By Shelton Bumgarner
This post originally appeared on migugin.com.
Now that I monitor the infotainment-industrial complex for things to write about, I feel an overpowering sense of meh. There just isn’t much snark out there when it comes to celebrities. Yes, I’m sure there is a lot of it on Twitter and Facebook, but when it comes to coverage of celebrities on sites like Gawker.com there just isn’t much oomph to it all.
It seems as though Nick Denton has decided to throw in the towel and just follow the crowd when it comes to gossip and celebrity coverage. There just isn’t much in the way of people saying snarky things about celebrities out there. It is kind of odd, really, when you think about it.
I don’t quite understand what it all means. Why is everyone so willing to dish on celebrities without any sense of irony? Without any edge or snark? It seems as though we’ve entered An Age With Out Edge. It has all happened somewhat suddenly. It has all happened without anyone noticing. We’ve reached the point where we all give celebrities a pass. We’ve all collectively decided to just take their bullshit on face value.
It’s all very weird. Any ribbing that celebrities get is soft and gentle at best. Most of what used to be done by Gawker Media is now done by hateful trolls in Internet comments. That’s just sad.
Why did this happen, is my question. I can’t quite figure it out. I guess everyone has been so co-opted by the allure of being able to hang out with famous people that they no longer have any passion when it comes to teasing them. Relative to the Gawker.com of yore, the teasing they do of Kristin Cavallari is rather, well, tame.
A Gawker Without Edge Is No Gawker At All
I remember Gawker, like having an edge and stuff. I remember it occasionally even crossed the line. I mean, it used to have the “An Now They’re Dead” slug for obituaries. Maybe they still do that, but I haven’t noticed it recently. I only mention Gawker all the time because I have an emotional attachment to the brand and it’s a site that I have frequented for a long, long time. Maybe there are Websites out there that are doing what I want and I just don’t know about them.
But Gawker.com is a mainstream site that used to have edge — in fact made its name on edge — and so you’d think it’d have a vested interest in continuing to be that way. As it stands, it seems as though Gawker.com is rather adrift. It just isn’t snarky like it used to be.
And what gets me is that there are so many celebrities out there that snark was made for. I mean, who is saying anything snarky about the Kardashian clan? Definitely not Gawker Media. Gawker Media seems to just gently, on occasion, make a silly little comment about the Kardashians, but nothing like it used to.
It boggles my mind that that is the case. It boggles my mind that Gawker Media would spend so much energy on Kristin Cavallari and yet not really be all that snarky when it comes to the Kardashians. I mean, when Saturday Night Live is snarkier than Gawker Media when it comes to a group as ripe for snark as the Kardashian clan, then something is really wrong with the world.
The Need For Snark
We need snark in our media diet to balance out the bullshit generated out of Hollywood. Why should I be forced to read the cooing Daily Mail if I want celebrity gossip? Celebrities need to have their bubble burst every once in a while, at least. We need to call them out for being vacuous, or doing stupid shit or whatever.
I am not saying be mean spirited, no. I just think there is a need for the mentality of the old Late Night With David Letterman or Spy Magazine. Or even the old Gawker.com before it made a bumrush to the mellow middle. We need a publication that cracks wise at the dumb antics of celebrities. A place with sharp writing that gets people buzzing with its teasing of celebrities. Again, what Gawker Media is going with Kristin Cavallari through its 500 Days Of Kristin just doesn’t cut it in my opinion. It just isn’t fun-interesting.
In fact, I find it kind of grating on my nerves.
The only fun thing about it is I get to make fun of it, in fact.
What Is To Be Done
What needs to happen is there needs to be a Website that brings back snark. I’d like to think that this site might be up to the task, but at this point, I’m just one dude in BFE. I simply don’t have the resources needed to take on this task. I can write about this subject all I want to, but it just seems like the marketplace has decided to roll over and play dead when it comes to doing anything fun-interesting with celebrities in a snarky manner.
Again, let me stress that maybe I’m missing something. I live in a media bubble, so it’s possible there is all this snark out there and I just don’t see it. But when we as a culture have to rely upon the the millions of monkeys of Twitter to write snarky comments about celebrities, then something is wrong. We need a snarky site with mainstream aspirations that ruthlessly teases celebrities in a snarky fashion.
Of course, everything old is new again. Things come and ago. So, maybe we’re on the cusp of a new era of snark and I just don’t know about it. But I worry. I worry that because of demographics and people not wanting to offend anyone, we’ve officially reach a post-snark era. That we are now in an Age Without Edge.