Enjoy This?

14 March 2011

This morning, I went to the website of NBC New York, to read a news story and a promo on the right-hand side of the page caught my eye: [image of Victoria Beckham (a.k.a. 'Posh' Spice), headlined 'ENJOY THIS' and captioned 'Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong'] So NBC not only expects that I would enjoy reading about the mutilation of these people, but openly caters to such presumed enjoyment, and encourages its readers to indulge in it.

I am not aware of any reason that I should find gratification here.

I'm not a fan of cosmetic surgeory except to effect some bona fide reduction of injury. Most cosmetic surgeory instead represents an falsification of youth, of health, or of preferred genetic endowment, and does so at a cost of lasting (though perhaps concealed) injury. Nor am I a fan of celebrity (a creätion of journalism, with its need for material), nor of most celebrities, who are, as the saying goes, well-known for being well-known, and rarely arrive at their status by by virtue of desirable character traits. And, sure, to some extent, virtually every one of these people has brought it on themselves, but so would most other people if given a chance.

Celebrities did not and could not elect themselves to celebrity; for all the celebrities out there, there are many more people who try for it and fail, and an even greater number who simply wish for it to be thrust upon them. And whatever one might claim about actual celebrities wasting the opportunities that they are given, my experience of other people convinces me that a share as great or greater of the wannabe celebrities would make as much a mess if they had those opportunities. If I should wish ill upon the actual celebrities, I should wish it upon most of humankind.

Nor is cosmetic surgeory driven by vanity or by insecurity just an indulgence of the famous. If I flip through an issue of the local weekly, I find plenty of advertisements for such procedures, and I'd be rather surprised if NBC New York weren't selling commercial time to plastic surgeons. I certainly see plenty of women with utterly unnatural breasts, and occasionally see ruined noses or lips. I'm not sure what I'd find at the beach, but it probably wouldn't be pleasant. Some of the rich may keep going in surgical self-destruction, but many of these other folk have merely run short of funds and of collateral.

There's nothing new in the proposition that envy, sadism, or a lack of empathy will cause some people to indeed enjoy reading about plastic surgeory gone especially wrong, and looking at images of the results. But our culture has coarsened; the presentation and enjoyment has been moved into the mainstream. Bad enough that, for some, it's a pleasure; now it's a pleasure without a sense of guilt or even of shame.

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One Response to Enjoy This?

  • the apocolyte says:

    I agree with you, in that there is an ever shifting idea of values in our declining society as it relates to "entertainment". I think it could be labelled, if one wanted, as the 'injury to the groin' effect, as perpetuated by the media. Every TV show highlighting home-made videos must, as a prerequisite, show at least one injury to the male groin per episode, and I for one would likely be appalled at the number of commercials per any given hour that exhibit this very action, each time with the supposed notion that it is in some way humorous. Our society therefore has over time become desensitized to witnessing violence or injury to other people on television that there has now actually developed a rabid audience (or market) who eagerly eat such perverted entertainment as a starving man would eat a bowl of spaghetti-ohs.

    "Enjoy This" indeed! That a growing number of elements in our society find the need for these drastic medical procedures is both sad and frightening. That a growing number of elements in our society find entertainment in the voyeuristic mocking of such sad behavior is pathetic.

    Over at my 'Blog At The End Of Time' I'm slowly analyzing certain ramifications of propaganda and by extension, media manipulation and, by further extension, mind control, which speaks to the sad people such as the "plastic surgery-ites" who feel some alleged pressure by society to alter their appearances for the illusion of perfection or beauty. The media tells them, overtly and subliminally, that happiness of some sort can be found only by physically resembling some kind of airbrushed hollywood-created ideal of beauty. I would hope and pray that most of us discover a joy in life that isn't dependant upon conforming to the standards of the false dictator which is the mass media.

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