America’s Popular Crowd

11 Jul

If you have ever been to a salon or waiting room, you’ll know what I’m saying. If you’ve ever been on an airplane, inside a mall dressing room, tuned into a cable network, paroozed Perez Hilton’s site or have watched a sea of manicured nails and hungry eyes do just that from the back of a lecture hall, you’ll know what I’m saying. Celebrities are the new gods of Mt. Olympus. Their fabulous lives have us entranced.

My grandma does not have a computer at home. I bring my laptop out to the porch, which awakened her from her siesta/ wine coma. Giddy as a school girl, she asks me to look something up for her. In reterospect I should have said no, because i wasted 10 valuable minutes of my evening researching the relationship ( or lack there of) of two ex-contestants on Dancing with the Stars. My Grandma is almost 80 years old, and even she is not exempt from Celebricitis. And neither am I; although I avoid a lot of celebrity culture, I do consider the characters on The Office to be real and furthermore, my friends. No shame in it, I’m sure everyone has a guilty pleasure.

Another pleasure of mine, just as as guilty nerdy as celeb voyerism is vapid, is browsing Jstor ( the USC online catalouge of eJournals.) But today, I stumbled upon a keeper: “Celebrity Watching”, by Michael Newbery. And if this Newbery fellow is credible, then I may have learned my something new today.

Notes from the Journal:
A celebrity is someone known for their well-knownness. Back in the good ol’ days, the spotlight was on the hero; the distinction between the hero and the celebrity is that a hero is a person admired for their great deeds or a great achievement who created him/herself whereas a celebrity is created by the media.Blinding ourselves with frivilous celebrity culture is a perfected art of self deception.And it gets better. The original celebrity as we use it in present day terms? WHy, Earnest Hemingway, of course, who lent himself to be mass distributed as a charictature of masculinity.

It goes on, I won’t follow suit, but pretty interesting stuff.

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