From The Publisher: The Value of Entertainment

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Dear Readers,

I was always one to gripe about the fact that men in tight pants holding a ball were paid millions of dollars to run across a field while our public school teachers have to get second jobs while they take on the insurmountable task of educating our children.

I couldn’t stand it when people would make a fuss about celebrities, especially rappers, who do nothing but gyrate to degrading lyrics that do not uplift or educate or help anyone in any way.

Then, when I heard the news that songtress Whitney Houston had died, I felt the sting of the announcement in my heart. I cried. Yes, I cried. Her voice walked with me as I grew into the woman I am today. Although I have never met her, I felt like she was a part of me. This confused me until I realized exactly why the entertainment industry is so valuable.

We all have goals and dreams and we work damn hard to achieve them. Day in and day out we either put up with annoying bosses and co workers or we are breaking our backs trying to build our own empires. We know what it means to labor for our dreams and to maintain the lifestyles that we believe we deserve. We understand what its like to hunger, to yearn and to break barriers in business as we attempt to leave our footprint on the world. But even those moments of victory as we achieve our goals aren’t nearly as sweet as the moments when we are simply free to ‘be’.

During those moments where profit margins don’t matter, outsmarting the competition isn’t a concern and the bills aren’t weighing us down we are free to truly enjoy life. These moments of bliss are often earmarked by a particular song we heard or a comparable scene from a movie. As we write the scripts for our own lives, we take pleasure in the simple things that allow us to experience the essence of ‘being’- our emotions.

What do we do during those times when we aren’t toiling away at our goals? We take our shoes off, we sit back on the couch and we turn on the television or log on to the internet to be moved by someone else’s creative work.

We lose ourselves in the songs that musicians create. We become emotionally invested in soap operas. We root for out favorite sports teams because their victory feels like ours. We visit message boards and type out angry tirades against the decisions of politicians because we believe our opinions are important too.

During those times when we aren’t doing what we HAVE to do, we get to do what we want to do and what is that? We want to laugh, to cry, to hate, to cheer- we want to feel emotion. The value of entertainment is in its ability to induce emotion in the spectator. If a woman can belt out a tune that makes us feel her pain, we applaud.

We are always seeking an acceptable outlet for our emotions. In this society we are deemed mentally ill if we express any feeling besides a placated happiness. But we are more than just that fake smile we wear at the office. We are more complex than that happy go lucky image we think people want to see. This is why we are drawn to the drama and the passion of watching the details of the lives of celebrities and this is exactly why we are willing to pay big bucks to be entertained.

And you know what? We deserve it. We work hard for it. We endure. We keep the world moving.

So go ahead, you celebrity puppets. ~clap, clap~ Do something silly.

Entertain us.

I mean, we’re paying you enough.

All My Love,

Te-Erika

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