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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Caught Without Makeup vs. Know Your Facts Deathmatch in 3D

OK. Let’s take a quick moment for a reality check. I want everyone out there to take and raise their hand up to eye level. Now, looking directly into your palm I want you to take and use as much force as possible to drive that palm into your face. Once the burning and stinging sensation wears off, continue reading.

Feel better? Good.

First off, I am not the greatest looking individual. I’m sort of a cross between Greg Grunberg, Duncan Sheik, and Paul Giamatti’s beard. Now, as much as I am the first to admit that I would not ideally be the first you see in the morning when you roll over in bed, I am confident that I could give a shit what people think about my looks in the long run. And as far as my level of intelligence is concerned, well that’s debatable but I’m pretty sure I could a majority of people’s kiesters in bar trivia or Jeopardy. Still, I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I need to build a huge backstop on my head for all the crap that flies over it, so that it stops and falls in for absorption.

However, when are people going to realize that everything you see in photos or on the Internet or your local 11:00pm news is spun for sensationalism and attention grabbing from the masses? Unless you are looking at a live feed from everyday life you are never going to be given the entire truth about any given situation. Case in point, those tabloid photos of stars without their makeup.

We’ve all seen them while standing in line to purchase our industrial size tub of Chunky Monkey. Right? [crickets] You’re standing there hoisting up your Dugger Family Size package of bacon and waiting for the cashier to get one of the burly guys from the back to load it back into your cart and you catch The Star or The National Enquirer promoting pictures of the awesomely beautiful and flawless complexion of the hottest celebrities caught without any makeup putting them into the reject pile for submissions to PeopleofWalmart.

Oh my, there’s Angelina Jolie without her hair done or Sofia Vergara without makeup. Oh my, they look like normal people. EEEEK! Get that hand up again.

Nine times out of ten the person that took those pictures handed their editor, or whoever they submit that stuff to, a pile of pictures taken in succession from that few minutes of time. Then the person making the decision will rifle through the selections looking for one that captures the worst possible angle and pose. They could be jogging and everything and out of breath, giving them the appearance of being worn and tired. The person’s head could be cocked in such a way that their skin pulls a bit. Their eyes could be half opened or in mid blink. Their mouth could be just relaxing after a cough. Hell, that picture could be of someone who just sneezed and all of their facial muscles are pulled and twisted. The point is that they are looking for the worst possible image to support their claim. Meanwhile, if you were to see that person a split second later, they look totally fine.

I realize it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility that makeup does account for 50% of the celebrity’s good looks but understand that the media is looking to sell a story, garner readership, and be provocative. They are going to do whatever it takes to make that picture look as bad as possible. In the day and age of waning newspaper subscriptions and competition with Internet News outlets everyone is more than willing to sink to a new low to get a better viewing or ranking.

Don’t believe me? Swing the pendulum the other way and do a search on Magazine Cover PhotoShop Disasters or the like. Remember the hip issue on that cover of W magazine with Demi Moore?

Here’s another pet peeve of mine, the man on the street interview. The Late Night Talk Shows and media outlets do these from time to time to test the common man’s/woman’s knowledge of simple facts. You’ll see this happen whenever those facts get called into question by someone famous or important and should know better.  A prime example would be from Super Bowl XLV, where Christina Aguilera flubbed a line or two from the National Anthem. The bigger travesty of that telecast was letting Fergie attempt to sing Axl Rose, but that’s another story.

After the debacle in Dallas, a local news affiliate went out into the street and asked everyday people if they could recite the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner. Surprisingly, we were shown that a majority of people interviewed were unable to correctly sing or speak the lyrics. How long do you think those segments last? 30 seconds? A minute? How much tape do you think they’ve collected on the subject? How many interviews did they do? Chances are they interviewed a hell of a lot more than they showed in the segment. Then the editor gets a hold of the raw footage and weeds out the boring ones or the majority of ones where people got the words right, focusing on the clips that appear funny or sad, from the perspective of national patriotism. Then they splice together something that would be enjoyable or at least somewhat funny and voila, American Idiots on parade.
Do you really think that the American Idol auditions are solely made up of atrociously bad singers for the first few weeks? No. There are probably a bunch of people that had no talent and nothing that made them stand out as a train wreck that never made it on air. It’s not that they were any better but they didn’t play well to attracting an audience on television. After the first season of American Idol the producers probably realized that for every Kelly Clarkson that sucks in viewers for the whole purpose of the show, there could be ten William Hung types that could suck in more potential viewers just for the spectacle of bad singers. Hell, people even audition just to be train wrecks and camp up their performance to try and get some screen time in the hopes they’ll become famous for being so bad.

We are being deceived at every given turn by the media and it’s all for the sake of ratings and rankings. The more we accept the media at face value the more we are able to be lied to about the more important things that occur. Even the more *cough* legitimate *cough* news sources employ these tactics but we think that they’d be above those practices so we believe them with more blind faith. FACEPALM YOURSELF INTO CLARITY AMERICA! Before it’s too late.  Now, let's get back to former 80s music stars wrestling while bad CGI monsters take over low budget movies!

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