This whole idea of famous people being able to do whatever they want isn’t exactly a new one. It’s probably the majority of the reason why people want to be famous (in addition to the money, money and the cars, cars and the hoes… I suppose). It’s often made fun of – think of how many movies comedically display policemen, so starstruck and awed, that they don’t realize that some famous character is doing something illegal… or they’re so starstruck that they just don’t care. Yet as far as the general public has actual proof of, celebrities are forced to obey the law just as strictly as we are. We know that’s not true, but there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. So we’ve accepted the perks of fame and moved on, and as such it has maintained a relatively modest presence in our lives.
But is this attitude of “fame=God” crossing over into areas that are even more unacceptable than this idea already is? As our society gets more and more lax on rules, so is the willingness of American media is to cover it up. This has resulted in not only celebrities being able to disobey the law, but also being able to publicly display it – and receive no penalty. And now we, as the public, definitely know that you’re allowed to smoke weed across the nation as long as you make a million dollars rapping about it (and about nothing else *cough* Wiz Khalifa*).
Have we really gotten to this point? This point – in which a very just, solid, and easy-to-follow law becomes unjust simply because certain people are allowed to get away with disobeying it? Or is this a bad application of the qualities of a good law?
According to our lecture, an example of a failed law is one that is UNENFORCED. I do believe that there are instances in which not enforcing a law is acceptable – such as a 20 year old drinking a glass of wine with their parents (see the debate on this issue: http://gameofroles.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/drinking-at-your-own-private-bar/). But the problem comes when an issue that would be enforced in one situation, is not enforced in another.
Take, for instance, reality TV shows. Oh, reality TV, the epitome of acting dangerously, stupidly, mindlessly, or sometimes just not doing anything at all (I’m looking at you, Kardashian sisters) – and then making money off of it. I can deal with that. However, what I can’t deal with is two daughters – aged 11 and 15 – witnessing two women yank each others hair, break dishes and scream “prostitution whore” at each other (side note: really? prostitution whore?) and then appearing across the nation.
This is what LA Times investigated from The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Although there are numerous child entertainment laws meant to prevent issues like this – including prohibiting minors from appearing in entertainment dangerous to their morals – this episode was still allowed to air, and keep this horrid scene in it.
Why, you may ask? Probably nothing else than that it was the most epic scene in the episode, and this episode just happened to be the big finale of the popular series. Producers pretend that the children won’t be scarred by encounter like this, won’t have to relive it every time this show reruns, and won’t walk around with the knowledge that everyone knows that their mother yanked a table straight up into the air. Unfortunately, most other people pretend the same.
So many other examples appear in our lives. Underage drinking, use of drugs, stealing, dangerous driving… and this is just the beginning of the list.
Is this ok? Just because they provide us entertainment, is anyone who has the slightest claim to fame allowed to break the law and get away with it? Or are we watching our good laws become bad ones solely due to a small population of our country?
Information about The Real Housewives of New Jersey was taken from http://www.minorcon.org/safety_net.html.