Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Celebrity Campin' With Cameron

This frothy New York Times piece is basically an "advertorial" for Cameron Diaz’s new MTV program, "Trippin." Because I don’t have a cable subscription, I probably won’t ever see the show; I’m actually a little disappointed.

Cameron Diaz’s sex appeal is rooted in her dorkdom. A gangly girl with an overgrown head and a Texas-sized smile, Diaz gets away with more than do other celebrities because she actually seems to be enjoying herself. Many people claim that Diaz, who, at 32, doesn’t hesitate to use words like “frontin’,” is just plain stupid, that ignorance is bliss and Diaz is simply enjoying the ride. I wouldn’t suggest that Diaz comes across as intelligent or even well-informed, but I’m not so sure that she’s your typical ditz. Her it's-all-good-in-the-hood posturing is an affectation. Perhaps her dumb blonde routine is exaggerated, too? With this foray into the world of television production, Diaz may be revealing some depth.

"Trippin," its ridiculous name aside, may get through to that much sought after 18-to-29 year old demographic. Watching DMX on a camping trip with Diaz sounds more campy than compelling, but the rapper-actor's camping foray just might ignite a spark of environmental consciousness in a young, urban DMX fan. As the article puts it,
“If young viewers' appetite for scientific knowledge is limited, Ms. Diaz is betting that their interest in celebrities will draw them to the show and help them [understand] a world beyond the exurbs and XBoxes.”
Perhaps what ultimately makes me willing to give "Trippin" a tentative thumbs-up is Diaz’s fascination with feces.
“In every episode, she dwells on excrement, both for laughs and for edification. She notes, in her Nepal trek, how the copious manure of rhinoceroses restores nutrients to grasslands, how birds disperse seeds through their droppings and how cow dung is used as plaster in village huts.”
Score one for those of us who spend way too much time thinking about basic bodily functions!

If anyone has the time and the means to watch an episode, I would love to hear a report. Fortunately, I will be able to watch another television program mentioned in the same New York Times article. “Strange Days On Planet Earth,” hosted by Edward Norton, the exceptionally talented and intelligent, if egotistical, young actor, deals with some contemporary, environmental hot topics. Fortunately, this program airs on PBS and my television, if I fiddle with the reception, can pick up PBS with reasonable clarity.

Photo credit: AP/Scanpix

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