Beware! Celebrity Worshipers Among Us

These past few weeks I’ve been doing some reality check on the progress of my web blog, and it’s meaning for my self.

I was fairly shocked to find out that most people reading my blog are looking for amusement, gossips and the like, rather than serious stuff—that was actually what my brother Muhsin Labib had realized some time ago.

So I put the gossip of Britney Spears conversion to Islam to test it.

The result: almost 3000 people read my posting on Britney Spears alone! And not less than 200 comments given on the same subject. Most of those comments are not even worthy of my approval. And then this same posting was being disseminated to other Indonesian blogs as well.

That wasn’t it. Some friends even sms-ed me to follow up on Britney, just in case something new come up.

I started to get annoyed, and looking for some answers. Why Indonesians never seems to satisfied about celebrity gossip? With all those tv programs (probably every 10 minutes), long pages of gossips on magazines and newspapers, why some still looking for more celebrity gossips on alternative media such as websites and blogs?

Why all this madness and craving for some more celebrity gossips or even celebrity worship?

Why all this happen here? Of, course i don’t know all the answers. Please help!

Some social scientists theorized that celebrity worship is part of ‘parasocial’ relationship building. It plays a role in the transition from parental attachment to peer attachments and social attachments.

However, what happened here has larger aspects. I start seeing parallels between the Indonesians celebrity worship and the lack of role-model and leadership in this country. If we have a strong and charismatic leaders, this sort of behavior would only be teensy weensy.

Until then, bare with me to see more gossips lovers and celebrity worshipers craving for more rumors and hearsay, and more Ilham Bintang and Punjabi Dynasty emerges as big business conglomerate.

6 thoughts on “Beware! Celebrity Worshipers Among Us

  1. Laith says:

    Ustad, it’s not just in Indonesia. In other countries, especially in the States, gossip is such a hot selling commodity. Just look at the number of newspaper columns, TV shows and tabloids specifically created to talk about celebrity gossips (E! Online is one of those channels, also available in Indonesia through a cable network). Indonesia is just following the ‘good old’ western way and the provider (TV, magazine, tabloid, etc) is enjoying a handsome profit out of it.

    Yes, lack of a role model is one thing. But I see it more as being a tool to compare the celebrity to the general population. People tend to see celebrities as the perfect human being (good looking, rich, famous, etc) from the materialism point of view. So when they hear that a celebrity does something ‘normal’ or ’embarassing’, they find relief in themselves because they see that celebrity as being ‘just human’ like normal people.

    Of course, gossip can also be used as a tool, either to destroy someone’s reputation or as a political tool (we all see this very often). In the case of Britney Spears, I’m not that interested. Even if it’s true, so what? Being a muslim is just the first step. Maybe if she starts wearing the hijab and preaches on Islam, then I may be interested.🙂

  2. Indeed the lack of role model and leadership plays a big part in this madness social disease. But what really sadden me is the fact that this disease is not being cured but rather nourished. Many beast-hearted vampire-businessmen exploit this for their own penny-benefit.
    I fear that most people living and breathing in Indonesia has turned into cadaver-eater (ghibah-backbitters) gossip lover nutcase, and I haven’t seen any sign of remedial from anywhere. This is a sad fact, and anyone with clear conscious must hold in their hearts the massive grieve as day goes by. The absent of effective leader has led to the breakdown of our Nation in every aspect, our transformation into cadaver-eater is just an example.
    How could anyone endure to see its nation being falling apart, not knowing what to do?
    God help Indonesia…

  3. Afifah says:

    an evolutionary psychology theory says people are so interested in celebrities because our brains trick us into thinking we know them personally.

    “We’re built to view anyone we recognize as an acquaintance,” she says. “We think they are in our tribe, so to speak, and so we are interested in gossip about them almost to the same extent we’re interested in gossip about our friends and family, because it’s important to know what’s going on in the tribe.”
    -taken from oprah show-

    As for me, the life of the celebrities is a representation of the social as well as mental societies in the mainstream. look around us, we tend to think we’re rich, afford, and as we are so high above the ground, we just can’t hear that there a mother and a child died for starvation and diarrhea,

  4. Afifah says:

    an evolutionary psychology theory says people are so interested in celebrities because our brains trick us into thinking we know them personally.

    “We’re built to view anyone we recognize as an acquaintance,” she says. “We think they are in our tribe, so to speak, and so we are interested in gossip about them almost to the same extent we’re interested in gossip about our friends and family, because it’s important to know what’s going on in the tribe.”

    Analyzing my self, gossips is not merely a topic that women like to discuss about, but often gives me a sense of observing which leads me to be more aware of how to determine the good and the bad, and realizing of what’s happening in the society.

    the life of the celebrities is a representation of the social as well as mental societies in the mainstream.

    What i’m so concerned about, we kinda prefer to hear the gossips and celebrities life rather than opening our ears and heart to hear about a mother and her 4 yr old child died for starvation and diarrhea.

  5. musakazhim says:

    Some years ago a team of young researchers have conducted a survey on teenagers around Bandung region. They divulged the usual: most of teenager had weak character and moral ambiguity. I’m not saying they are bad human beings, but rather the opposite: they are “too good” to be able to live morally correct life in this world. Look around us, and we’ll find the same almost everywhere. Indonesians are too polite to even ask a clear apology for any pardon. One just have to grow old enough and then all his/her sins are forgiven without even asking for forgiveness.

    Oh ya, there is another theory that said that Indonesian generation of post-pembangunan era never grow up intelectually and spiritually; they seem to enjoy things that are evailable to them in abundance, but cease to seek deeper aspects of life. To put it simply, they don’t have the capacity to explore more important meaning of life. The de-ideologization of pembangunan had big impact on the structure and style of their thinking, so we as bloggers should just put serious stuff on locker and hit the more easy entertaining things in life.

    Back to my own little reality check. Many of my friends have told me to give more entertaining stuff in my blog. They say that it would make people happy, and enjoy reading your blog more often. I agreed with them, but I’m not sure what are the criteria of “entertaining stuff” they are talking about until I got Britney Spears on Alarabiya website last January. Now i might have some ideas of what is “entertaining stuff”, but unfortunately (or fortunately) i’m not interested. Ooops… sorry, fellas!

  6. Afifah says:

    Don’t bother , your blog is more ‘entertaining’ than just about a britney..
    perhaps the matter lies on who can find it entertaning and who’s not.

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