Sunday, May 11, 2008

Is anyone else tired of Scarlett Johannson?

Scarlett Johansson is undoubtedly a physically beautiful woman. I've always been somewhat aware of the effect that female beauty can have on men. For some reason, intelligent, rational men, become totally incapable of unbiased thought in the presence of such beauty. In everyday conversation, this is not a major issue (well, unless a beautiful woman desires intelligent conversation with a man...but let's not be silly). When a journalist is tasked with conducting an interview that he will then attempt to translate into an article for the public consumption though, one would hope that said journalist would set out to maintain as much clarity and emotional detachment as possible. It is therefore very surprising to see the "My Five Dads" article written by Jason Killingsworth in issue number 43 of Paste magazine.

Rather than maintain the journalistic integrity that is the duty of a magazine writer, Killingsworth has taken the approach that he is Ms. Jo's publicist and he is promoting anything and everything that she produces. He exorbitantly details her every breath, movement and word as he catalogs her accomplishments (which, as far as I can tell, include acting, being pretty, and over-indulging her own whims). He sets up a ridiculous premise that she is influenced by these five men, who, she admits, she doesn't really know very well - or at all ("'It wasn't like Bill and I had so much in common that we could have this great personal relationship,'...the actors' personal relationship didn't stretch far beyond the word 'cut.'"). He has also, conveniently, neglected to comment on the quality of her album of Tom Waits covers altogether. Probably because it sucks. I can only assume that Killingsworth has written this article with hopes that ScarJo will read it and, as a result, want to sleep with him.

Perhaps this was meant as a social experiment of some sort. Perhaps Killingsworth has some sort of monetary stake in the album? Perhaps Paste has become one of those mindless publications that blindly kisses the ass of any celebrity it features. Perhaps this is application of reverse psychology. If so, it's working on me. After reading an article filled with this sort of gushing, unconditional and shameless praise, my overwhelming gut response is to ask, "Who the hell does Scarlett Jo think she is?"

I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt and I checked out snippets of her songs on itunes (only "Falling Down" is available at the moment, but I'm eagerly awaiting the full album release). Are we so blinded by her celebrity that we don't notice the glaring reality? I feel like the little boy in The Emperor's New Clothes. Please, come on a little journey with me:

Once upon a time, in a faraway land (let's call it "Hollywood"), there lived a princess named Scarlett. All of the people loved princess Scarlett because she was so beautiful. One day Scarlett noticed that some of the other princes and princesses were making CDs in studios and selling them to the commoners. She thought to herself, "Oh, how wonderful it would be if I could sing some songs and have people give me their money!" Then, one magical day, a wizard (he called himself a "producer") visited princess Scarlett and told her that she could do just that.

When the album was done, she built it up for weeks and weeks, telling everyone how wonderful it would be. Finally, the commoners were allowed to listen to the CD. They all gathered for the great unveiling. When the album was played, the dull, flat sounds of Princess Scarlett's voice filled the square. The people all wondered if they were the only ones who didn't like what they heard. Instead of voicing this though, they all pretended that what they heard was wonderful and applauded the princess wildly.

Then, one small child spoke up, "But Tom Waits already sang all of these songs - and Scarlett sounds terrible!"

The audience was shocked, but slowly they realized that the little boy was right. The started to laugh and laugh, but Scarlett took no notice.

The child piped in again, "Oh, and Scarlett has nothing on!" - but wait, maybe that's the problem...