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The Dartmouth
May 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

HAUTE HUFFT: Subtle Stalking

I realize I have a problem. I am completely and utterly obsessed with celebrity gossip. My junk TV has moved from terrible, yet fabulous reality-based shows on MTV to terrible, yet fabulous "celebreality"-based shows on VH1. My magazine reads have sunk from Vogue to US Weekly and Life & Style.

And, my websites of choice, rather than something intelligent like NYTimes.com or wsj.com, have dropped to the dirty gossip lows of pagesix.com and, my forever favorite, fashionweekdaily.com.

Both websites are sources of amazing details about celebs, such as what Woody Allen thinks of Scarlett Johansson's "grown-up" style (he-who-married-his-girlfriend's-adopted-daughter thinks she should dress younger -- shocking) or Paris Hilton's thoughts about females stalking females: "I would never say stalking. I'm not a dude. Like, I think a girl can only stalk a guy. She can't really stalk another girl."

I beg to differ, Ms. Hilton. I'm quite sure Paris and Nicole Richie stalk each other. I certainly stalk them.

And here at Dartmouth, thanks to things like The Facebook, females stalk females every day, much more so than dudes probably do. And females stalk dudes too. It's a stalker-friendly culture.

Do you remember what it was like a mere few years ago when all we had to work with was the beloved 'Shmenu and spottily published Mugshots? They limited our high stalking expectations. I don't know how we lived.

Now, because the internet's the most amazing invention of all time (thank you, Al Gore), when nothing in our lives is interesting and five days remain until the new US Weekly hits stores, there's always some Dartmouth "Celeb" and Freak Show stalking action that can take place.

That's why we all take such great pains in trying to make our Facebook profiles convey something brilliantly attractive about us, whatever we decide that should be: an ironically-funny sense of humor, an I'm-a-sweet-frat-guy appeal, or an I-party-a-lot or I'm-a-hot-girl persona (pre-req: must be member of the "Top Ten Hottest Girls at Dartmouth!" Woo! I love the Executioner. He's just so powerful and mysterious).

Perhaps even juicier and freakier is the ever-growing blogosphere. I've been directed to several Live Journal and Xanga profiles over the past year and have found myself obsessed with the daily musing of people I don't know, and their updates about bf-gf monthly anniversaries, feelings about Jesus and number of calories consumed that, when I now spot them on campus, I almost feel like saying "hi" -- or running for dear life.

It's strange to know way too much about someone you've never really met. Sick maybe. But fabulous, nonetheless.

Ann Scott '06 recently remarked that she would like to have a full blown chart of all Dartmouth hookups -- who's hooked up with whom, etc. -- so that we can all be in-the-know on everyone we don't know or kinda know. It's a brilliant idea.

The same know-everything-about-unknowns goes for celebrities, too. It's so intense and screwed up that we actually talk about them as if we know them. When new stalking material crops up on the Dartmouth campus, our immediate impulse is to refer to them by their full name, with graduation year included at times. And these are our peers.

When it comes to actual Hollywood celebrities, we choose to call them by first names or media-created nicknames: Jen, Jess, Lindsay, Brangelina, TomKat, Nick, SJP, Uma, Sienna, Jude, Reese, etc. It's, like, as if, we're all totally best friends! Kisses!

A large portion of the female population has not only read the Vanity Fair article about Lindsay Lohan's traumatic year but also every other gossip magazine which summarized the article and added juicy tidbits about Dana, Lindsay's psycho mother, and lots of pictures showing just how much La Lohan's bod has changed over the months.

Even more disturbing, we choose to incorporate celebrities into our own lives. For example, he may not know it yet, but Patrick Dempsey is my future husband. If he rejects me, I'm looking to break up Denzel Washington (my lifelong love) and his wife. And, until recent events forced me to reassess, Jude (perhaps because I yearn to be Sienna) was certainly going to be the father of my children. Too bad, Mr. Law: Amanda Dobbins '06 has informed me after reading Gawker that you're moving back in with ex-wife Sadie? Are you crazy?

Sienna can do so much better. If only I could just call her up to chat about it. I'm sure we'd be the best of friends.

Apparently girls can stalk girls.