Somehow, we like telling stories about each other. Knowing things we aren’t supposed to know. Comparing the interior details of others to our own secrets to determine whether or not we’re normal, or at least within the acceptable range. All the better if the gossiped-about person is outside of that range. It is an extraordinarily human thing, as much a part of our social landscape as smiling.
Except, of course, it’s not very nice to be the person gossiped about.
I think this is where fiction comes in – movies, TV, books. Because we talk about that too. Maybe more than each other these days, we talk about the stories we see and the theoretical lives of the celebrities that parade about on screen. It’s a socially acceptable, marginally kinder outlet for our need to know about others.
Personally, I saw the Secret Life of Walter Mitty yesterday and thought it was wonderful.