Eat. Pray. Gossip.
I am not a fan of radio. I’m very hipster in that way.
I can’t prove this, but I’m fairly certain every station has made an unspoken agreement to shuffle through the same five song playlist. Every day.
How many times in one day can Adele set fire to the rain? She must be stopped. Someone has to tell Flo Rida that, much like the club, I can’t even handle him right now. We live in a world where the number one song on the Billboard charts is about a female stalker that thinks, just maybe a guy should call her.
Am I the only one who is concerned about this? I digress.
Cheesy pop music aside, my biggest issue with radio is what airs between One Direction songs and commercial breaks. Almost every station I have listened to has an hourly segment dedicated to the latest celebrity gossip.
Next hour we’ll tell you what Gwen Stefani is having for breakfast these days…
You’ll never guess where we caught Ryan Gosling.
Turns out Justin Bieber’s new song ‘Girlfriend’ might not be about Selena Gomez…
Of course, celebrity gossip is not exclusive to radio. The internet, magazines, and even national news networks are fascinated by the private lives of the social elite. One popular magazine has a section called, Stars: They’re Just Like Us that features paparazzi photos of celebrities doing mundane, every day things. Next to the photos are lines like:
They pump their own gas!
They go for walks!
They chew their own food!
It’s laughable. But every month I find a new edition in the break room at work. What is it about other people’s business that is so intriguing, not just celebrities, people in general?
Jim Gaffigan, comedian famous for making Hot Pockets funny, has another name for gossip; he calls it McDonald’s.
In his stand-up special, Mr. Universe he talks about the world’s love/hate relationship with the fast food giant. Documentaries like Supersize Me and Forks Over Knives present disastrous health effects of eating McDonald’s, but with 3 gazillion served, we can’t seem to put the fries down.
Gaffigan says when some people find out you eat McDonald’s they look at you like you just admitted to supporting dog fighting. “How could you?”
We know its terrible for us, but it’s too good to pass up.
He says, “Why do we all know three people Jennifer Aniston has dated? That’s McDonald’s.”
Gossip is the social equivalent to junk food. It has absolutely no nutritional value. It’s poisonous, but we can’t stop cramming the salty goodness down our necks.
It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:6-8)
Gossip in the Christian church makes about as much sense as steak in a vegan stir-fry, but it happens all the time. We Christians fold it into prayer requests or sweeten it with “Bless their heart.” It is human nature to use the plight of others to feel better about oneself, but it insults the very character of God.
There is not one good thing that comes from gossip. Someone always gets hurt. Lies are often passed as truths, and reputations are destroyed by seemingly innocent chatter. We have all suffered the effects of he said/she said, yet we constantly concern ourselves with the secondhand information of friends and strangers.
Societal harm needs to be called out and some things should be addressed publicly, but most of our attention should be focused on our own issues, problems, and personal lives. What’s done in darkness always finds illumination, but you and I are not the designated flashlight holders.
Contrary to popular consensus, gossip is not safe for moderate consumption. It needs to be cut out of our diets completely. I’m afraid that will require some divine intervention.
How is gossip working out for you? Can you relate?
Photo Credit: icedsoul photography
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