TMI?

Boy and girl meet, they become a couple, they break up (I think) girl meets other boy, they become a couple, get married, have children (not in that particular order), separate, reunite…then separate again. Normally most of us would probably only be marginally interested in these goings-on, unless the people involved were our relatives, friend or folks we don’t like. However, when the players are none other than Bounti Killa, D’Angel and Beenie Man the saga takes on an added intrigue. I can’t say, I understand why, but onward….

In these times of hyper-access to people’s lives and self-over-exposure we have developed a ravenous appetite for a ringside seat to the ‘private’ lives of entertainers, athletes and other celebrities.

Having said that, I must admit that I missed the memo about Bounti and D’Angel, I didn’t catch up until she was with Beenie. Can we say late? As I got bits and pieces of the happenings, it struck me that the talent and merit of these three artists has become overshadowed by the washing of personal apparel in public. Ok, ok, I admit D’Angel isn’t exactly talented, but…but….aah….I admire her resilience and the fact that she seems to have business sense. Regardless (or as mi Granny woulda seh ‘irregardless’) of his reputation as a warmonger, brawler and wielder of hammer(s), Bounti is a talented dancehall artist (if only he could have lived up to ‘Book, Book, Book’, but I digress) and Beenie Man is indisputably the best dance hall performer Jamaica has produced. These three make an admittedly interesting trio, but do we really need as much information as we are privy to about their lives? Mind you, they (particularly Beenie and D’Angel) have been complicit in this untoward preoccupation: from providing the media with full access to their wedding (I still cannot believe how much coverage it got!) to the series of interviews, comments and sound bytes about their relationship, children, separation-reconciliation-separation. They seem to be as eager to share juicy titbits, as their hungry fans and naysayers are to consume them.

This makes me wonder if we in Jamaica have moved from what I used to proudly refer to as our aloofness to celebrities and their shenanigans to being pulled into the murky mire of the new ‘TMI’ (too much information) norm; a norm where almost nothing is left to the imagination. There is almost no mystery, no subtlety and forget finesse. What sells and has appeal now is the loud, raw and crass. Artists like Beenie and D’Angel have fallen prey to the pitfall of relying more on personal disclosures, public declarations and gossip than the power and appeal of their craft and talent. The source?

In addition to the sacrifice of individual integrity and ever-growing presence of thirsty egos, I think the proliferation of reality TV are the catalysts for this unfortunate ‘si it yah’ trend in the behaviour of our celebrities and media….but maybe it’s just me.

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