There is something inherently familiar about famous people. Being so ubiquitous and showing so much emotion in their works and performances, we feel as though we know them, even though they are complete strangers. Naturally, some of us desire to know more.
The problem with finding out more is that it often involves high-powered lenses and a lot of hours spent in their bushes, and frankly, I just don’t have the vacation time. So we turn to the world of gossip magazines and blogs.
For some, this is not enough. We crave more. MORE I SAY. We want to know their secrets. And since the darkest of secrets could lead to a lawsuit if not wholly provable, that is where the celebrity blind item comes in.
Celebrity blind items, if you are blissfully unaware – and I say “blissfully” because they are like sweet, sweet, candy-flavored crack that will devour your very soul, leaving you an empty shell of a smug bastard – are basically riddles, telling salacious stories purported to be about well-known celebrities, scattered with tiny details that can lead us, the reader/bad people, to figure out just who the story is about.
These can go one of two ways. They are so true that they would never want anyone to find out, or they are a really legal way to libel the shit out of some innocent person.
Basically, here’s how it works:
This A-list actress is known for her two famous marriages, one to an impossibly strange little man, and the other to a more down home type. She swears she’s never gone under the knife, and her forehead tells us that’s not true, but she also swears she’s not half lycanthrope. That’s not true either. During the full moon, our girl is truly to die for … and from!
Yeah, they’re a lot like that. See, I could legally tell you Nicole Kidman is a werewolf and she can’t sue me, see, ’cause YOU deduced that it’s her. I never said it was. I’m free of legal ramification.
Also, I’ve yet to receive proof that Nicole Kidman isn’t a werewolf.
While a lot of these are incredibly interesting, like the one about the tween sensation who went to a party, did all the coke and blew a guy in front of everyone, or the certain “high flying” multi-talented actor who has a penchant for male spa attendants and hair plugs, some are difficult for stars to shake.
Raise your hand if you think Jake Gyllenhaal is gay. Keep it up if you think Angelina Jolie still does heroin. If your hand is up, it’s probably because of Ted Casablanca, E! Online’s fancy king of blind itemry.
Now, I have no way of knowing if either of these are true or false (though I think we all know who the real Toothy Tile is. It’s Fyvush Finkel). But they’re incredibly pervasive, and in the case of Jolie’s, potentially reputation damaging.
Blind items are the most cowardly way to fuck someone over ever. I mean, all you have to be able to do is write a semi-convincing story and slap a description of some rando famous person in it, and BOOM, you have a blind item. Some, I believe (I love you, Lainey Gossip). Some, I don’t (unless the theory is correct that CDAN dude is Chunk from Goonies I don’t buy most of his stuff – and if the A-lister who does coke in front of her kids and left one kid in the car for hours while she got high with her dealer is true, then go to the police, not the ‘net).
For those who have not yet given in to this dark, dark guilty pleasure – and, oh, is it pleasurable – this is a non-issue. But to those of us who’ve gone down the blind rabbit hole, our perceptions are completely skewed. For us, everyone’s gay, everyone’s on coke at the very least, everyone’s cheating on everyone (often with the same sex because see “everyone’s gay”) and everyone is an absolutely awful evil person. And maybe they all are and maybe that’s that. But until we receive proof otherwise, let’s let them be innocent until proven guilty. Then as soon as we receive the tiniest implication of guilt, we can begin the lynchings as needed.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.