Thank God I don’t live in LA.

Because it would not be a good situation.
Can I confess something to you guys?  I have a habit that I am embarrassed about, even though I know I share this habit with roughly 98% of other Americans. It is nothing new. I, having posted videos of Lady Gaga and what not, have in fact helped perpetuate it.  But friends, my bad habit is this:
I read celebrity gossip websites.  Often.  Entirely too often. And it makes me feel…dirty.
When I was in grad school, I devoured sites like The Superficial, Go Fug Yourself, and of course grand dame Perez Hilton.  I read them obsessively as sort of a counterbalance to academia, to keep it real or something. Also to procrastinate from writing my papers. But mostly to feel “connected.”  I mean, I enjoyed my given topic of grad school study (Victorian literature) and as a matter of fact, still do.  But grad school does this weird isolating thing where, if you’re not careful, you start to disengage from the stuff normal people talk about. Did you hear about Miley Cyrus? No, but I DID hear about rhizome theory and the collective unconscious! Who wants a shot?
And that’s where the habit started.  Based on the faulty reasoning that celebrity websites would bring me back into the realm of “stuff everyday folks care about,” but I think my motives were a lot baser than that. This would have been, let’s see – 2005 to 2007, so I believe we were dealing with Jessica Simpson’s rise to power (and inevitable fall from grace), the dissolution of Witherspoon/Phillipe, with a touch of Beyonce backlash thrown in the mix.  Does that sound about right?
When I moved back to Austin in 2007, the urge got coaxed out a bit. But I still need a fix every now and then, which is why I spent half an hour on Lainey Gossip last night.  And what did I learn?  That Heidi Montag had 10 plastic surgeries in a day.  That Lindsay Lohan has, apparently, a new sex tape.  Something about a Kardashian.
Do you see why this is a problem?
NOTE to Austin event planners: PLEASE, please, do not ever get in the regular habit of booking “celeb events.” This might be a controversial opinion. And I’ll give you a pass during SXSW. Also, legitimate musicians and rockstars are different than celebs plain and simple, or more specifically, famous-for-famous’-sake celebs.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  And, one more freebie: Drafthouse, you do it right as far as I can tell. John Krasinski for example. That was a totally right move.
Sorry if any of this comes off as preachy or holier than thou.  I know that I’m in publicity, and the fastest way to guarantee a good crowd at an event is with a celeb.  But let’s not do it, Austin. You and me, let’s keep on hawking booze and bands.  I’d rather drink and dance than celeb gawk.
(Am not totally sure where this post is coming from; I think the sudden realization that Austin is ripe for mass celeb descension, along with Heidi Montag’s plastic surgeried-out face on the cover of People Magazine.  Which may or may not have pulled at my heartstrings a little.  How bizarre is that?  I mean….self, it’s Heidi Montag. Honestly.)