Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gawker suggests Lindsay Lohan should die and cash in

It's tragic enough that some parts of the media make a profit following the downward movement of the hapless Lindsay Lohan, but it is morally criminal, I think, for a publication even as ethically freelance as the Gawker to infer that Lohan ought to kill herself as a means of reviving her popularity. There is only a limited amount of schadenfreude any of us can justify; Lohan was not an incredibly rich, powerful, influential figure setting herself up as moral paragon.

The self-righteous without their trousers on in the presence of small children and bankers with their hands in the till should be made to do a long perp walk and given an extra kick. Lohan was not one of those, but rather a minor league actress with small measure of success who , through her own decisions and compulsions, succeeded in screwing the good thing she had going for herself. She had it made, she messed up, she couldn't change her ways , seem contrite , she may well be one of those people who is incapable of understanding what part she played in her undoing. We all know people like this; we have had our laughs, our snickering around the coffee table, but it stops being funny. It becomes pathetic.

All you can do at the moment when you realize that your witnessing someone in the thralls of unmanageable complication is wish them well, hope things improve, take whatever moral you might construct from someone else's misfortune and attempt to have a constructive , helpful day after that. For Gawker to make gratuitious remarks about Lohan's appearence, ie, her "prematurely aging breasts", and to suggest death,self delivered or as the result of further misadventures, as a credible option for rebranding makes me think that these folks are themselves are bored with the story, bored, perhaps, with the whole task of sniffing the ground for whatever droppings and scat celebrities might have left in their wake. I imagine an office full of incredibly unhappy and bored people in front of computer monitors indulging a shrill, false glee, the kind of elation that seems little more than a thin curtain between them and The Abyss. They , perhaps, considering death to be one of their options as well when the volume on their self-congratulations subsides for a moment; they are, perhaps m Bored to Death and cannot help but project that onto the celebrity mishaps that are their stock and trade.

Perhaps they have a wish to end it all. I would accept Gawker merely ceasing publication, going offline. Going flatline would be extreme, even in Gawker's case.


  1. Anonymous11:02 AM PST

    Don’t shoot the messenger. This is an excerpt from a larger work on the whole celebrity phenomenon. Ms. Riazzo has not caused the objectification of celebs in Hollywood, she is merely reporting on it. The 21st century “stars” who are famous for doing nothing but being famous willingly buy into this and exploit their “brands” for every nickel they can. This is why we have people like the Kardashians or the cast of The Hills turning themselves into multi-millionaires. Ms. Lohan has done no professional acting for a number of years now but still milks her celebrity for everything it’s worth. “Move the Cone, I’m Lindsay Lohan!” remains her attitude and if she chooses to market herself as a commodity it is fair for the world to tell her she is not a commodity they choose to buy. At no time was it implied this woman should kill herself or that her life has no value. It is her brand that has no value. People—including famous entertainers—who encounter the kinds of difficulties that are not uncommon in life are not thrown under the bus like Ms. Lohan has been when they falter if they do not behave as if they have a god-given right to sit atop a vast commercial empire for the rest of their lives because they were cute when they were 9 years old.

  2. Well, yes, let's shoot the messenger, since what they've been doing has gone beyond what is funny--how many times can you get an honest, self-satisfied snort of laughter from the same punchline?--and is merely meanness for the sake of being mean. It's not merely observing the foibles of the famous and infamous, it's leering. It is a prurient activity,an obsession that engulfs one feels, at heart, a powerlessness to have a life that means something more than what it has actually become; it is a lowgrade powerplay, those with nothing of value to bring to the discussion acting superior over others who hardly merit the amount of scorn heaped on them. As I remarked earlier, the thrust of the article is that death, whether OD, accident or suicide, is the only she can become marketable again. It is the cruelest example yet of the pile -on that has been going on for way too long now and it is , I think, morally and ethically reprehensible. Lohan has earned scorn, of course, and this well documented, but Gawker's glee in placing her in an awful light and saying ugly, unkind things amounts to pornography.


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