Friday, April 28, 2006

Our New Aristocrats

Seems like these days a lot of people can become famous even without any sort of talent. How did we come to this?

Talented people being famous, I can understand. Charismatic actors, talented musicians, athletic dancers. Even people who don't seem like they spend much time preparing, like Kurt Cobain. Well, I can see how his music and lyrics resonate with a lot of people, sloppy as the musicianship may be.

But what's all this stuff with Paris Hilton? Anna Kournikova? There are probably a whole lot more of them, but I don't read Us Weekly so I don't know their names. I just find it strange that some people can become celebrities even if they have no talent or other means to justify their fame, like having lived through some extraordinary experience.

While we're on the topic of fame, what's with all the media obsession over famous people these days (the talented and talentless alike)? I can understand why movie and rock stars are rich- they are key ingredients in products that are consumed by tens of millions of people. I am a big consumer of movies, tv and music, but it mystifies me as to why anybody should care how much Ryan Seacrest's new house cost, or what the hot glam boy-girl hook-up of the week is.

Why are we so curious about celebrities' personal lives, as if we want to vicariously live through them? Do all the people who are so interested in these celebrities' lives honestly want to trade places with them? Really? Do they want a complete lack of privacy? To be surrounded by an army of sycophants and suck-ups? To worry about their weight and complexion all the time? It'd be nice to live in some movie star's phat pad, but you gotta figure that being in the business of projecting glamour is hard work at best and a total nightmare at worst.

Chalk it up to whatever you want: 24/7 media always searching for "safe" stories; the constant barrage of pop culture in so many media channels, new and old. It almost seems as if our society is coping with the lack of a true aristocracy by creating one of our own.


Blogger fatty ~ said...

i'd hate to be famous. How would i annoy people and muck around? All the stalkers would be damn annoying

11:42 PM  
Blogger rick james said...


the world is weak and stupid and getting even stupider by the second...

how else could you explain Ashlee Simpson becoming a singer when she has negative talent?

my theory on why music today sucks is, if you're not "model" material you're not gonna be seen... but what are the odds you can write good songs, sing them, and look like Jessica Alba or
Brad Pitt??? ZERO...

it was better in the days when they didn't know what you looked like, but the songs were of good quality...

we need more ugly, talented songwriter singers, not beautiful, untalented model/singers.

creativity is dead... i think its about time for a new version of "Ice Ice Baby"...

4:18 PM  
Blogger jackt said...

Fatty: Yeah, no kidding. Stalkers suck!

DCCF: It's funny because I used to always be critical of Thai pop culture because I always thought the entertainment consuming public there were more into looks than talent. Only to see the same thing happen in the US. Good thing there are other jobs for ugly people like me!!! =)

6:56 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

You're right. Now, more than ever, it seems being talentless is still garnering you a decent amount of praise. When did this happen and how can I make it stop?!

7:25 AM  
Blogger jackt said...

Janet: I guess we gotta stop feeding the well-oileed celebrity money machine if we want it to stop, but I suppose it's too big a monster at this point. O well, trends and fads tend to be cyclical (remember when we switched rrom metal to grunge?!), so maybe one day we'll wake up and find that it was all a bad dream!

9:32 AM  
Anonymous jamie ford said...

((When did this happen and how can I make it stop?!))

I think this began with Vanna White. She became a celebrity for just standing there clapping her hands like a circus animal, occasionally spinning a lighted tile. That was society's low-water mark.

1:23 PM  
Blogger jackt said...

JF: Hahaha I totally forgot about Vanna White! Amazing that she pulled it off back then, without the benefit of the huge media machine we have now for celebs and pseudo-celebs. Back then seemed like the only place mediocre/washed-up entertainers could turn to to stay in the public eye was Tic Tac Dough! :)

5:31 PM  

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