More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a very aught-like phenomenon: the cult of celebrity.
There is no clearer metaphor for the concept of being a celebrity than the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You work hard to chase your dream and achieve a career for yourself by making your name known to the masses of the universe.
Then when you've grabbed that star and become a regular fixture in the flash bulb of the press' cameras, how does the public honor your tireless toil and efforts? They throw you down on a sidewalk and walk all over you.
In the Aughts, however, a new celebrity oozed out of the primordial muck. A celebrity that still suffered the slings and arrows of the tabloid press and a complete loss of the right to privacy, but achieved their stardom by simply cutting out all that pesky hard work and tireless effort nonsense. These are the celebrities who became famous by simply because they were famous.
Americans are utterly obsessed with celebrities ... particularly their lives away from the limelight. Numerous television "news" programs and magazines highlight stars doing normal things that many of us would do on a daily basis. So, it was only logical that reality series have been built around some of these personalities to highlight their time away from the camera.
Yet it didn't work out as was intended. Rather than showing that these personalities were normal people, they showed the viewers how messed up they, and their families, really were. In some of the earlier Celebreality programs, they even showed unknown weaknesses that fans never knew existed. Despite all of this, viewers have been tuning into these shows each and every week to watch ... just like they would if video of different train wrecks were aired each week.
This fan base has given many of these stars a second, third, or fourth chance at success -- even if their boat sailed a long time ago. Such is the case during the Reality Revolution, where even the most famous can receive fifteen more minutes of fame.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that former Playboy playmate and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith can pursue part of her late husband's estate. I don't believe any of us thought that the nouns Anna Nicole Smith and Supreme Court would ever be put in the same sentence, but stranger things have happened.
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