to add "Dr. Z." to the list. I don't know who the hell this guy is or what his qualifications are to suddenly be in all these car ads - and I'm not asking. I'm just tired of him. :)

Posted by: Julie at August 29, 2006 1:42 PM

My fellow citizens, I ask you: How can any list be complete without adding....

David Copperfield (ta da!)

I never liked him anyway, but now that he's gone all Tom Cruise (buying 4 islands in the Bahamas for $65 M and claiming one has the fountain of youth), I like him even less (is it possible to negative-like someone?).

Posted by: Patti M. at August 29, 2006 1:51 PM

Speaking of America's Fruitcake du Jour, here's a great story from last week's NYT, in case you missed it:

Mission Imperative for a Star: Be Likable

See also (or hear also) this "All Things Considered" story from 23 August. Regarding "Misison Impossible," Sumner Redstone, Viacom CEO, said Cruis's wacky antics (and, I might add, horrible, obnoxious comments about other stars seeking psychological help) may have cost the studio as much as $150M at the box office.

Bye bye, wack job. If I never hear his name or see his doofy face again, it will be too soon.

I can't be the only female in the world who never found him attractive in the slightest bit.

Posted by: Patti M. at August 29, 2006 2:02 PM

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