This past weekend my boyfriend and I (who shall be henceforth referred to in this here blog as "Red" due to his redheadedness) went away for a little relaxation near nature and stayed in a cabin in Guerneville, CA. We didn't have a TV set to wacth, we didn't bring our laptops and our cell phones were off the whole weekend. It was a goal to get away from the media overload that is living in any kind of city and to also just get ourselves away from sitting in front of screens and being bombarded with useless information. We also agreed to have it be a weekend of just doing whatever the hell we wanted, no schedules or rules and this included eating a ton of crappy junk food and not giving a flying fuck. We stopped at a grocery store near the resort/cabin area to buy many health-free items and I spontaneously grabbed a copy of "People" magazine because it seemed like the perfect companion to our mac-n-cheese and hot wings dinner that awaited. I rather wish I hadn't.
I am not going to get on any kind of soapbox about how watching TV is evil and being interested in celebrities, even if it's in a generally cynically, largely waiting-for-the-next-schadenfreude-moment kind of way. I mean hi, I wrote an entry about loving So Notorious. But one thing I have long been thinking about is how it seems like our culture is on celebrity overload these days. It's not like we haven't been all about the celebs in the past but it seems like it's reaching a boiling point. I seem to remember a day when sitting in the doctor/dentist/therapist waiting room and flipping through "People" or "Us" wasn't equivalent to reading "The Enquirer". Is it me? Am I imagining it? Were they once publications that did something other than speculate about celebrity lives or show us what Julia Roberts looks like sneezing as she drinks a decaf, no-foam, soy chai latte? I am not saying they were earth-shatteringly important literary journals, but there is a distinct thematic shift. As I flipped through page after page of utter fluff, I wondered if there were any celebrities left in Hollywood who didn't make me cringe. Even people like Gwnyeth Paltrow who are portrayed as "down-to-earth" or "well-adjusted" make me want to gag with their utter whitebread slef-righteousness and horrible baby names. And that was the other thing I kept thinking: "Why the fuck is everyone in Hollywood having a fucking baby?" Yes, I swear a lot in both word and thought.
But I am serious, why the hell is every other woman in Hollywood pregnant? I don't know why, but it chills me in this certain way. A few years ago I commented to a friend of mine that it seemed like there was no more androgyny left in Hollywood. There was no one left who was left-of-center or weird. And I don't mean weird in a "what the hell is Britney thinking wearing Uggs with an empire waisted tee and a denim thong" kind of way. I mean weird in a "Hi, my name's Angelina Jolie and this is the blood-spattered shirt of my husband to be, you got a problem with that?" Every female star I see short of Tilda Swinton (who so doesn't count in my mind and was totaly ladied up in The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe) is uber-femme to the highest degree. It's all long flowing tresses, soft pink makeup and flowy gauzy outifts from here to the moon. And they're all fucking pregnant!
Now I'm not saying women can't be pregnant or have long hair or dress girly and still be subversive in some way. But it all feels so calculated it definitely causes me to question how much of it is personal choice. And it's not just Katie Holmes and her fauxlationship with Tom Cruise and the spawning of his "daughter" (and that is not a comment on the gender of the child, just the veracity of his paternity) that makes me feel this way. It's something about what feels like the mass heterosexualization of Hollywood to a degree that I feel like I haven't witnessed before. Maybe it was all getting too relaxed and a little edgy there. Maybe Angelina mentioned her array of multi-gendered lovers too many times or George Clooney was just too single for too long and then he made that wacky comment about playing Batman as gay. Maybe Hillary Swank was too convincing as a transgendered man and Charlize Theron made us care too much about a lesbian prostitute/killer. Maybe it was time for Angelina to stop being so Other and stop dyeing her hair black and showing her tattoos so much. Maybe it was time for her to start hitting the red carpet in some Classically Hollywood Beautiful Gowns and start popping out the puppies, not just adopting them (which I do see as a bit of a subversive act, still). It was certainly important that every single article or press snippet about Brokeback Mountain made it blaringly loud and clear that not only were it's leading men utterly heterosexual but that Heath Ledger was so incredibly straight that he totally blasted Michelle Williams full of baby juice during the filming of the movie! Thank God a woman became pregnant in the process of making that movie or it's secret hypnotic powers would turn all men into a bunch of butt-ramming, cock slupring homos! And what freaks me out is that so many people are probably believing it all 100%, no questions asked. Do people really think an industry centered around entertainment, performance and image is populated almopst exclusively by heterosexual people except for Elton John, Sir Ian McKellen and Lily Tomlin? Give me a fucking break.
I am sure tons of people, with children and without, could read this all and be horrified. How could I even imply that in this day and age people are having children for any other reason than because they wanted one?! It's not as if hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of children have been born for any number of wrong reasons in this country before. It's not as if people have babies to fill a void in their lives or because they want one person in their life to love them back or need them back or even because babies are just the next step in a life that we're all taught to want and strive for. Britney Spears should totally have a kid, she's totally ready and didn't grow up and sexualize too quickly and is completely prime parent material! You should totally have a baby too, 16 year old girl who worships everything your favorite celeb ladies do. And Hollywood would certainly never do anything to fleece the general populace into thinking everyone in the industry is straight, they just are! Just ask Rock Hudson and Anthony Perkins and James Dean and Anges Moorehead and Elizabeth Montgomery and Tab Hunter and, and, and...