. . .
Sheesh, showin' me age.
So, yes, Gaga is awesomeness! My favourite video is her first one, with the guy passed out beside the garden path, on his way into the party.
Agree Alex with your response below, especially the bit about soap operas. My impression is that people engage less with more complex stories because of two main factors:
1. Stories are way more complex than they used to be. News anchors used to be a voice of the nation, sternly delivering the evening news. Now the news 'cycle' is 24/7 with instant review, analysis, critique and commentary. Where news media used to voluntarily sugar coat their stories so as not to scare the horses, people are getting more and more information, daily, about the 'real story' about our planet - and how unrelentingly awful much of it can be.
2. Workers used to be home by 6 and on the dinner table with their families. Now every one is an economic 'unit' and expected to work longer, harder and for less money than they used to even 10, 20 years ago. So much so that the WHO estimates that mental health will be the developed world's leading issue by 2015, and the developing world by 2050.
Given those factors, no wonder people take refuge in gossip, for light relief. And, most importantly, an opportunity to make easy and inconsequential judgements on celebrity activity, rather than, say, our own increasingly meaningless and consumerist lifestyles of the poor and unfamous!
. . .