Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gossip Hound

I love celebrity gossip. Much of it is untrue. Orlando Bloom and Gwyneth Paltrow, though they are both elf-like, are mere mortals who really aren't any more interesting than anyone else. However, I enjoy speculating about Gwyneth's baby names and critiquing Oscar fashions. I like to think I would draw the line at accosting any of these famous people if I were to run into them in person (I did once see David Duchovny taking his baby for a stroll in New York and I managed to react only by poking Jeff really hard in the ribs.). But I gleefully absorb information posted at EOnline and Defamer and GoFugYourself. I sometimes wonder where the crazy stories come from and I'm just as sick of Brangelina and their possible wedding as anyone else. Still, I devour it all.

That's why it's a surprise to discover that even my own insatiable appetite for celebrity gossip has nearly been spoiled by the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes baby speculation business. I was right in the chow line, lapping up stories of couch-jumping and brainwashing along with everyone else. I've called Tom a lunatic, and wondered aloud if Katie has lost her mind, and even expressed my consternation at the entire bizarre coupling. But, for me, the accusation that they're faking her pregnancy falls into a different category than the aren't-Nick-and-Jessica-just-faking-it-for-the-cameras scoffing. I would naively prefer to live in a world where people don't pretend to be pregnant in order to fool their fans and the media for some convoluted reason that could include but is not limited to impotence and/or homosexuality coverup, religious cult ritual, or controlling relationship. And if someone must pretend to be pregnant for those reasons, that's not gossip, that's just terribly sad, not to mention a disturbing commentary on what a movie star is willing to do to maintain his stardom - probably another topic I'd prefer not to know too much about. But I have the feeling that while Tom and Katie might not have a relationship that I would envy, they are in a better place than people who cook up plots to steal Katie Holmes's medical records (OK,they haven't been caught yet, but you know they're out there) in order to support a relatively farfetched theory. Yes, when TheSmokingGun comes up with proof that Michael Jackson's ex-wife/nurse actually gave birth to TomKat's child, I will feel duped, but at least I'll know I haven't crossed over to being a complete cynic just yet.

You've probably noticed those gossip links over there on the right. I would be lying if I promised to cut off my gossip pipeline in light of my disgust. But I now realize that every gossip-hound like me has her limit, the piece of ("mainstream," non-Batboy) gossip that makes her say, "WHY on earth would anyone believe that to be true?" And that when it comes to babies, I try to view them as happy events, even for people who are living out in left field. And that gossip is more interesting when there is some evidence to support it (grainy photos of Jennifer Aniston smooching Vince Vaughn in a public place, for example), than when it seems more like mean-spirited fabrication. However, let's face it, it's way too much fun to make fun of Britney Spears's creepy husband to stop reading the gossip rags now. But you won't see me accusing her of manufacturing a fake Sean Preston. No way.

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