Main Entry: en·ter·tain·ment
Pronunciation: \ˌen-tər-ˈtān-mənt\
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 : the act of entertaining
2 : archaic : maintenance, provision b obsolete : employment
3 : obsessively following the poor life decisions made by self-indulgent human nightmares completely detached from any sense of proportion or emotional connection with the world around them due to the self-inflicted disenfranchisement caused by their own insatiable need for attention of any kind earned at any cost for no other reason than to momentarily relieve our own fear that our lives are equally absurd and devoid of meaning.

WHAT IS HAPPENING OUT THERE? ARE OUR BRAINS FLOPPING AROUND ON SOME GREASY BEACH SOAKED IN OIL?

Comments (55)
  1. When the world hands you crap, I make sausage.

  2. I, myself, am mildly entertained by the fact that even Huffington Post’s readers can’t find anything to comment on about Lindsey anymore.

  3. Remember last summer when it seemed like everyone on Vgum was saying Schadenfreude all the time? I miss that.

  4. One more and we could propose a redesign for Mount Rushmore.

  5. Not trying to sound like the 108-year old man that I am, but when I was your age, celebrities had to DO something to be famous. Of those three people, two are from reality shows and one is an actress. To clarify, one is famous for being friends with someone who is famous for having a show about how famous she is, one is famous for having a lot of unprotected sex and reproducing like an irresponsible bastard with no concept of how to make good decisions, and one hasn’t had REAL work for 3 years. Why are these people on the front page of ANYTHING?

  6. Did An American Patriot write THESE headlines?

  7. So, I saw that one of the other stories on the entertainment page was about Danielle Staub, a Housewife. I did not know her so I googled her and found an image that actually is entertainment defined:

  8. The larger issue is contained within:

    1. The 24 hour news cycle which has given way to an as-it-happens news cycle, creating even-greater pressures for news networks and websites to create things for viewership/visitors to see.

    2. A need to see increasing profits by the info-tainment sector – which is really most of the media outside a few stalwart journalists like Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman, and Greg Palast. People watch garbage because that is what is available, then their children are trained to believe the garbage we know as celebrity media is real entertainment. Strangely in this post-modern society programs like the Daily Show and Colbert Report, which package themselves as info-tainment (at least on the surface) actually seem to contain more content and analysis than “real” news programs.

    3. The creation of a “society of the spectacle” that Guy Debord and the Situationists discussed in the 1960s as an outgrowth of capitalism making commodities out of everything. One of the most famous aspects of this “society” is that we are slowly divorced from actions that have an impact on our lives, from actually living, and instead replaced with representations of life that seem real, but only increase our alienation. So, voting for an increasingly rigged electoral system is championed as democracy even as opportunities to really impact government on a grassroots level have shriveled up. Entertainers formerly had to be funny, or at least attempt to be, or interesting in some way while they were doing something, rather than just behave like themselves (i.e. idiotically, but no more idiotic than most Americans who don’t have cameras pointed at them) to get press/airtime.

    I suppose I can’t see this getting any better without real structural changes in how media is produced and how we live our lives. Funny how if you watch the movie Network from the mid-70s they make a joke about info-tainment then and I’m sure to 70s viewers it seemed a bit silly, but now very prescient. It’s likely going to get worse in our lifetimes.

    • Your argument would be much more compelling if you were drunk, breasty, and prone to making out. SORRY SCIENCE, YOU BORE ME.

    • I have some problems with this argument, which seems to kick around the idea of authenticity:

      1. What does “actually living” mean? I think it’s presumptuous, generationist, classist, hegemonist, agist, whateverist, to claim ownership of authenticity. And untenable. How do you argue you’re more authentic than someone else?

      2. Do you believe people were more authentic prior to the plastic surgery nightmarescapes of Heidi Montag or the cocaine-fueled odysseys of Lindsay Lohan?

      3. The struggle to feel authentic isn’t a new phenomenon. As one example of many, you see it in the ideological mess of Othering (one group claiming another as different, less real), used to justify the worst atrocities in recorded history–slavery, the Holocaust, imperialism, the Rwandan genocides, etc.

      4. These kinds of arguments, the ones that purport the destruction of authenticity to a newer, rising ideological tsunami, strike me as reactionary and nervous. I understand the impulse to look at something new and not like it, to feel endangered by it (I sometimes picture Heidi Montag’s many-surgeried, disembodied head floating just over my shoulder, and every time I turn around she moves out of the way just enough so I can’t see her, but I know she’s still there, and this is awful), and to want to yell at it to scare it back under the porch. And I agree that the TOTAL implications of the Internet, social media, 24-hour news channels, constant connectedness, etc. are poorly understood at best (and recent studies show that our brains ACTUALLY rewire themselves based on the way we consume information, and the way we consume information has changed dramatically, unbelievably, in the last decade), but I think we could all stand to relax a little.

      People aren’t going to become any more real, any more authentic, because of dire warnings like this. I don’t even know what it means to be REAL, or AUTHENTIC, and sometimes I see the cat lick his paw the same way twice and wonder if I’m in the middle of a Matrix reboot. That is the incomprehensible muddle of contemporary life. I think a lot of theory asks important questions, and I’m sure these Situationists DEFINITELY think the work they did/do was/is important, but I’m tired of other people (generally, but not always, white male academics) deciding how real or authentic I am. No pomo.

      • A little sad I just graduated college and thus will never be able to use the phrase “No pomo” in a comp lit paper.

      • Well, I’m not arguing that there is such a thing as “authentic” but rather that society has become so commodified that, much like the divorce of workers in the production process we are divorced from control over the processes of production/government/entertainment etc. Ok so you must by now know I’m a Marxist. I think it’s pretty clear there is no such thing as an authentic realm we will reach, but rather that there is a possibility that instead of being fed and socialized by choices made via corporations and government we can reach a point where people can make their own choices about how to run the economy, society, entertainment that don’t necessarily involve the profit-motive, and may have a more organic relationship to what people actually enjoy rather than what they are told they must enjoy. Yes, this is a gray area because some people really do enjoy Ke$ha, as much of a media construct as she is, and they make a choice to buy her songs and see her concerts. But I have to believe that in a world less interested in pimping artists for profit, the possibility that artists like her, or awful TV shows will potentially become less common. There might even be an impulse to encourage regular people to create art, and their own entertainment, instead of watching it on TV. So in a roundabout way I think we see things on a similar wavelength here.

    • Sorta long.
      well writ.
      keep writing.
      or else.

  9. mydaughter'sname69  |   Posted on Jun 8th, 2010 +7

    Come on Gabe, Topher Grace is NOT a self-indulgent human nightmare, and his life decisions are perfectly adequate.

  10. HuffPost Entertainment Section: A Look at the Nation’s Unemployed at their Most Desperate

  11. I know this is random, but the way Jon Gosselin is holding his stomach in that photo makes me think he is saying “get in my belly!” and if he really is stoned, then I’m probably right.

  12. I just died a little inside.

  13. I wish I could say I do not know who any of these people are, but, sadly, I cannot.

  14. I like HuffPo, but their entertainment section is unnecessary. I propose a few changes:

    • Upvote! If only for the Winwood headline. I haven’t been here long, but I’ve been watching long enough to understand the beauty of Steve showing a human side. It is very heartwarming!

  15. This is definitely JOI’s Infinite Jest V.

  16. This is not going to be a popular opinion, but this is your fault, ladies. It’s largely women (and some gay men) that feed this machine. Why? I don’t get it. Even some incredibly intelligent, successful women read this shit as some sort of guilty pleasure.

    Can someone who eats this shit up explain to me what the allure of it is? I’ve never gotten an answer outside of “Oh, I know it’s trash, but it’s fun to read.”

    • I’m with you That One. And also, why have women made porn a billion dollar industry? I’m not talking about the soft romantic porn men like, I’m talking about the angry porn women secretly love. Also women and their violent video games that desensitizes them them from real violence. and don’t get me started at how women get all drunk and unruly during sports(which goes against the spirit of the games). Women entertainment is the worst.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • I never said men suck, I was just trying to give you some perspective.

        • The evo psych explanation (ugh) for females reading tabloids would probably be that it fills women’s need for gossip and whatever adaptive function that serves – bonding with other females, whatever. I mean, if you can make up excuses for men’s bad behavior using speculative ideas about our evolutionary past, why can’t you do it for women?

          • Gossiping would be something that would benefit society in the early days as in the smaller societies most ethics were enforced through shaming and the like. If someone wasn’t pulling their weight for the group, everyone would know about it eventually, and they would take corrective measures, etc. Part of how ethics were slowly built up. As the size of villages/cities/etc grew, they needed to have other ways of enforcing behaviour like laws, police, religion, etc. But, when civilization was small enough groups, no one was anonymous, so it gossip about each other became a way to keep track of what other people were doing and make sure they are being “good”.

        • I’d watch Jon Gosselin be STONED

    • Oh come on, guys. Generalizations are so last year. Dudes fuel their own version of the stupid machine – it just looks different. That doesn’t make it any less trashy.

    • As a straight man, I’ve read my fair share of Us Weekly and the like. First, I would say it isn’t just women that are into this. It is everyone.

      I also have watched plenty of reality television and I go to the Mall and stare at people. I think the function this serves is to give middle class Americans something to gawk at and judge. You read these artilces or watch Rock of Love and think, “What the fuck is wrong with these people. I’m not terrible like this. And who enjoys watching this crap?” It is a way for those of us who don’t have much going for us to feel better about ourselves.

      On another level, these folks are just fictional characters. It is the same as being curious what happens next to someone on ER or Cheers.

      Also, I would say that, as Chris Trash pointed out, there are many male-centric things that are far worse, but we don’t require men to justify their existence.

  17. the tv is getting smarter. we should probably destroy it soon…also, the internet

  18. My roommate made me watch a Hills marathon :(

  19. i think theyre using the word ‘entertainment’ ironically

  20. I’d rather check out than tell my friends.

  21. This isn’t a thats your boyfriend post…. I think maggieron36 is confused.

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