Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Is that a seal? Or what? No matter: I like it!

Apparently a few days ago Taylor Swift and Kanye West's "conversation" from a few years ago that created quite the friction between the two parties' camps leaked online.*

Who cares?

One thing that's gotten under my skin in the last few years has been just how many celebrities remain famous even as their talent fades. They're now famous for being famous and we're supposed to care.** I don't care, really. Do you?

More and more of what seemed so important to people just a week or two ago now seems so ... silly. Even my current griping sounds silly. Who cares that I don't care about Kanye and T-Swizzle's feud? Do you? I didn't think so.

Something delightful is happening though. As this clutter falls further aways as far as its perceived importance is concerned, I find myself with time to appreciate things I've long overlooked. Like the stone statue of a seal (at least I think it's a seal, or some kind of dolphin. You tell me.

So cute!
Anyway, that thing is a whopping 2 blocks from my place and yesterday was the first time I've actually noticed it in almost three years. And I've surely walked past it dozens of times in that timespan. And yesterday I finally saw it. And smiled. And felt honest-to-gosh joy.

Those kinds of things have been happening in greater frequency. Even as I am (we are all) separated from each other physically I've found my attention broaden to the actual world around me, and not the world we've built through social constructs that have created a class of "celebrity" I'm not so certain we should be paying attention to much less looking up to, and passive entertainment desires.

In fact, I think I want to devote far more of my time to appreciating the things I should care about, and be open to discovering new things in that process.

*I literally just found out about it, despite it being the sort of thing I'd probably be reporting on when I was a Senior Editor at Chicagoist. In case anyone's wondering why I'm suddenly mentioning this when it was potentially news you've long known. That's not the point of this piece, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

**I'm not simply grousing about fake celebrities or influencers—annoying though they are, they're too obvious a target and honestly, their influence is far less tangible than they (or their marketing partners) would have you believe—but trying to draw attention to the fact that bona fide artists who have created mind-blowing work have the capacity to run out of ideas and we have the capacity to stop paying attention to them once they do. In other words we can, and should, stop caring.

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