Dish-Interested: Searching for the Next Train Wreck


The goss hasn’t been the same lately. Truthfully, it hasn’t been the same for a long while. This goes beyond the standard summer slowdown and indicates a deeper, more troubling phenomenon plaguing the celebrity world. It hurts to even say it, but the truth is that celebrity gossip has gotten boring. It’s predictable and uninspired, overrun by wannabes and attention whores whose only goal is to be in the spotlight rather than shine in the spotlight.

This is a very important qualitative difference. It’s one thing to just whore yourself out to the media in every imaginable way (Heidi and Spencer, I’m looking at you). This is the way of the Octomom and the Gosselins, the otherwise common folks with no documented creative talent. Their goals are to be famous and make money by acting stupid in front of the cameras. Sure, this has some redeeming entertainment value and their contributions to the world of celebrity tomfoolery aren’t wholly unappreciated. But they will never have a best-selling album or blockbuster movie, relegated instead to the F-list with their reality TV brethren and known only for their multiple children and disturbing hairstyles.

To shine in the spotlight is a whole other dimension reserved for real stars who know how to create a real stir. I haven’t seen this dimension since spring 2007 when Britney was keeping the gossip interesting with her months-long personal meltdown. Every day, she gave us a new scandal to gawk at — good scandals, too, that produced scintillating headlines and unforgettable photos to make our jaws drop in that “can you believe this” way?

Shaving her head, going commando to clubs, the fake British accent, the custody hearings with KFed (a.k.a K-OVERfed — you seen that guy lately?), the fallout with her mother, the umbrella incident, the dubious relationships with the paparazzi — the girl put on a show far more interesting than anything requiring her to be on stage.

Then her selfish father had to insert himself into her life and ruin everything by taking guardianship of our shining starlet, putting her back on the good meds and pushing her back into the studio. And we all know what happened next: Britney cleaned up her act, put on underwear and made a new album. And where is she now? On tour making scads of money. BORING!!

The summer of Britney’s meltdown also saw Lindsay Lohan making some waves of her own with headlines about her anorexia and drug use, her crazy stage mother and creepy ex-con father, that awesome car chase with her assistant that resulted in a DUI arrest and, of course, the classic photo of her looking totally wasted, with mouth ajar and lips purple, in the front seat of a car.

Then she went to rehab, got semi-sober, became a lesbian and probably got a cat. Then the stage lights went dim and the yawning began. She did offer a few goodbye shows by having some very public spats with her now ex-girlfriend, but what have you heard about Linds lately? NOTHING!

Wait, it gets better. The same summer of the Britney-Lindsay crazy train, Paris Hilton was going to jail for a DUI arrest. Remember that fiasco? How she was released early until the Great American Hero who was her judge ordered her back to the slammer, accompanied by a cavalcade of cops and photographers, one of whom captured that awesome photo of her crying her privileged blue eyes out in the back of a cop car while calling for her mommy.

Man, those were great days, a veritable Renaissance for celebrity gossip when each new day brought the promise of some good shit to read and wild photos to look at. But nowadays, when was the last time you read a headline about Paris Hilton?

COME ON, celebrities!! Forget those media training classes and go make some trouble, if for no other reason than to sell albums and movie tickets. Give us some scandals and meltdowns, some drama and racy photos. I’m tired of being entertained by ordinary people having multiple births, which is more sad than amusing when confronted with the fact that actual children’s futures are being compromised. That’s too heavy.

We need a big A-list shakeup, like Brangelina breaking up, or Jennifer Aniston getting married or knocked up. We need photos of Marc Anthony cheating on J.Lo; we need Oprah to come out. We need to pass the train-wreck torch to the next set of stars or starlets so they can make a splash in a big, above-the-fold way.

Preferably without underwear on.

Milla Goldenberg is an L.A.-based writer and editor. Visit her blog @, or send her hate mail @


5 comments for “Dish-Interested: Searching for the Next Train Wreck

  1. September 5, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    “We need a big A-list shakeup, like Brangelina breaking up”

    OMG this is totally going to happen. At the checkout stand last night I saw the cover of a magazine that told me Brad had moved into his own side of the house (War of the Roses!)

    Are the odds makers giving us odds on how many of the kids will actually turn out ok?

    (I tried to sound breathy and excited there, but it came out annoying. Sorry!)

  2. September 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    It is indeed a sad state of affairs when even Amy Winehouse cleans up her act.

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