Thursday, January 20, 2011

Palin, Dancing With the Stars, and Celebrity Whoreism...

8 November 2010, 21 January 2011, and 23 January 2011

The fact that Bristol Palin is still alive in the three person final of ABC's Dancing With the Stars despite being acknowledged by many, to put it nicely, as one of the less talented dance contestants on the shows 11th season, may tell us something about one segment of the American population. It may tell us that many in this segment of the American population have a tendency to ignore empirical evidence creating, in its place, an alternative imagined reality where Ms. Palin, who is only on the show because of her mum, is a talented dancer. It may also tell us something about the nature of celebrity in the modern world. The question has to be asked, is Sarah Palin, like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Jim Morrison a celebrity whore? Is Palin using her daughter to promote her celebrity whoreism and future run for the White House in an age when politicians have become celebrities and celebrity whores? And is Bristol a chip off the old Sarah block wanting to follow her mother into celebrity whoredom?

Palin actually reminds me a lot of the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas Christian group that believes the US has fallen from God's favour because of the US's toleration of homosexuality and, as a result, is now being punished by an angry God for falling away from its covenant with God. Why do I say Palin reminds me of the Westboro Baptist Church? Because Palin, like the Westboro Baptist Church, is an attention whore just like most members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Palin, like Westboro, seeks the attention of the media. They seek the attention of those who protest against them. Why? Because when the media or the public attacks Palin or the Westboro Baptist Church, "God's Church", both Palin and Westboro feel just as strongly or even more strongly about the rightness of what they proclaim and their sense of "divine" mission then they did before.

If I am right, by the way, the best way to respond to Palin and Westboro is to ignore them. I realise this is difficult given the controversies that surround both Palin and Westboro and given Westboro's homophobia, but the best way to deal with an attention whore is to not give them the attention they thrive on and which provides them with a sense of their own rightness and being.

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