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For the Love of Scandals
FOR THE LOVE OF SCANDALS
Scandals. Scandals. Scandals everywhere! You just have to prepare for it because in our daily lives it seems like there must be a scandalous act going on or around us everywhere you turn, look or go. Turn on the TV or the radio and you will see or hear about it there. Go to the gossip columns of most news media and you will be bombarded with your full dose of daily scandalous news. The entertainment industry of course thrives on scandals…so many scandals these days. What about our governments? Tales and tales of scandalous acts by the government is what you will be hearing. It could be serious gun running in Afghanistan; it could be ethnic genocide in Darfur or the killing of albinos in Tanzania for ritual purposes. It could be monumental government corruption and sleaze in Nigeria; it could be tales of wanton human rights abuses in China. It could be another case of a major bank collapse due to fraudulent activities by the bank chiefs. It could even be the case of man’s inhumanity to wild life and nature and it could also be the case of incestuous relationship between an Austrian father and his daughter for more than two decades! And even the church and holy places are not spared. Today the Catholic Church is embroidered in a very serious scandalous tales of pedophilia by some priests and subsequent cover-ups by the papacy!
From my own point of view, there are many other not far-fetched reasons why scandals tend to permeate every aspect of our lives these days. First of all, what is scandal? Well, scandal could be defined as an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and capable of causing general public outrage and also the rumour, or gossip arising from this. So from this simple definition of scandal, one can easily see that scandals have the capability of causing outrages, rumours, and gossips amongst the people. So if you are still baffled by the fact that we are always surrounded by scandals nowadays then please you don’t have to look so far because the aforementioned ingredients of scandals: public disgust, rumors, gossips and suchlike speak loudly for themselves. What is happening to the world? Why have scandals become so much part of us nowadays? Let’s see.
Scandals for Entertainment
This is one of the main reasons why scandals have come to stay! Scandalous news about many of the world’s celebrities is what is driving the mainstream entertainment industries all over the world. And the sex scandals take the biggest share in this regard! People are always interested in what their stars are up to all the time and the sweetest part is if the artiste in the public focus has got himself/herself entangled in one dirty and weird stuff like an extra-marital affair or an ugly divorce suit or something like that. Can we say we can easily forget the recent Tiger Woods escapades or even the John Terry/Wayne Bridge saga in a hurry? No, I don’t think so. Not even the demise of Michael Jackson will completely rest the child molestation accusations that were leveled against him several times during his lifetime. Now it is the turn of Wayne Rooney and The Pope to defend their past actions which many have come to identify as somewhat scandalous! No one is spared and that goes to show the extent to which scandals can be used to entertain the masses. Fact is we love to know what these stars are up to even to the last ugly detail(s). Turn on the TV or radio or even go to the internet and immediately you are flooded with (though, most times needless) ugly details about some actors involved in one scandal, about some world leaders involved in one form of corruption or sex scandal, about some musician dissing another and revealing certain ugly ‘inside’ information about each other in their lyrics and rhymes like the evergreen Tupac-Biggie Smalls beef, you will certainly hear about tales of some highly classified or governmental conspiracy or cover-ups like the heart-rending Wikileaks revelations of most recent past. Bottom line: albums sell, soft sell magazines sell, grapevine thrives, journalists write and get heavily paid, investigators are born, conspiracy theory books and spy thrillers are written, some stars are made while some are equally destroyed, TV prime time gets more attention, entertainment news draws attention as many keep glued to the news media so as to be the first to hear the full details of the ugly side of their stars, idols or government once the “juice drops”. The privacy of most of these stars are eroded and intruded with reckless abandon just to find something scandalous and at the same time entertaining! But then, it is just the way it is.
Scandals for Advertising/Marketing
The truth is that scandals and scandalous related issues can easily be hijacked for marketing purposes. Just like I mentioned before, scandals make news sell like hot cake. So as the scandalous news make round, certain diversions and other forms of marketing can be introduced alongside too. The Sun Newspaper in Nigeria is one of the news media that have mastered this act so well and they are using it to their own benefits. Today, advertisements on The Sun newspaper is sure to get to massive national attention in Nigeria because of their style of using screaming headlines which are most times scandalous in nature. Also in TV circles, targeted advertisements could be arranged to occur during prime times guaranteed by subtle scandalous news reports. The truth about scandals is that their repulsive and shocking contents actually attracts like bees to honey. There’s no two way about that!
Scandals for Fame
Fame can be easily achieved…if only you are ready to pay full price! The principle of becoming famous is very simple. Search for, find and then do something strange, or extraordinary, or remarkable, or innovative or…wait, you guessed it right…scandalous! And next thing you know, your name is ranking amongst ‘peeps’ like Eminem, Lady Gaga, Nelson Mandela or even Barack Obama! According to Robert Greene, the author of 48 Laws of Power, becoming famous is a piece of pie as well as a way of acquiring power. To do that,the person seeking this power should court attention at all cost because “everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger than life, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.”
Well said, if you ask me!
Backed with such an idea, are you still wondering why you are assaulted with scandals upon scandals unabatedly on daily basis?
Simply put, to achieve fame is just a matter of going to the two extremes of either celebrated positivity (such as becoming an inventor like Tom Edison, or a renowned writer like John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon or Bill Shakespeare, a world leader like Bill Clinton, or a rich guy like Bill Gates) or scandalous negativity like who else but Osama bin Laden – America’s most wanted enemy!
Anything in between is quite unacceptable!
So you can now see why scandals could serve as an ideal short cut to instant fame because it will definitely get you noticed by making you become the magnet of attention or appear mysterious thus making the people always think and talk about you and sometimes…even fear you!
But…there’s another sinister and deep reason which I have observed which is the basic driving force behind the sustenance and power of all these scandals in our world today without which there will be no need for scandals whatsoever.
Do you have any idea what it could be?
Think about it. Why does scandalous news attract so much interest and fervor from so many people around the globe? Why do people easily partake in spreading scandalous gossips and rumors without verifying first the truth or sense in the ‘juicy cum sordid’ tale being passed on? What do you think is that small light that crosses your friend’s eyes which you often miss when you are narrating any of your scandalous escapades to him/her? Is it because scandals can easily keep boredom at bay?
No, I don’t think that is entirely the case. The reason is so obvious.
Of course, it is the human shortcomings in us. Now you tell me, what could be so comforting than the general self-absolution thinking and belief that indeed “all have SINNED and fallen short of the glory of God?”
That is to say that when people spread scandalous news, they may not know it but they are actually trying to show and justify their intimate wrongdoings to themselves in that after all, no one is perfect and we are all humans prone to human errors, star or no star!
It is as simple as that.