Things you should stop caring about, or start caring about. Immediately. STOP caring about US Weekly.
When it comes to tabloids,
US Weekly is the reigning champ––the one that celebrities hate, pundits rail against, and Kevin Federline calls out in leaked MySpace tracks. (Sample lyric: "And you magazine motherfuckers can kiss a dick / US Weekly, I'll shout every one of you bitches out.") All of which, frankly, doesn't make any sense. Why does everyone think it's so controversial? US Weekly is the most boring tabloid ever. (In Touch is only $1.99, so it doesn't count, and People has too many "Real People" and "Murder In Suburbia" stories to qualify as a tabloid.) "Stars––They're just like US"? Jessica Simpson is flirting with someone? Big deal. Where are the scoops, the wild speculations, the horribly unflattering photos? One recent issue of US had two full pages of old pictures of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (in a feature called, "A Look Back At Their Whirlwind Love"), and four pages of blurry photos of all the furniture in Brad and Angelina's unused Malibu home. Wow. The only thing that was even remotely interesting was the exclusive story about Teri Hatcher and Ryan Seacrest making out on a beach, but it was so obviously staged that the whole "exclusive" thing was nullified. (Unless the exclusive had been "Teri And Ryan: Kissing Stiffly In Front Of Reporters!" instead of "Teri And Ryan: Kissing!") START caring about Star.
Star is mean, brash, and perfectly willing to blow the tiniest scrap of a rumor totally out of proportion. In other words, it's a real gossip rag, in the nasty, supermarket-checkout-line tradition of The National Enquirer and Weekly World News, but without all the alien and dead Elvis sightings. It is, therefore, also extremely fun to read. Case in point: Two weeks ago, Penelope Cruz got a new short haircut. US chose not to report this, while Star, terrific tabloid that it is, made that miniscule fact into a full-on fight by breathlessly reporting "Matthew Hates Penelope's New Hairdo!" Yes! Did Matthew McConaughey really tell Cruz that her hair looks better long? Did she really bitch him out and stop speaking to him for days because of it? Does Matthew, in fact, hate her new hairdo? Who knows? Does it really matter? The idea behind this article is hilarious. Star is like your fantasies about celebrities come to life, attributed to "sources," and reported as fact. McConaughey seems like a douchebag, so in the story, he acts like one. Cruz seems like a feisty woman (or as Star puts it, a "sex kitten with claws"), so in the story, she acts like one. It's as if the editors play celebrity Choose Your Own Adventure. STOP caring about MySpace.
God, please. Also, stop saying "add me." And talking about the podcast you just uploaded onto your page. And carrying cards with your MySpace page link on them. Did you pay money to make those? Are you aware of yourself at all? It's understandable that high-schoolers would be into MySpace. Kids like things that are about them and that feature music; this rule also explains the soaring popularity of
High School Musical. And it's sort of understandable that bands or performers would be into MySpace–they need the exposure to high-schoolers who are willing to buy their music, come to their shows, or sleep with them. But what is everyone not in those two categories doing on MySpace all the time? If you say anything but "Looking at pictures of cute boys/girls that I want to date," then you're lying. Don't say you're just spying on people you know, either. If you created a profile simply to find out whether your ex-girlfriend is in a relationship, and what her latest comments are, then you might as well just get a mask and stalk her properly. The final nail in MySpace's annoying coffin is, appropriately, MyDeathSpace, which is exactly what it sounds like: a site full of profiles of dead MySpace users. As it says on the home page: "If you have a MySpace account and you die, this is where you will end up." Come on. If the threat of spending eternity trapped on the Internet isn't enough to get you to stop using MySpace, then nothing will. Not even the fact that you're on the same site as Paris Hilton's 12-year-old brother. START caring about YouTube.
Okay, so everyone already cares about YouTube, but it really is a great site, and unlike MySpace, a great resource. Anything ever committed to videotape can be found on the endlessly searchable YouTube, from Japanese commercials to clips of upcoming shows to some of the worst homemade
Brokeback Mountain and "Trapped In The Closet" parodies ever. STOP caring about fast-food innovations.
Maybe if everyone stops, then no one will have to endure another commercial with Jessica Simpson singing "These bites were made for popping, and that's just what they'll do / One of these days, these bites are gonna pop right into you." Yuck. (To both the pizza and the song.) When Domino's first shoved cheese into its pizza crusts, most people assumed that pizza could go no further: It was at its greasiest, its most disgusting, its fattiest, its most ridiculous. What was left to innovate? Then Pizza Hut made the crust into some weird mozzarella stick/garlic-bread hybrid that tears off in large, oily bites. Why? Isn't the fact that one pizza has more calories in it than you should eat in an entire day enough? It's pizza. Stop trying to make it better. That portable tostada-wrapped-in-a-burrito thing from Taco Bell is even worse. Are people really so tired of eating Taco Bell that they have to pile every menu item on top of the next one, wrap it in a tortilla, sprinkle it with cheese, and serve it?
START caring about NASCAR meat products.
Don't start eating them, though. That's probably a mistake. But care enough to go to the
website and read all about how they'll "rev up your taste buds." At least this sort of product makes sense: NASCAR fans are meat-eaters. NASCAR drivers are probably meat-eaters, too. Slapping the NASCAR logo on hot dogs, bacon, and smoked sausages seems like an ideal progression, especially since NASCAR drivers endorse practically everything else. STOP caring about music videos.
There's a reason why MTV doesn't play them anymore: They're all awful––especially the ones directed by Hype Williams, who apparently directs videos for bees, flies, and other creatures with the advantage of compound eyes. Yeah, splitting the screen into three sections, then putting shots of waving pink fabric in two of the frames (like he did for Beyoncé's "Check On It" video) is a style, but not a good one. But at least Hype isn't imitating anyone but himself. Most of the other videos out there are just rehashing concepts that have been done over and over. A leading 2006 candidate for Worst Band Name Of The Year, Fall Out Boy has a new video out that looks like a hasty mash-up of
The Lost Boys and "Thriller." Kelly Clarkson's video for her new single is like every other video where strangers sing along with the song. And Pink's "Stupid Girls" is just a more current version of Blink 182's "All The Small Things" (By the way, do you know how you know when you've run out of ideas? When you start ripping off Blink 182.) START caring about MTV2 shows.
Wildboyz or The Andy Milonakis Show. Don't ever start caring about those. Start caring about select MTV2 shows, specifically Wonder Showzen, the hilarious, pointed Saturday-morning-kids'-show parody that uses actual kids. Few shows are as original or fearlessly absurd. Except maybe O'Grady, a funny cartoon series about a town plagued by "weirdness." It's done by Soup 2 Nuts, the winning crew responsible for Dr. Katz and Home Movies. It's the only reason to watch Nickelodeon's preteen spin-off network The N––unless you're into Degrassi: The Next Generation. STOP caring about musical stage adaptations of movies.
The Wedding Singer and Lord Of The Rings now Broadway-style musicals? Didn't anyone learn anything from Carrie: The Musical? If everyone agrees to never go see The Lion King or Beauty And The Beast onstage ever again, then maybe we can all prevent this from happening over and over. START caring about anything besides musical stage adaptations of movies. Seriously. Anything else. That's how bad they are.