Friday, September 3, 2010

For Entertainment Purposes Only

Did you know Princess Diana's body is missing? Do you know Jen's revenge on Brad? How about who's gay in Hollywood? Who wore a particular dress better than someone else? Johnny Carson's grandson cut out of the will? Kendra's shame? How much weight has Snookie put on? (I truly hope you just asked yourself who's Snookie.) Did you know Elvis was murdered, Oprah has moved on, Stedman is gay, Brad is drinking too much? I could go on and on and on.

The store is tiny. I counted the ceiling tiles one night to get a measure of the place. Being me, I have of course forgotten. The size is of no matter to the company that now owns it. I mean they knew the deal when they bought the place. See I was hired by one company whose headquarters are in Louisville and is a pretty big chain out in the mid-west. They had been operating five stores around here for about thirty years. I guess they felt it no longer made geographic sense to them to keep the stores. They sold out to a very large chain around here. I still get people in who tell me they grew up with the other place and miss it a lot.

Oops! Kinda digressing there.

My original point was going to be about the magazine rack in the store. Being such a small store we have a fairly small magazine rack. Still though it is crammed full of tabloids and gossip magazines. So much in fact that the plastic fronts that keep everything in place positively groan under the weight. It seems the plastic could snap at any second under all the weight. There is the odd Time or Yankee Magazine, but mostly it's gossip we peddle. Not Scientific American, Popular Machanics, Games Magazine or any of that ilk. In Touch, Us Weekly, The National Inquirer, that's what we proudly display. I think some publications actually print the same stories under two or three magazine titles.

Do we really care about all these things? Really?

I absolutely love movies. I think the art of making a film is a beautiful thing. I love the word celluloid. The stupidest things in some movies can make me cry. I have acted in and directed a goodly number of plays. I have even had the experience of acting in a movie. Do I follow these people's lives like they matter more than any of my friends or loved ones? I think not! You know why?

It's all pretend. It's for entertainment purposes only. Isn't it all just an extension of the entertainment industry? I mean no one prints a magazine devoted to how much weight you've gained or lost, who you dissed in your latest tweet.

So here are all of these people who have thrust themselves in our faces for fame and fortune. So many of us follow their every move like we have some real personal stake in some star's success. We forgive their foibles and transgressions with the greatest of ease. Because they're not real to us. We don't have to deal with the bail money, lawyers, court appearances, real heartbreak or let down. It easy to watch some one we don't know have a rougher time than we are.

How does that all translate into our real lives? How much empathy can we show the gambler, the womanizer, the drunkard or even the yo-yo dieter in our personal space? When is it time to draw boundaries for ourselves? Remember, we're at the real part here. How long do we let our own feelings help enable some one else? The first time some one abuses you? The second time the rent money has gone to gambling?

Look, we all learn our life lessons at our own pace. Do me a favor though? Take care of yourself some times. Don't make yourself sick by constantly swallowing your fear or your anger. Or yourself. Don't turn yourself inside out to please somebody else be it friend, lover or spouse. Not only will you end up losing your self respect, you'll lose the other person's respect also. You'll probably end up losing that person too.

OK, OK, enough of me for one sitting I guess.

Until next we meet, peace.

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