Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Tabloid Mind

On the Internet, I recently came across a site that showed a series of pictures of celebrities, mostly women, without makeup.

It reminded me of what I've learned of the tabloid mind.

The tabloids -- that includes publications like The National Enquirer, television shows like TMZ, and certain web sites -- will often built up celebrities. With the same effort, they will tear them down.

Sometimes it'll be with pictures that are somewhat silly, like celebrities out shopping while wearing very casual clothes. Often, and with a meaner attitude, they show female celebrities who make a living from their beauty without makeup. At times, they look like horrid hags.

It also will show some celebrities at personal bottoms in their lives, such as when they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol or in terrible medical condition.

They follow hierarchy but will secretly mock it.

Another example of the tabloid mind is denouncing the loss of public morality while running pictures of topless women. This happens in England and not in the United States.

(By the way, I've yet to see a general magazine published in this country that ran pictures of a fully naked female bosom, showing especially show the nipples.)

The tabloids, if you want to describe its political outlook, is conservative: Bowling to traditional authority and a strong flag-waving jingoism that has crossed the line from patriotism to nationalism. This is dominant in the lower middle classes and working classes, the traditional tabloid audience. And it is why the proles, such as they are, will never be in the vanguard of any revolution.

It is no coincidence that Rupert Murdoch's media outlets, like The New York Post and Fox News, have this as an approach.

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