Awhile ago I started a blog called Gossipology that was meant to give a timely criticism on the gossip industry, but I let it slide fast because it felt like a pretentious excuse to read gossip blogs, which I couldn't stomach anymore since I realized they made fun of little girls my niece's age. But the drift of the thought behind it was that, like all advertiser sponsored media, its crappy effects are things the audience bears the moral responsibility for.
We know the nasty effects of making private details of public life news items and lots of people excuse them - including most of the gossip mongers, I expect - by explaining some celebrities invite that sort of attention in an effort to remain in the public eye. But can we really excuse ourselves as an audience or perp by saying "lots of celebrities invite this sort of attention" when there are lots who DON'T, but because it's a lucrative thing to do paparazzi will still fucking follow their children to school and gossip rags will publish icky intimate accounts of sexual encounters from spurned former lovers that their kids or parents might come across?
I mean, ew. If I imagined the possibility of details of my sexual life being of sufficient interest to the public that even the men of no importance who've occasionally kept me company could get serious cash to publish, I'd lose my fucking mind. That poor gorgeous bastard Ralph Fiennes is hardly a tabloid darling but a few moments of shunting in an aeroplane bathroom with a gold digging stewardess had good enough market value to get into the IHT. Can you imagine the trust issues? The neurosis? The deep feeling of misgiving every time you want to surrender to the moment? It's inhuman.
Speaking of which, of course drunk driving may have had, in quantifiable terms, more to do with Dodi and Diana Whatser's death then anything else, but I can't believe the fact the poor bastards died like that hasn't made us as a society draw back a little and think 'paparazzi are fucking dangerous so maybe I'm going to devalue their product now, no matter how some celebrities might enjoy or invite that attention.' It killed people - real people, with children and parents and people who'll miss them. For what? A more interesting wait in line at the grocery store? A few hours of amused clock watching at our crappy office jobs? Why don't we just look away?