Wednesday, August 30, 2006

RfP Wednesday: There Is No Pleasure at This Time

I know. I'm the inventor of Reading for Pleasure Wednesday. And this week I feel like I've got nothing.

But wait! No! I did read something for pleasure this week.

Star Magazine.

In fact, if this is not pleasure-reading, I don't know what is. It's certainly not going to make you a better person (as the propaganda surrounding book clubs makes you think reading does) and it's certainly not going to teach you anything about the human spirit (well, unless it's about how happy the human spirit can become when gossiping, or reading the gossip put into the world by others.)

This week, the stories that really stood out were one about the "relationship" (as yet denied) between Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson, a story about visiting Baby Suri (including the Scientology Rules for Baby Visiting, which include saying, "Babyname, you're a winner!!!" to the baby along with refusing the pick the baby up), and all of the gossip and photos from the Teen Choice awards (Can you believe that Nick Lachey noted how "awkward" it was to receive an award at an award show hosted by his ex? And I guess Jess is, like, totally upset that he brought anything up, especially after she made sure that her co-host - and rumoured beau - Dane Cook didn't make any jokes about the split between the former Newlyweds.)

So why do I love Star Magazine, to the point that I have a subscription to it?

  1. It is truly trashy, both in the content of the "articles" and in the way that "pictures" (often doctored) are presented.
  2. They make a point of telling the age of every celebrity they mention. And often they will tell the weight as well. In almost every case this information is entirely extraneous.
  3. I love the way they track celebrities' weight-loss and weight-gain, as it bears little-to-no relationship to how the celebs actually look. Rather, it has to do with where the celebrity falls in what I like to call the "schadenfreude cycle," i.e., those on top must fall for our pleasure, and those who have recently fallen get to go back up. Thus, how much you actually weigh matters not at all, because sometimes you can be a "Weight Loser" and gained too much weight, or you can be a "Weight Winner" and weigh 85 lbs. Or you can be a "Weight Loser" and weigh 85 lbs. and be a "Weight Winner" at 135 lbs. (And yes, I know 135 is still pretty darned skinny, but not for Young Hollywood it isn't.) Oh, and I love how they always note that weights are visual estimates based on the papparazzi pictures and have no relationship to any real number the celeb may way.
  4. Knifestyles of the Rich and Famous, a weekly feature in which they show before and after pictures of celebs and have plastic surgeons (who have never treated these celebrities) speculate on the kind of plastic surgery the celebs have had.
  5. On top of all of this, they include fashion and beauty advice, as well as fun crossword and sudoku puzzles, and a weekly horoscope.
Sure, the fact that I read this rag probably makes me an idiot, but I LOVE it. It is my favorite. It is a guilty pleasure. And shouldn't we all have some kind of reading guilty pleasure?


michelle said...

This is the definition of "Reading for Pleasure!" I also have been known to spend some time skimming the pages of celebrity gossip mags. It's like sneaking something you know you shouldn't have--a definite guilty pleasure. Perfect for a rainy day and a cup of tea or a chair in the sun at the beach.

My RfP post is up and posted.

dhawhee said...

I agree with michelle. Reading for guilty pleasure is just a little redundant. The beginning of your post made me laugh. Apparently my RfP consists mostly of blogs.

RLT said...

But a lot of that news is already old by the time you get it! I have bloglines track sites like Pink is the New Blog and a couple of others. So that's problably like mainlining it.:)

But the commentary is much funnier than the way the tabloids present it, so it feels more like entertainment. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, see I read all of the blog celeb sites, too. (Pink is the new Blog is great, btw - as are Perez Hilton and The Superficial.) I guess I kind of like the news being a little old, and really, it's the "in depth" reporting in the mags that the celeb sites just can't match. Yes, the photos you've already seen, for the most part, but not the awesome commentary and awesome doctoring of the photos in photo-shop. The mags take it to a whole other level. And they take themselves so seriously!

Kate said...

This is like my husband's addiction to US Weekly and -- which, of course, I am now addicted to as well! I held out for so long... but they're so bad they're good.

STM said...

I like the idea of saying "(babyname), you're a winner!" We should adopt this in everyday life for all people.

Dr. C, you're a winner!

All of these magazines beat my roommates right-wing "pleasure reading". I think the last one had a picture of Rush Limbaugh with the lead-in, "Set up!?"