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The Decline Of Celebrity

The Golden Globes were last night. Lots of people are talking about them. Apparently the big news is that actress Scarlett Johansson got her ta-ta's squeezed on the red carpet by some enterprising E! Network correspondent.

This reminds me of the reasons why I don't have cable. Not that I have anything against Johnansson's breasts; it's just that it all seems so vapid and meaningless.

What's with all these awards shows anyway? It seems like there is no end to them. The Globes, Oscars, Emmy's, MTV Awards, Teen Choice Awards...and on and on. Are they now having awards shows just for the sake of having awards shows? Just how prestigious is it to have won "Best Male Supporting Role" in one of the literally dozens of awards shows that are put on by the entertainment industry every year? The other day, while home sick from work, I caught Goldie Hawn getting a "lifetime achievement" award from Glamour magazine. It was awarded by Martin Short, and to see everyone carrying on you'd think she'd just won the Nobel Peace Prize.

All due respect to Goldie, but who really cares?

This growth in the number of award shows seem, to me, to be an extension of a trend that has been going on here in America for a few years now. Namely, the decline of celebrity. America has always loved celebrities. We have put them up on pedestals, deemed them better than than the rest of us and concerned ourselves with each and every minute detail of their lives. This worship has given birth to an entire industry of tabloids, paparrazi and "entertainment news" that often seems to have the attention of more Americans than even the traditional political/current event media.

Did you know that there are entire websites (and apparently full-time photographers) dedicated to getting pictures up the dresses of celebrities as they get out of cars or down their shirts if they lean over to far? I'm not kidding.

Things are changing. Celebrity doesn't mean what it used to mean. People are "famous" these days for not really doing anything it all. There was a time when fame meant something, when it took years of hard work and accomplishment to carve for yourself a niche in the public eye, but now all one has to do is appear on a reality show and suddenly you're "Bill from Big Brother 4" or "Jenna from Survivor: Siberia." You go to award shows and have your photo taken by the appropriate tabloids. If your star starts to fade and you get desperate enough you may even release some video of yourself having intimate relations with some other pseudo-celebrity, something that will undoubtedly spark at least another fifteen minutes of fame in the entertainment news and on the internet.

The whole thing sickens me. Not because I'm any sort of prude, mind you, but because it all seems so totally worthless. I enjoy going to movies, and there are even certain television shows I enjoy watching with regularity, but more and more I find myself disillusioned by the whole thing.

You can read more from Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com

Comments (21)

The way things are going, w... (Below threshold)

The way things are going, we'll soon have award shows for the award shows!

"And the winner for best male presenter at an awards show is...."

"...and when everyone is sp... (Below threshold)
OC Chuck:

"...and when everyone is special, no one is." - Syndrome (The Incredibles)

I think that this is promoted by the psycho-babble from the last few decades of everyone having "self esteem." More awards to go around allows more people to develop their esteem.

People need to concentrate more on self worth. Esteem can be taken away, worth is what you make it.

Well said OC.If we h... (Below threshold)

Well said OC.
If we held an awards show for people that do my job (teacher), it would probably be almost as lame as an awards show for actors-- almost because most teachers are real people. We live real lives, helping real kids, and we don't go around stroking each other for a job well done.

I thought that what Kyrie w... (Below threshold)

I thought that what Kyrie was suggesting was already happening in some way. And yep, after a quick web check I found that "The 76th Annual Academy Awards" was nominated last year for an Emmy Award in the "Variety, Music or Comedy Special".

I'm with Rob on this, with the exception that I never fell into the celebrity trap in the first place. From the Oscars to MTV to the ESPYs, I always found it all worthless.

When you're a cel-e-bret-y<... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

When you're a cel-e-bret-y
Adeios ree-a-lit-teee!

Given the people that the N... (Below threshold)

Given the people that the Nobel Peace Prize has gone to lately, your comparison to the Gloden Globes is not entirely inaccurate.

Uh, say, just what is the U... (Below threshold)

Uh, say, just what is the URL of that, er, website.

I don't think we're witness... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I don't think we're witnessing the decline of the celebrity so much as the complete saturation of celebrity.

Rob's right in that there's no longer that distance or separation between "them" and "us" that there once was in the days before reality TV or before the days on instaneous information. Perhaps that's why people follow and revere the Amorosas, Jennas and Richard Hatches of TV because those people are closer to the people that we do know than who we don't know, like Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Clark Gable, etc. We want to see what they're doing, if they succeed (which we know they won't) and to watch them eventually fall back to us like we know they will.

I think in the end, though, the real stars—the ones with real talent—will remain celebrities.

Admitting weakness here: I love "US" magazine for no other reason than it makes for good bathroom reading material! I love the section where stars are "caught" doing everyday things and captions literally read "They buy groceries just like us!", "They pick up dog poop just like us!" and, my recent favorite, " They choke on gum just like us!" (Come on, who doesn't want to Eva Longoria gagging on a piece of Juicy Fruit!?) It's brilliant stuff! LOL

Celebrity is what people no... (Below threshold)

Celebrity is what people now aspire to. I read a recent British survey that found that more than one in six teens believe that they will become famous and more than one in 10 would drop out of school to be on TV. Fame is the new, umm, fame.

But why be bothered by it? I'm not so much fascinated by the famous, but by the culture of celebrity that surrounds them, and how it came to be.

As long as soccer moms are ... (Below threshold)

As long as soccer moms are tuning in and picking up copies of the latest gossip rags then they will continue to churn out the junk.

The celebs are forcing anyone to watch or buy the rags...they are just catering to the demand.

It would sure save a lot of... (Below threshold)

It would sure save a lot of time and money if they'd all just stand in a big circle and pass the trophies to left, each pausing long enough to tell a [expletive deleted] joke about Bush.

I pretty much agree with ev... (Below threshold)

I pretty much agree with everyone on this, but I have a question: how can I get a job as an E! Network corrspondent?

The E! reprter who touched ... (Below threshold)

The E! reprter who touched the lovely Miss Johnanssons breast is gay so he probably didnt get anything out of it except envy.

Heh, I like to laugh at the... (Below threshold)

Heh, I like to laugh at the celebrity magazines and tabloids when I'm in the checkout aisle. I can't believe people are so fascinated with celebrities.

Take, for example, the whole Brad/Jennifer/Angelina trifecta thing. I honestly do not care about who they marry/divorce/knock up, but the people around me go absolutely ga-ga over it.

It's kinda disgusting, really.

The last awards show of any... (Below threshold)

The last awards show of any kind that I watched was the 1980 Grammies. When Christopher Cross's debut album beat out Pink Floyd's "The Wall" for album of the year, I realized what a freaking waste of time award shows (and the awards themselves for the most part) were. I haven't tuned into nary a one since.

Um, you lost me after I saw... (Below threshold)

Um, you lost me after I saw those boobs. What was your point?

Not that I have anythin... (Below threshold)

Not that I have anything against Johnansson's breasts

That goes without saying, I think. I mean: if you had something against her breasts, you wouldn't be typing, eh?

The E! reprter who touch... (Below threshold)

The E! reprter who touched the lovely Miss Johnanssons breast is gay so he probably didnt get anything out of it except envy.

So if I pretend to be gay, I can go around squeezing the breasts of Hollywood starlets in public with impunity? Cool!

I'm ALREADY unimpressed wit... (Below threshold)

I'm ALREADY unimpressed with this touching incident. Let me know when that queer reporter fingers one of those hollywood skanks.

If we all cared about every... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

If we all cared about everything that deeply matters, we'd all go insane.

Here's to following smut and keeping your marbles!

The reason there are so man... (Below threshold)

The reason there are so many award shows is that it is cheap, no brainer programming. Compared to sit-com or a drama series, it's dirt cheap to show, plus people watch them, and it promotes watching more TV, and God knows, network execs want people to watch more TV.

A lot of the same rationale, particlulary the 'dirt cheap' to produce explains why the networks love reality programs, too.






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