As a Star Trek
fan, I took an interest in the story that broke earlier today about George Takai who played Sulu on the original series, coming out of the closet. It seems as if it's been a busy week for people going public their sexual orientation or at least there being rampant speculation about it in the popular media. We had Sheryl Swoops of the WNBA come out and there was the tempest in a teapot earlier this week as to whether or not Shepard Smith and/or Anderson Cooper might be coming out of the closet.
And as I hear the stories about this, I have to wonder--does it really, honestly, matter that much?
Will I enjoy Star Trek
more or less now knowing the guy who played Sulu is gay? Will it affect Swoops' basketball game that she's come out of the closet? And will the ability of Cooper or Smith to gather and report the news really be changed that much if we should find out they're gay?
To me, the answer is--not really. I mean, we're not talkin like any of these three men is Mr. Garrison from South Park
, for heaven's sake! And while I respect and applaud Swoops and Takei for having the courage to come out publically about this, I still think it's an incredibly private issue.
But why is it that we can get so obsessed with this kind of stuff? Why do we care so much about the private lives of celebrities so doggone much? When I watch TV, there must be at least 1700 shows that dig into the private lives of celebs on daily, not to mention an entire TV network that is devoted to little more than gossping about the stars. And that hasn't even scratched the surface of the zillions of trees that die each year to print magazine and tabloids about this subject (I mean, unless we're talking about Bat-boy creatures featured in the Weekly World News
..that is journalism at its best!) I mean, do I really care that much about seeing that photo of Britney's baby or whether Jessica and Nick are speaking or who Jennifer Aniston is dating these days? Nah, not really. But yet, there must be a lot of people who are fascinated by this and can't get enough of it--because, quite frankly, this niche of the media seems to show no signs of slowing down.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/28/2005 07:43:00 PM