Cult of celebrity

culture

I was in Borders bookshop today, and spotted a couple of Japanese women raptly reading a huge pile of those celebrity gossip magazines: Heat, Now, Closer1 and their ilk. Every few minutes, they would point out some article or picture to one another and discuss it. They spoke in Japanese, but every now and again an English word like 'Spice Girl' or 'Oscars' would pop out at me. They gave every appearance of finding it the most fascinating thing in the world.

I've talked about my bafflement with the cult of celebrity before, but I'm no nearer to understanding the appeal. Just what do people get out of scrutinising the lives of people famous for being famous? That's not a rhetorical question — I really would like to understand. Of course, I'm well aware that many people would die of boredom when contemplating the kind of reading material I enjoy. It takes different strokes, I suppose.

1 Which I always misread as 'Loser'. I wonder why?

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