Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Department of Gossip

Yay for new discoveries! That is what this blog is all about, after all.

It just so happens that I made two great discoveries this week (and it's only Wednesday - HOLLA!), as follows:

1) Vitamin water and vodka go really well together
2) I am a big fan of LaineyGossip

Ok, ok so #2 may not necessarily count as a 'new' discovery, simply because I already liked Lainey and her blog but first of all, I only read on a semi-regular basis (nothing to do with content, trust me - I read a lot of blogs and it's tough to keep up with all of them, y'all), and second of all you can only get SO much about a person from their posts - you often have to meet them in person to get the full dose of their character. For me, this is the way it was with Lainey - she is hilarious and dynamic in print, but even moreso in person.
Me and my date, Kim P
I was excited to be invited to her kick-off event for the Faculty of Celebrity Studies series, but also intimidated (I have to be honest) - I consider myself to be quite knowledgeable about pop culture and celebrity news, but I knew that some of the people in attendance would have vastly more knowledge than I and I was concerned about being quizzed on the spot next to them - would I make an ass out of myself? I don't like to admit it, but I was never one with enough cajones to participate in class so being 'called on' is like one of my worst fears (pathetic, I know).

Quiz time! Not sure what my mark was :(
Isn't FRED a cool space?!
Well, I needn't have worried because I was not put on the spot, nor was the environment intimidating in any way - it felt like sitting around my living room, gossiping with girlfriends over a glass of wine - not even close to the mind-numbing boredom of most traditional lectures.

I don't even like using the word "lecture" for Lainey's presentation because it smacks of pretension and scolding, and her talk (there, that's a better term) was not even close to that - in reality it was super informative, insightful, sassy, honest and witty. I found myself bouncing between laughing my head off and murmuring "hmm" and "so true" to myself at regular intervals in the manner of someone absorbing incredibly good points.

For this was not just a gab session about Kristin Stewart, this was a discussion of the greater societal issues that feed into (and are fed by) the celebrity machine. Her "thesis statements" regarding how women are regressing, celebrity as an ecosystem and celebrity as economic reflection really spoke to me and I completely agreed with her logic.

Ok, I know what you're thinking - probably something related to how silly I am for trying to make something as "shallow" as celebrity gossip deep and meaningful - but I really do feel that there are deeper issues that lay underneath most popular culture norms that shouldn't be dismissed as mere flake.
Aren't her shoes wicked?
Plus, come on - it's fun! Really, what is more fun than gossiping about people we don't know and will (likely) never meet?! And who lead such crazy, weirdly orchestrated lives! And that's the thing about Lainey - although she talks really smart, she also talks really fun - brutally honest, profanity-laced fun - and I love her for that. Let's just say that 3 hours whizzed by really quickly listening to her talk.

Oh, and did I mention I STUFFED my face with like a bajillion mini turkey burgers, goat cheese/pork tenderloin crostini thingys, and cupcakes? Those FRED folks really took care of us - so much so that I almost had to roll my super-full body (with flushed cheeks from the yum vodka cocktail of the evening - natch) out the door and home. Plus, we got to draw on the walls with markers, which is something I am pretty sure my landlord would frown upon (although I have yet to try it).

So, do me a favour...ok, actually 2 favours: Go eat lunch at FRED (if you haven't already) and read Lainey's blog (again, if you haven't already). Meanwhile I am going to talk to our Associate Dean (disclosure: I work in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at Dalhousie University) about adding a new program to our roster - the Department of Gossip! I can see it now! If you haven't thought of graduate school before now, ladies, you may wanna reconsider. Pretty sure Dean Lainey's office hours would include cocktails.

*psssst! btw here's a great article in my local paper about the event: "Celebrity gossip, when it’s done right, is an observation of human behaviour." - LG*


Kim said...

Sounds like it would have been an awesome event to attend. I never know what to make of Lainey when I see her on TV. She seemed really snarky to me, but I still would have loved to meet her in person. It sounds as though she has really taken time to think critically about gossip's role in society - and that kind of makes the snark okay :)

Kim Humes said...

Kim: It was a lot of fun! I have to be honest, I was expecting something more shallow before I went (sort of ashamed to admit that but it's true) and I was pleasantly surprised. Lainey made me think about celebrity culture in a completely new way, and I love that

Sarah said...

That sounds like so much fun!! Great review of the event :)

Kim Humes said...

Thanks Sarah! I did have a great time.

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for reading!