26 July 2009

Gossip Girl

Ok…first and foremost apologies for the title! This is in no way a critique, review or analysis of the series equally titled "Gossip Girl". Truth be told I've never watched an episode so not in a position of authority to do that and thus don't understand what the fuss is about, and quite frankly I prefer series that actually stimulate the brain marginally, not all the teeny-bopper Melrose Park and Beverly Hills 90102 remakes. (The originals were forgettable so why should the new ones be any more memorable?) Alrighty, I'm digressing majorly! Off the 'soap' train and into a brief explanation (oh alright my notes are rarely brief …so long ass explanation definitely makes more sense)

Many a budding (and even long term) relationships, reputations and lives have been crushed, vaporized, annihilated, obliterated even (I'm just trying to help you effectively visualize) by Gossip Girls (and Boys…the lads are no saints even with that line about discussing and not gossiping). Devilish folks garbed as angels bearing the sweetest of gifts…tatafo! Yes we all love gossip, oui even même se! I absolutely love being in the mix, being queen of the 411, having all the amebo, the 'ish' dish, the entire juicy scandalous, blush inducing details, so that I can smile snugly about what I know. However, even with my inherent love for gist I draw the line with confiding my knowledge. As I told someone once, I'm kinda like Central Bank and a broke guy; no matter how the broke ass nigga begs the bank ain't giving him sod all! So it is with my mouth and secrets. I think only once to my recall have I ever broken a confidence, and if I look at it critically I didn't really break it, as I wasn't told that I couldn't say anything about it, and it was kinda libelous so I had to ask the other person in question. Nevertheless, one-on-one, promise to carry to my grave amebo, I don't spill. If any of my friends ever run for elected position, I am skipping town, changing my name (and if I wasn't so vain…invest in cosmetic surgery and touch ze beautiful face). Sure…they're just joking about assassinating me because I know where the bodies are buried, but when push comes to shove, I…ja ein…I won't stick around long enough to find out whether that was a smile 'smile' or a big bad wolf smile (you know the one he gave granny before making her brunch)!

Once more, I digress; I tend to ramble even in my thoughts! Anyway back to the topic at hand, gossip and its impact on the lives of its targets. I'm no celebrity, not won any Oscars and generally mind my own B. I., but people tend to have more interest in my life than I do. Maybe minding one's own business is a bad thing. When you reveal nothing of consequence, people invariably start formulating and postulating theories regarding your existence and being. Everything becomes gist worthy. I don't really mind so much although it ticks me off no end when they preach their beliefs as the gospel truth, and poor suckers fall for it hook, line and sinker. Now if I a mere mortal fall victim to scandal, how much more those who actually live in the public eye and like rabbits in the headlights are blinded by media flashbulbs and live the Superstar life. The life we all secretly long for, but still derive great pleasure from watching them fall flat on their faces and having them dissected and put through thorough analysis under a high powered microscope.

Gossip is a sin, plain and simple! No blurred lines, no shades of grey. Gossip is a form of sanctimony, where we sit in judgment of others. When really have you ever gossiped without having a little prick of self-righteousness, a small feeling of "I'm better than them" as you share your fresh off the presses red-hot news? Midnight Star sang a song back in the day all about the gist factory called Headlines if memory serves me right. Now you might say it's pretty harmless, that no malice exists in your transmission of gist, or that the facts that you are sharing are accurate so in no ways libelous nor slanderous! Granted, but how many times have you heard a story you saw the genesis of, and wondered whether the gist is really about what you know? Doesn't the story always seem to get garbled, embellished and revised in its telling? It never comes back the way it went out.

An Example: Kate went to a party (sans beau) with her girlfriends on the typical ladies' night soiree, and was dancing with a guy (Peter) she'd known for practically her whole life. Now as we know dancing nowadays tends to be akin to sex on the dance floor, so lots of body thrusting, invasion of personal space and legs around hips. One of her boyfriend's friends (let's call him Jeff) happened to be present at the party and saw Kate getting her 'groove on' on the floor totally unaware of baby girl's relationship with her dance partner. Jeff kept out of Kate's way and monitored her activities at the party. The party draws to an end and peter seeing as he lives 15mins away from Kate volunteers to drop her at home. Jeff sees Kate get into Peter's car and watches them drive off. The next day Jeff gets to Sam's house (also a friend of Kate's boyfriend, Phillip) and tell him of his encounter with Kate and how she was half naked, lip locking some dude on the dance floor, and how they got so carried away they couldn't wait for the party to end before jetting off in the guy's car surely to have sex. Sam filled with righteous indignation (he caught his girlfriend in bed with the driver) feels duty-bound to tell his paddy man Phillip and spare him the pain if catching her red handed. Sam renders the same story he heard from Jeff, however in his telling from the dance floor they graduated to Kate gyrating on the said dude's lap before heading to the car for a make out session, and Kate giving the guy a BJ in the backseat of his Jeep! Now Phillip loves Kate, and trusts her without reserve and brushes aside the story as just that, but the seed of doubt has been sown. From then he finds himself questioning her about her movements, when she talks a tad too long on the phone he started to wonder if it was another man. Gradually doubt eroded the once harmonious existence they shared, and within six months, the loving couple had gone their separate ways.

Many a reputation have been destroyed by well-aimed WMD. Allegations of impropriety, theft, sexual misconduct etc have marred careers or sown doubt into the minds of colleagues and turned people into water cooler grapevine matter and personal reputation has likewise been dented by gossip and insinuations. How many times did you hear stories spread about girls in school just because they were friendlier with the boys than the girls? Virgins were called sluts simply because it is deemed impossible for a guy and girl to be "just" friends (the issue of just friends is another matter for discourse). As the saying goes "Loose lips have sunk many a ship". My take on such issues has always been if I didn't see it with my own eyes I ain't buying it (pictures don't cut it either…did I hear someone say Photoshop?) especially seeing I've had my share of soft sell magazine style reportage done!

Now, even if you did see something suspect, is it your duty to divulge the information? When I was younger and knew no better I always thought it was my duty to guard my friends' interests and tell all I knew. However, with age (and hopefully more wisdom) I have come to realize that the three monkeys (hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil) were exceptionally wise, and in telling, many a time you become the grand villain, especially if (or more likely when) the couple "kiss-and-make up", you the one-time Good Samaritan become fodder for the after sex bedroom (or kitchen floor) snuggle fests gist sessions. So…where exactly does one draw the line between doing the needful and being a tatafo? The thing is when the truth outs and the 'victim' in question learns that you were in the 'know' you become for all intents and purposes persona non gratia! Maybe it's really a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't, so you might as well be damned!

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Plumbline said...

Straight up humorous! hmmn..those things we tend to take for granted...I stayed off gossips early enough in life..cos I was always the unlucky one to get caught!

Jojo said...

Thanks Jaiye, although i think sarcasm is more my forte than humor :-). Never funny being the fall guy, but i guess ur only irrelevant when they don't talk about you.

Anonymous said...

Gossip is as sin can get...

...but then again...let he who is without sin be the first to cast a stone...

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