Sunday, January 08, 2012

On Celebrity Culture

I hate, I absolutely despise modern celebrity culture. Here are the bullet points explaining why:

1. People don't even pretend to be role models any more. Until the 1980's and maybe even early 90's, a part of an athlete or movie star's job was to have a public persona which children and young people could admire and attempt to emulate. I know there were bad boys/girls then, too, but at least some of them tried. These days, that concept doesn't exist. What parent wants their children growing up and behaving like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan or Michael Vick (who is back playing football again after killing numerous dogs and spending a short spell in jail for it)? And yet, we let our children watch and idolize these Cretans.  Celebs don't feel it's part of their mandate any more to have a wholesome public persona, so they don't even try. In fact, they make more money by behaving badly and don't care if it is sending the wrong message to children

2. People can make themselves a brand and make millions despite having NO TALENT. PERIOD. How and why is Snooki a rich celebrity with her own show and countless appearances on talk shows and the like under her belt? She's just a whiny, short woman from New Jersey. Same with the Kardashians and Paris Hilton. They are from famous families and some consider them to be mildly attractive, but they don't act, sing or dance or play a sport well. So why does everyone want to be like them and look like them? They are showing the world that if you make a sex tape and do outrageous things in public, that you can be a super celebrity, too. Well, guess what? They are leading empty, meaningless, useless lives and anyone who follows their lead is just a whore to money and fame, too.

3. We tune in every day to see what JLo tweeted or what Ashton's Facebook status is, or who broke up with who in Hollywood. We also throw millions of dollars at these people through tuning into their shows or buying their sex tapes or their line of clothing/perfume. Why are we worshipping these talentless patrons of the worst kind of escapism and not devoting our time and money to people who are actually changing the world, like: politicians, doctors, researchers, scientists, environmentalists, philosophers, teachers etc. These are the people that deserve the big bucks because they are actually making a positive difference in society.

Ok, rant over. Discuss.


  1. 1.Why should anyone have to pretend to be a role model ? Why can't people just be themselves irregardless of if there are camera's focused on them 24/7 or now without getting this holier then thou judgement ?

    2. Snooki maybe annoying and unwatchable in our oppinions, however millions of people disagree with us, and really what gives us the right to say because we don't like her the rest of the world can't watch her ? Same goes with the Kardashians, the Hiltons etc. Instead of attacking and insulting them, why not question how low are standards for entertainment have become.

    3. Income Inquality is a huge issue in the world, however instead of attacking J'Lo and Ashton Kutcher who make a few million a year why not attack CEO's that make billions and give nothing back ?

    Overall, completely unoriginal and typical blog post, just the typical "I hate anyone that is popular, etc......" type of blog post

  2. So what would you rather see? What would be your ideal solution?

  3. Or similarly, what does this say about the human condition? What underlying problems is this a symptom of?

  4. Finally...the discussion has COME BACK to this blog. This is what it's all about!

    Anyway, responses. First, to Paul:

    1.Celebrities, whether they like it or not, are going to be emulated and imitated by young/not so young people, so I believe trying to set a good path for fans/followers is part of the celebrity deal. We give them all the attention in the world and tons of money, they try to be someone society can be proud of. I don't expect them to be perfect, but at least acknowledge they are role models and put in some effort.

    2. My point was questioning the low standards for entertainment. If Snooki was on a show with merit and was a good actress, I wouldn't have a beef. But her so-called reality show is not about acting talent, well-written scripts or anything of any value. It's just her and her friends being filmed in clubs, bars etc. in Jersey. And the Kardashians is just rich girls whining, crying and bitching their way through their dramatic lives. If their shows had any merit, or they were quality actresses, I wouldn't have beef, but there is no acting on those shows.

    3. Maybe one of the next posts will be about CEOs and the wealthy who don't give back, but this one is just focused on celebrities. I believe in equality in the world and the people that have the most, including celebrities and CEOs, should give back. And I will still state that the people who make a true difference should be the ones put on a pedestal (doctors, scientists, teachers et. al.).

    The main point is, I don't hate people who are popular. If you are talented and a good role model, then you are ok in your books. That is the trade-off for being rich and famous I think. I just don't like it that this society in North America worships celebrities with questionable amounts of talent and integrity instead of paying attention to those who really deserve it.

  5. And now to Paladiea:

    I will answer the second post first. I believe that humans are escapists at heart. We get bored or sick of our own lives, so we turn to celebrities and religion to forget about our mundane existences for a time. We turn to celebrities to either entertain us in some way or, in the case of most reality TV, we watch these people so that we can feel better about our lives.

    In terms of religion, which I know is a totally different (yet related) topic, people turn to rules, a god and an afterlife, to make them feel better about their lives, which may not be all that and a bag of potato chips. They at least have an afterlife or rebirth etc. to look forward to, even if this life doesn't live up to its billing.

    That, my friend, is the part of the human condition I am talking about

  6. And my ideal solution would involve:

    1. Taking the spotlight off entertainers and athletes sometimes and putting it on the real heroes in life.

    2. Help teach society not to worship celebs and sports stars, but instead help them realize that there are better role models in life.

    3. In connection to #2, try to convince celebrities to at least care about being better role models because some people will idolize them no matter what happens.

    4. Share money equally among people in society. We can teach CEOs and celebrities to share and give back so that no one is left in poverty. Also, why should Warren Buffet or Snooki earn more than a doctor who saves lives? They all have a right to make money, but there needs to be more balance.

    5. Help train people to have skills and encourage/enrich peoples' talents because they will lead to inner fulfillment and can be turned into financial stability. Most people aren't going to be able to turn a sex tape, a rich family and whining on TV into millions of dollars and we shouldn't encourage children to try.

  7. Reiterating the exact same points in your article is not addressing the points/questions I brought up.

  8. I directly answered your quetions, Paul, but if you want me to try again in different words, here goes:

    1. Celebrities are role models, whether they like it or not or ask to be or not, precisely because the camera is on them all the time. People will watch them and copy them and not acknowledging that is complete ignorance and denial of the impact they have on society. The deal is supposed to be: we give them millions and put the camera on them 24/7, they give up their private lives and should be accountable for their behaviour and influence.

    2.I was questioning our low standards in entertainment. We watch horrible shows with no discernible plot or real acting. We watch them so much that they get high ratings and the "stars" become celebrities, even though we watch to laugh at them and feel better about our own lives. We should flock to shows that have some real merit and we shouldn't make celebrities out of people who scream and yell and whine on the air and then keep themselves in the spotlight by making sex tapes and "albums". You are right, I guess my beef is more with the people that make these people celebrities, not the celebrities themselves. It's the silly "star" worship that bothers me.

    3. Again, this point is more about the people who worship famous people, not the famous people themselves. Those people should spend more time following the people who are changing society, like doctors, teachers, police, scientists etc. And, yes, I agree that CEOs who don't give back need to be held accountable, so that will be a topic for a later blog. But people need to put their time, attention and money to better use by working towards improving society, not wasting it on cheap escapism.

    I hope, Paul, that you find these answers more direct and satisfying. I agree to a large extent that it is the people that elevate these stars that are the problem, not the stars themselves. I guess I didn't express that clearly in the earlier posts.