It is my understanding that Marx's comments that religion is the opiate for the masses that he was speaking to the idea that the rich and powerful (bourgeoisie) were using religion to keep the people's (proletariat) minds occupied with "other worldly things". In keeping peoples minds occupied with things that allowed the bourgeoisie to maintain the status quo and keep the proletariat from thinking about how they could change the system of oppression and move out of poverty. I am not a Marx scholar and it has been a while since I have read him, so I could totally be wrong.
Nonetheless, I saw in the June 28th 2010 issue of Time magazine that John McCain tweeted a response to Snooki from Jersey Shore after she "wrote that McCain would not have imposed a tanning-bed tax like the Obama Administration's, which goes into effect July 1."
It really got me thinking about the very large amount of media devoted to celebrities (both traditional and those "reality" celebs). There are so much print media and websites devoted to these people and it makes me think that perhaps in our day (to update Marx if I so may) "Celebrity is the opiate of the masses."
I am not immune to this myself. I keep up with my fair share of celebs (is Alf a celeb still?) But I wonder what we might be missing as we allow ourselves to be distracted by the "other worldlyness" of the cults of celebrity?
What sort of life could we be living? What sort of world we help create?