Celebrity sins yield entertainment, sales

by Mark Pleiss

He’s back. He’s back.

Haven’t gotten your bellyful of the tasty, yet unhealthy slurryfrom the bottom of the artistic barrel? No problem, Eminem’s newCD, titled “Encore,” comes out Nov. 12.

Don’t worry, according to Entertainment News, the CD will haveall its usual Eminem charm, filled with hates on every person andorganization you can imagine.

He’s an angry white man who says things our society deemsabsolutely repugnant. Yet he’s one of the best-known rappers outright now and his CD is expected to turn profits in the tens ofmillions.

How could that be?

The answer lies in the Jackson family and the Super Bowl. Theanswer lies in politics. The answer lies in R. Kelly.

Parents will say their kids are leading our nation to culturalruin, but in truth, it’s our entire society that’s going down theculture toilet.

Eminem is to kids what politics is to adults, everyone has theirvice. As Jon Stewart pointed out during his appearance on”Crossfire,” the media has shut the door on what we need to see asa democracy. Instead the media has focused on what we want to see,which is extremeness of opinion.

Snoop Dogg agrees, but goes a step further than just extremenessof opinion. He said in a VH1 interview that rap was so popularbecause it appealed to “good old-fashioned American ideas: sex,drugs and violence.”

If he was right and America has always loved these vices, thenwe can congratulate ourselves. We have officially reached a pointlower than where we’ve been before. This is no surprise, though. Infact, it’s really just been a matter of time.

There was a time when television was pure. Then Elvis camealong. Then Marilyn Monroe. Then Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then MTV.Then the Super Bowl and reality television.

And, finally, we’ve reached where we are today. Human beingsnaturally want to be on the cutting edge of what they aren’tsupposed to enjoy, and now we’ve made things simple.

We are rewarding otherwise-wretched people and acts, justbecause they’re on television, with our money.

Take Exhibit A: R. Kelly.

Here’s a man who not only got in trouble for child molestationand rape, but was also found with, as the police report put it, “anunusually high amount of child pornography” and marijuana. And howdid we as a society act toward this man of ill-repute? We startedbuying his records – $6 million worth to be exact.

Then there’s Exhibit B: The Jacksons.

What a family. Michael has been accused of child molestation(common theme, anyone?) and his sister just finished cleaning up anincident where she showed her boob to millions.

How did we react?

The stunt boosted Janet’s popularity significantly, landing heron talk shows for months after and Michael was joyously welcomedinto his limousine after a court appearance where he gave a littledance for the crowd. Recently, Michael asked MTV to quit showingone of Eminem’s new videos because it showed him with little boysin an “inappropriate” way. Of course they haven’t taken if off theair because controversy drives contentment, and if anything, it’llprobably be shown more.

Finally, let’s look at Exhibit C: Politics.

In what other field can two people yell at each other forendless hours to produce absolutely no recoil? It becomes apersonal battle between two people, rather than two politicalsides. Even though it looks as though democracy is taking place,there truly is no substance to the conversation. Fox News is thebest at doing this, and it takes a lot of criticism. If you seetheir ratings, you’ll see why they do it.

We as a society have reached a new low. We’ve finally begunsupporting the lowest of all human acts with our time and money.What the effects will be, we can only speculate.

But it’s important to know it isn’t just one little faction ofsociety.

It’s everyone.

I’m no exception. I find R. Kelly’s music entertaining and havebeen found guilty of watching that ugly guy and that Republican guyfight it out on Fox on occasion.

It’d be easy to say the effects will be horrid and our kids andtheir kids will live in a cesspool of media filth, but I don’t eversee that truly happening.

We as a society are still civilized, and though we love”Desperate Housewives” when we’re alone or with our buds, we’dnever sit down as a family to watch it. It’s when our dark littleentertainment secrets turn into family norms that we’ll truly be introuble.

And Eminem?

Yeah, I’ll probably buy his CD too.