Escalation

Even though we’re constantly hating how much the terrorists hate us, American culture doesn’t seem so bad. We have Blu-Ray players, Gatorade, and Sham-wows, which is great and all, but looming over us like a giant, over-exposed celebrity is the culture that looms over us like a giant, over-exposed celebrity. Sure, if you make five $100 million dollar-plus grossing films in a row, people should want to see you. That seems to make sense. The problem is everybody else.

Just when you thought the cheapest labor was outsourced, in comes The New Fame.

We seemingly no longer care about who gets to be famous, or if there is a cap on it, or if any of it is actually earned. With full rotations of reality television filling up channels that are titled “Music Television,” we really don’t seem to stand a chance; they’re even going against title-based programming!

But, at an alarming rate, disposable reality TV and gossip stars are popping up like so many a cheesy 80s metal band. We have one-hit wonder celebrities. Worse, we’re getting to the point now where there is a human cost, an actual expense to celebrity that we all cheer on then become morally disgusted with, but never actually break the cycle. So, in six hundred words or less, I’m going to link the 1998 Home Run race into next year’s slightly alarming increase of child pregnancy.

Yeah, you read that correctly. Ah, I’m wasting words!

Back in those halcyon days of 1998, the only thing we wanted to do is stop hating baseball so darn much. Ya see, a strike-shortened 1994 baseball season brought up a collective “they need MORE MONEY?!” clenched-teeth, seething hatred for our national past time. Suddenly, two beastly men who bare a closer resemblance to, well, bears, then baseball players, start destroying home run balls. One, Mark McGwire, even manages to hold on to the home run title for a couple of years.

A few years ago, it came out that maybe, POSSIBLY both Mark McGwire and his partner in dingers Sammy Sosa were on steroids. And for whatever reason, America was shocked–shocked!–at the notion. We felt betrayed. We felt lied to. “How could they,” America screamed, “right under our noses!”

As if we didn’t know. As if we didn’t care. We had a price; to save baseball, we needed to sell its soul. McGwire was caught with fishy substances in his locker, and we all cried, “DIETING SUPPLEMENT!” When we saw Sosa’s arms, we yelled, “HE EATS LOTS OF GRILLED CHICKEN AND EXERCISES REGULARLY!” And then when McGwire decided he didn’t “want to talk about the past” at a hearing specifically created to do just that, we turned. We vilified them. We condemned them.

And we never thought about how we pushed the sales, upped the TV ratings, and created the culture where this was alright. No, it was their fault.

Up pops OctoMom. Here’s a woman who was already neglecting children and decided to drug herself up in order to get more babies. You see, America has a temporary soft spot for many things, such as dance crazes, child actors, and especially births of 5 children or more at one time. Call it what you will (Circus Freak Syndrome? the “…all from there?” phenomena, or just Multiple Cuteness Factor), but America goes nutty over a gaggle of children.

After the success of John and Kate Plus 8, OctoMom decided that the best thing she could do to get fame and some sort of a free ride is to have eight children at once. And, if she didn’t tell people that this was her goal, by god, she would have been able to do it. Everyone loves sequels (Transformers 2, June 24th!!!!) and everyone loves craptons of babies. Done and done! Sadly, she decided to let everyone know that she had these children solely for the fame. Uh oh.

A woman notices our culture and realizes that a quick way to fame and money is to simply have more than 4 children at one time. It’s not on us, it’s her fault.

Flash forward to last weekend, when I’m watching the MTV Movie Awards and up comes a commercial for MTV’s new reality show: 16 And Pregnant.

I’ll let you compose yourself for a second there. Yep, again, the new reality show is titled, “16 And Pregnant.” This is how attainable fame has become:

Step One: Be A Pregnant 15/16 Year Old

Step Two: Alert MTV production crews to your plight

Step Three: Fame

So around this time next year, when you’re done talking about this young parent or that young parent and the crazy things they said or how you can’t imagine how they’re going to actually raise the kids, don’t become up in arms when teenage pregnancies are on the rise. Don’t suddenly turn around and blame loose morals, or the Obama white house, or liberals, or the lack of God in our society.

Blame yourself.

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