Thursday, January 14, 2016

G671 Celebrity and Entertainment Obsession; Understanding Our addiction

Title of the book: Celebrity and Entertainment Obsession; Understanding Our addiction

Author: Michael S Levy

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

Publishing Date: 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4422-4312-5

Summary:

Celebrity culture surrounds us. We are inundated with information about actors and actresses, athletes, musicians, and others who have become famous or infamous. Although we never will likely meet or get to know them, our interest in them seems boundless. We are literally obsessed with being entertained as well as with the people who entertain us.

Who our celebrities are has also shifted; in the past, celebrity status was bestowed on men and women of great accomplishment, those who had given the world something to be proud of and to celebrate. Conversely, today s celebrities are generally people involved in entertainment from TV newscasters to people who appear on reality television programs, as well as some who are simply famous for being famous. What remains an enigma is why we, as a society, are so infatuated with being entertained, as well as with those who entertain us and appear in the media. This book makes sense of this spectacle by explaining the reasons for this obsession from a psychological, social, and historical perspective. It suggests that we have become addicted in much the same way that a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol. Finally, the author offers his observations on how to free our minds from this captivation. Anyone interested in understanding more about our need to live vicariously through the rich and famous will find answers in this book."

Author Info:
(from iRead Book Tours)


Buy the book:  Amazon    Barnes & Noble
Michael S. Levy author pic
Meet the author:   

Michael S. Levy, PhD is a clinical psychologist who is the director of substance use services at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts. He also maintains a private practice in psychotherapy in Andover, Massachusetts and is a lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He has often been interviewed on radio and television. Levy has published numerous articles and book chapters, gives many lectures and workshops, and is the author of one previous book, Take Control of Your Drinking...And You May Not Need to Quit.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook

Personal Opinion:

Maybe I was a bit luckier than others that I had early exposure to media manipulation, or that I came of age in early 2000s and grew up in 1990s, way before the Kardashian clan took over the TV, and that I realized in teens in how much watching TV shows has hurt my self-esteem and caused me to feel ashamed of myself; in truth, I don't know which one of these factors was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, but all I know is that I don't make it my entire life in following celebrities' lives and research their secrets. I think the reason I volunteered to be on the book tour is to understand the question that I long had; why are sports and entertainment areas are more important than art and science areas? Why aren't authors or scientists or even local politicians as famous and well-known as celebrities are? (If you're a book reader, and you try to talk to someone about books you have read, and they only watch TV, be prepared for very awkward moments...) The book answers those questions and gives a whole lot more reasons than one would expect. I was pretty surprised to learn that a lot of factors play into our obsession with celebrities such as novelty, beauty, sociability, need for idols, etc. while the author points out these important issues, he also doesn't condemn them and states over and over about how human it is. Some of the research is pretty shocking and sad, in fact. Unfortunately, the author only goes into solutions in the last chapter or so, and even then the solutions are very precursory and involve parents and children. (Sad thing, a lot kids that grew up in late 1980s and 1990s, are starting to become parents, and its rumored that this generation isn't well known for having strong social skills, and perhaps they see nothing wrong with celebrity worship.) In other words, something I'd highly recommend to be read, but unfortunately the book lacks the solutions for turning life and society away from entertainment worship to real hero worship.

This is for iRead Book Tours

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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