Some Like It Pop: Blogs are the New "US Weekly"

I broke the news about Brad adopting Angelina’s babies.

Well, I mean, I didn’t alert the national media to it or anything, but within my Harvard social circle, I was certainly the first to know. Perhaps I prefer fame-tastic tussles to midterm paper-writing. Perhaps I’m just waiting for the right moment to pounce on a newly-separated Brad (or Angelina, for that matter).

Whatever the motivation, there’s one secret weapon I have that keeps me ahead of my peers when it comes to celebrity stalkage: I bypass the magazine rack and hit the entertainment blogosphere. It’s gossip 2.0!

Listen, kiddos, step away from whatever crap publication you just purchased. Get some tongs, hold the document away from your body and drop it in the nearest recycling bin (Hey, just because it’s trash, doesn’t mean you can stop being environmentally sound).

We don’t need to read celebrity news the way the common plebians do. If Harvard’s teaching us anything, it’s how to be critical. And if reading gossip has taught us anything, it’s how to judge. That’s why I get my celeb-trash undistilled.

To look at the print headlines about the Jolie-Pittians that are sure to appear shortly, you will only see variations on mere announcement and faux intrigue. Never will you see a devastating meta-critique about why news organizations are still pretending the actual relationship between the dynamic duo is still mere speculation. As a favorite digi-rag of mine, Defamer.com, so aptly puts it, “Perhaps they’re waiting for the ‘People’ spread revealing Jolie’s latest tattoo, ‘I am totally having sex with this woman. Love, Brad Pitt PS—Lots of sex! PPS—Hi Maddox and Zah! Daddy loves you!’ before committing to the reality of their relationship.” Nor will you see reports like TheSuperficial.com’s daring speculations about Jolie’s plans to create a pan-nationalist militia by adopting more international children.

Further, sometimes in the world of pretty people and their distracting ways, we just need someone to tell us like it is. As great publications like “Star” were proclaiming a Lachey/Simpson offspring in the womb even after the split was made public, Gawker.com ripped off the band-aid months ago, with headlines such as, “We Don’t Care Who Says What. Nick and Jessica Are Fucking Over. Just Accept It.”

Keep listening, oh little ones, for there are more lessons you must learn. Once you’ve made it through a brisk morning breakfast of blogs, you will be craving further sustenance. Now comes the time to evaluate the fame, which is exactly what they do at Fametracker.com--audit whether celebrities really deserve the attention they receive.

The latest feature for Fametracker is “Celebrity vs. Thing,” which pits the names we know and love against important objects, banishing one for all eternity. Would you rather have Elijah Wood or Commemorative Wristbands? Orlando Bloom or Roomba: The Robotic Floor Vacuum? Johnny Depp or Chocolate? (The decision falls for wristbands and Roombas, but Depp beats even chocolate—as the site reasons, “Without chocolate we, the hungry and sugar-toothed, would still have donuts, ice cream, and the rest of the candy aisle. Without Johnny Depp, moviegoers who appreciate a finely chiseled jaw and even finer acting would have who? Jude Law?”)

Really, all your pop culture delights are better satisfied online. If you have a TV jones, TelevisionWithoutPity.com not only increases the insanity by providing moment-by-moment recaps of what you missed, but also slams what you watch. When mentioning a certain character’s fashion choice on an episode of the much-beloved “The OC,” the recapper writes, “Oh, my one and only singular deity, what in the name of Jacques Chirac has French fashion pooed onto Marissa’s head? We’ll leave alone for the moment the fact that the rest of her outfit looks like Diane Keaton circa 1977 mated with the entire history of professional golf and sent Mischa Barton out into the world to be this fashion’s new emissary to the world. But THE HAT. Is a thing of perfection.”

Believe me, I know it’s hard to sway all you crazy magazine-readers out there. You’re set in your ways! I have been myself under the constant pressure and tyranny of those who refuse to accept mainstream entertainment in their lives, and I learned to steele myself against criticism. Yet, we cannot live in a world without standards.

Embrace your Brad. Love your Brad. But please, if you want to make this world a better place, join Defamer.com in accusing Brad of being part of an elaborate “The Spanish Prisoner”-style plot to steal Zahara for Jen. Trust me: he likes it when you judge him.

—Staff writer Margaret M. Rossman can be reached at rossman@fas.harvard.edu.