Kanye West’s VMA Outburst: Why Are We Surprised? And Why Do We Care?

Have you heard about Kanye West? You see what he did to that Taylor Swift girl? What a joke, right? I think that guy’s a total jerk! How does this guy have the nerve to be such a heartless jerk? I am so angry at him! What do you think? I, for one, am glad I am not such a worthless human being like Kanye West is.

Yeah, it sucked. If you don’t believe me, you can type “kanye west taylor swift” into a Youtube search and see the dozens of people who felt it was necessary to talk about how it sucked through their webcams. Forget that you went to Youtube to actually see what happened. Heck, most people that want to actually see how Swift reacted to being interrupted so rudely by West likely won’t see anything past a few seconds of Swift being handed her microphone back. But, for some reason, an event like this is practically a relief for the rest of America. Why? It gives everyone something to complain about while actual news is ignored.

It’s amazing how giddily united people will become to hate on a celebrity – particularly, to hate on a celebrity who was once on top of the mountain. Whether it’s West or former wholesome teen queen Britney Spears, it feels like tragedy is the foundation in the average person’s pop culture timeline. Whether it’s a breakup, meltdown, affair or even weight gain, every possible rumor will be neatly packaged for you in your latest gossip magazine. And the worst part is, most people eat it up.

People love reading and watching failures, especially when failure hits a successful person. These sad stories make more headlines than feel-good stories. It might initially seem irrational, but when you think about it, it’s pretty simple to understand. A celebrity can’t become too successful because that’ll just remind you that you’re not as successful. Yes, making a living in the entertainment industry is such a radically different process than making a living anywhere else. However, a celebrity having a squeaky clean life and prospering quietly in his or her mansion is just so … boring. Who wants to hear about that? That’s not like your friend getting laid off from work because the economy is in the crapper. It can’t all just be peachy; there has to be a Kanye West to balance things out. There needs to be someone out there screwing it all up to make me feel better about how I’m not screwing it all up.

Oh, am I being cynical? How else can you explain this seemingly illogical infatuation with celebrities and their misfortunes? What about the popularity of all these phony tabloids that do nothing but slander celebrities? The ascent of TMZ? The fact that Jay Leno asked West what his dead mom thought of his Swift interruption? You see what he did to Kanye? I think that Jay’s a total jerk! How does this guy have the nerve to be such a (insert your own expletive)…

Ahem. Anyway, is there a way around these sadistic tendencies? Probably not. At the least, it is a bit funny to see when people do such stupid things in front of the entire world. You can’t help but laugh, sometimes. It’s one thing to laugh, and it’s another thing to shower it with unnecessary attention. After a while, it stops becoming about the other person’s flaw and starts becoming an unhealthy obsession. Why would you want to give it a second thought? For these celebrities, any publicity is good publicity, even if it is the President of the United States calling you a jackass. Oh yeah, that’s right, did you hear what President Obama said about Kanye? Ah, the nerve of some people. Only in America.