Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Gawker Stalker: Now Boring as Fuck

It was an affair to remember. It was way back in (insert hip, early adopter date relative to Gawker's date of inception) when I first stumbled onto Gawker. This was a celebrity site with a difference. It practiced a cruel to be kind version of idolatry with respect to the celebrities it by turns worshipped and deplored. It turned the unique trick of distancing itself from its readership (unless you are happened to be a 212 hipster, and then you were REALLY hated) and its subjects. Not Vanity Fair, not Inside E, not The Enquirer, none of them could claim that. To top it all off, it wasn't really celebriporn - of course not, that's for flyovers - no, it was a site dedicated to "media". No explanation necessary, if you don't get it, you didn't know who Nan Talese was before James Frey went on Oprah a second time.

But the coup de gras was The Gawker Stalker - random pieces of celebrity sighting floatsam sent in to tips@gawker.com and published almost as written. Honestly, for a long, long time I would breathlessly await the latest word of Tony Danza at Bungalow 8 and the Olsen twins walking out of Starbucks. As a former Megalopolis dweller moved back to the hinterland, it made me feel as though I was back in my old seat on the fringe of the international party set.

Why then does it now seem so fucking ridiculous? Gridskipper, a corporate sibling of Gawker, does an "International" version of the feature with Jim Carey popping up in hotels in Lexington KY and TomKat in bistros in Shanghai. I'm sure other examples are floating around. However, to be honest, I've lost that lovin' feeling. Does that make me provincial? Or provcencal? One thing it doesn't make me is standing in line outside Bungalow 8.


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