Thursday, January 12, 2012

Celebrity CULTure

We are celebrity-obsessed. There should be a drug to combat symptoms of such cult-like behavior. 

I read the article below and although I enjoy Beyonce and Jay-Z as artists, they totally lost cool points for the way they and their camp handled the birth of their daughter. As a parent, I was especially appalled that other parents were denied access to their newborn babies. When someone else’s rights are infringed upon, only because you think you’re more important than everyone else… Well, that’s just tacky.

And now the media is going bonkers over who is going to snag the first baby photos. They say bids for the first snapshots of Blue Ivy Carter could go up to $2 million. Meanwhile, Angelina and Brad Pitt reportedly received $10 million for photos of their twins and Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony reportedly fetched $6 million for theirs. I don’t know about you, but selling photos of children (no matter who the parents are) kind of feels like prostitution…

Have we, as a society, lost our minds?

It’s just another reason I think we should stop deifying celebrities. They are just human beings, people. Yes, they’re beautiful, talented, and rich… But let’s not forget they need to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom… Just like the rest of us. 

After Beyoncé Gives Birth, Patients Protest Celebrity Security at Lenox Hill Hospital
By NINA BERNSTEIN/The New York Times/January 10, 2012

The couple were visiting their twin daughters in the neonatal intensive care unit at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan on Friday night, as they have done daily since the babies’ premature birth on Dec. 28. But when they tried to leave the sixth-floor unit to go home to Brooklyn at about 11 p.m., the new mother, Rozz Nash-Coulon, recalled, a burly security guard suddenly blocked their way.
The familiar area outside the neonatal unit had been transformed: partitions had been put up, the maternity ward windows were completely covered, and even the hospitals’ security cameras had been taped over with paper. Guards with Secret Service-style earpieces roamed the floor.
“We were told we could walk no further,” Ms. Nash-Coulon said Monday. And when she and her husband, Neil, demanded an explanation, she added, the guard claimed, unconvincingly, “ ‘Well, they’re handling hazardous materials,’ ” even as a large group of people screened from view were passing through the main hallway he had declared off-limits.
It was just the first of a series of indignities that they and several other noncelebrity maternity patients say they experienced over the weekend, as Lenox Hill Hospital went all-out to protect the privacy of Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z, whose daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, was born there on Saturday.
At one point, another father, Edgar Ramirez, 25, said, security guards kept him out of the neonatal unit for three hours while his wife and newborn were waiting for him. At another point on Saturday, a guard declared that “the floor is on lockdown,” Ms. Nash-Coulon said, and told her that if she left the neonatal unit, she would not be allowed back in to see her babies.
“It was just really disgusting,” said Ms. Nash-Coulon, 38, who is still recovering from her C-section, while one of her twins remains in the hospital. “We really believe the hospital is culpable in this because they didn’t let us know what was happening. And the security of our children is at risk when you cover security cameras.”
Ann Silverman, a spokeswoman for Lenox Hill, part of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, said the hospital had received no formal complaint about security measures, while taking care not to confirm or deny the birth of Blue Ivy, who was celebrated in a rap song released on Jay-Z’s social Web site on Monday as “the most beautiful girl in the world.”
“We have been in control of the security detail, and we remain in control of it,” Ms. Silverman said. “The security plan was designed not to limit access to patient care areas.”
“We’re dedicated to providing high-quality care to every patient,” she added. “And we’re dedicated to everyone receiving the privacy that they deserve.”
But the State Health Department was concerned by accounts of the disruptions, which were reported in The Daily News and The New York Post on Monday.
“We have received no formal complaint, but we have had compliance staff reach out to the hospital to ascertain the facts and see whether there were any violations,” a department spokesman, Michael Moran, said Monday.
Ms. Silverman denied reports that the couple had paid more than $1 million to rent and redecorate a wing of the hospital as a private labor and delivery suite. But she noted that, like several other New York hospitals, Lenox Hill has “reinstated executive suites,” subject to availability, and at a price she would not specify.
In a statement, Ms. Knowles and Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, said Blue Ivy’s “birth was emotional and extremely peaceful, we are in heaven.” They did not address the complaints from other patients.
A doctor who has often delivered babies at Lenox Hill said that two months ago he learned from obstetrical personnel at the hospital that a sixth-floor area previously used for medical observation before delivery had been cordoned off and was being rebuilt as a private suite, at no cost to the hospital. The physician, who insisted that his name be withheld, said that even at that time, the suite was rumored to be for Ms. Knowles.
To Ms. Nash-Coulon, a choreographer and vocalist who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant and sings in her husband’s band when he is not working as a contractor, the ultimate insult was the wording on the badge worn by the security guards: “Special Event.”
“I guess that was the only special event happening in the hospital,” she said.