The Superbowl, the Olympics, the Academy Awards: the majority of North Americans flock to these events. The media is full of information on the best recipes to have as snacks while we watch these events, the intense exercise regimes and nutrition plans that athletes use during their training, and the secrets of how celebrities "tone up" in the week leading up to the show. Newspapers include special spreads devoted to these particular events and the hype leading up to them leads consumers into frenzy. Even after the events are over, there are related stories that the media publicizes: How to get back on track after over-indulging during the Superbowl! You can get <insert athlete's name here>'s buff arms too in three easy moves! Steal these fresh fashion looks from the stars!
Maybe it's the excessive hype surrounding these kinds of events, or maybe it's just that they happen so frequently that I'm no longer as interested, but I had no desire to watch any of these events this year. The days passed by normally while in other parts across the continent, people were going wild with excitement.
I didn't completely avoid it, however. The people around me, caught up in the excitement, told me all about the results of these events regardless of if I wanted to hear it. We even discussed the Olympics at length in one of my Rhetoric classes (admittedly, it was fascinating to analyze the rhetoric of the Olympics, but it was equally fascinating to me that I couldn't escape hearing about the Olympics even during class).
And yes: yesterday, the day after the Academy Awards, I absolutely flipped through the newspaper to take a peek at the elaborate gowns that the celebrities were wearing in their desperation to make a fashion statement.
Why is it that we are drawn to these kinds of events? Are we really that interested in the event itself, or are we clamouring to have a reason for us to all get together and watch an event? Is it a way to promote national pride and express our love for celebrities? Are we trying to live vicariously through the athletes and stars that we watch on the television? Do we just really want an excuse to sit in front of a television and eat junk food, because we might otherwise feel guilty? Do we want to watch for the visual aesthetics or do we truly care about the sports, the people, the films? Something tells me that it's partially because these kinds of events are surrounded by such hype that we place so much importance on them, not that we are actually interested in the sport itself or the people involved. What do you think?