What if I said to you, in order to become a columnist for a well-known, nationally read newspaper, all you needed to have were years of experience as a prostitute, how would you respond?
Or if you wanted to appear on a television show watched by over two million people weekly, with the opportunity to eventually have your own show, qualifications began at being Italian, tanned, muscular, and completely arrogant with the ability to fist pump being a plus; what would you say?
Unfortunately, (and I do mean unfortunately) that is the reality (or lack thereof) we live in. One where Ashlee Dupre now offers relationship advice as a columnist for the New York Post, and being a “Gudio” puts you amongst the stars.
As a person that holds education and experience in the highest regards that it should, it is downright insulting to see where some of our forms of communication has gone. Gone are the days when journalism and acting took years of training, education, and paying your dues. Now, it seems just about anyone can fill those voids, as long as it creates controversy.
Ashley Dupre, known for being part of a high-end (whatever that means) prostitution ring and for her exploits with former Governor Spitzer, is given a job and her own column titled, “Ask Ashley”. In her columns, Ashley answers and reacts to various relationship questions and situations. Really? Obviously, the New York Post is known for their outlandish covers, stories, and articles. A lot of what is printed in the Post is just above the line that separates newspaper journalism and trashy tabloids. Dupre’s addition is nothing more than a sad attempt by the New York Post to create attention.
Somewhere, a hard working, knowledgeable journalist was beat out for that spot. And on what grounds?
On the other hand, there is the story of MTV’s Jersey Shore. It is the train wreck that everyone knew it would be, and continues to be every week. After a week of skipping through the late-night show carousel as guests, and discussing the offers for spin-off television shows they each (yes, each) have received, it really put things in perspective for me…
“Did these people really just use tanning, spiked hair, lousy accents, and poor dancing to become rich?”
And to answer my own question, “umm, yeah, they just did”.
And like that journalist that sits on the sidelines reading “Ask Ashley”, there is some actor, somewhere, that was passed over for fist pumping.
In perspective it sounds terrible. And it is. Yet, for some reason, we all watch. We all read.
As a culture we love this stuff. But when did it become this way?
When did we stop appreciating the journey, the art form, the talent, and the greatness that is out there, and become so caught up with waiting and watching the next big wreck?
Who knows? I guess I could always “Ask Ashley”.