We know that this is one stressed-out country right now: Between the contentious presidential election and our collapsing economy, all we want to do is cry into a pint of Ben and Jerry's — but we can't, because going to buy it burns too much expensive gas. That's why now, more than ever, we need to maintain a steady diet of shallow and salacious celebrity gossip stories to take our mind off our own troubles. But as the banks have failed, so too has our beloved rumor mill. Instead of scandal, we're getting D-list drama; Hollywood is serving us lukewarm leftovers when what we REALLY need is a nice, palate-cleansing gossip sorbet. What gives, Tinseltown? Where's the love?
Think about it: Have you heard many ridiculous celebrity rumors lately? Once upon a time, the big Katie Holmes news was whether she secretly faked her pregnancy or was locked in a tower somewhere to prevent her from fleeing her handlers. Now all we've got is that she might be half-decent in All My Sons. Those annoying "Angelina Jolie Is Allegedly Addicted To Starvation/Drugs/Children" headlines seem like a nourishing oasis in the gossip desert compared to the recent earth-shattering revelation (and, we kid you not, People.com's most-read story) that Clint Eastwood thinks she has a gorgeous face. We'd even prefer the ludicrous whispers that skinny Nicole Kidman faked her baby bump over the pointless assertions we have heard — from the foremost authority: rapper Q-Tip — that she is “a good mother.” What a relief! Talk to us when Sean Combs blogs his concerns about, say, Melissa Joan Hart's parenting skills.
We're tired of feeling the pinch both in the tabloids and in our stock portfolios. People can't spend 24 hours a day tracking the markets' demise or interpreting the latest polls. Without even just a few minutes of fanciful distraction to keep us from eating our feelings, we’ll go crazier than Anne Heche on an alien spirit-walk through Fresno. Secret weddings, blood feuds, and high-profile breakups fit the bill; it's deeply inconsiderate of our celebrities to be so preoccupied with important global and financial crises that they fail us in our hour of need.
However, the tide may be turning again, albeit slowly: As much as we don't want to care, we are curious about whether Lauren Conrad hooked up with Justin-Bobby and/or hung up on Audrina when she called to talk about it. Ten points to Sharon Stone for being crazy enough to incite whispers that she wants to Botox her son's feet, although her denials quickly spiked that story (besides, juvenile pedi-Botox is hardly as delicious as a dragon biting your husband). And we owe a public thank-you to Mariah Carey, whose covert wedding to Nick Cannon has finally borne new fruit in the form of pregnancy rumors. It's not much, but it'll do, and we hope the rest of the rich and famous will follow suit. Consider it philanthropy for the psychologically needy: We’re not asking for loans, we just need a shocking tidbit or two to chat about when we’re tired of discussing swing states and the price of bread. So, stars of the world — and we never thought we'd hear ourselves say this — please do as Mariah has done. Throw us a juicy bone. Or at the very least, throw up somewhere in public. Thanks in advance.