“Most of us can’t help falling into conversational black holes. But we can help getting sucked into celebrity obsession.”
As I’ve been thinking about what I wrote yesterday — and posted on some other blogs — I realize I got sucked down the even more tempting rabbit hole of obsessing about celebrity obsession. My enmity for pop culture is at the heart of this.
My reaction also was triggered by a fear that my profession was headed down the Pigalle path of OJPalooza. And with the cause of Jackson’s death to be speculated upon for weeks, and his personal physician gone missing, I’m sure cable news, Huffington Post and other outlets suffering from post-election reader/viewer drops will get a big boost. How nice for them, how dreadful for those of us who at least occasionally try to glean some news and intelligent insight from them.
And then the New York Times explicates how “TMZ was far ahead in its reporting depth.” Stop the inanity!
Help me! I’m getting obsessed again! Searls’ main point about the Jackson attention is that it is one great big time and energy suck:
“I submit that obsessing about celebrity is unhealthy for the single reason that it is also unproductive. Celebrity is to mentality as smoking is to food. (I originally wrote “chewing gum” there, but I think smoking is the better analogy.) It is an unhealthy waste of time. And time is a measure of life. We are born with an unknown sum of time, and have to spend all of it. ‘Saving’ time is a rhetorical trick. So is ‘losing’ it. Our lives are spent, one end to the other. What matters most is how we choose to spend it.
“The Net maximizes the endlessness of choice about how we spend our time. It also maximizes many kinds of productiveness. Nearly all the code we are using, right now, to do stuff on the Net, was written by many collaborators across many distances. Some were obsessing about what they were producing. Others were just working away. Either way, they chose to be productive. To contribute. To work on what works.”
Thanks for the prognosis, Doc.