This article was written as part of Peeve Week 2: Culture/Relationships.
“You’re so vain. You probably think this song is about you”. Forget about all those rumours on who did Carly Simon actually dedicate this song to – Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson, Cat Stevens, Warren Beatty, William Donaldson or James Taylor. I think this song can be applied to every celebrity. There’s more vanity in Hollywood and the music world than in William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.
What’s incredible here is how, despite everything, we can never get enough of celebrity gossips. A new profession was born only because of them – paparazzi. It’s interesting to note that the word “paparazzo” is credited to Frederico Fellini, who named one of the characters in his movie La Dolce Vita, a news photographer, Signore Paparazzo. Paparazzo in Italian means a very noisy mosquito. Fellini remembered a boy in his school days with a nickname “Paparazzo” because of his fast movements and later used it for his fictional character. Later on the celebrities, pestered by many photographers all at the same time, and the media, used the plural form of this word and called them all “paparazzi”.
Nowadays if you plaster a candid photo of a famous celebrity on a cover of a magazine, or a newspaper, it will be sold out in no time. The same way you can be sure that if you post some impromptu pictures of celebrities on your blog and write about them, or even use their names and compare blogging with “Owen Wilsonâ€™s pursed lips“, you’ll get more traffic than you could ever hoped for.
So why are we so obsessed with conceited celebrities? Looks like the more narcissistic and arrogant they are the more popular they get. Try searching Digg for “Paris Hilton”, you’ll be swamped with 400 pages in search results. Google outdoes it by returning 43,800,000 search results.
How can it be possible that after booing Britney Spears for lip-syncing at Florida concert last May, the outraged fans have demanded a refund of their tickets, worth $450? Can you believe that? What kind of people would pay so much to see a talentless singer/pathetic dancer and an aspiring alcoholic with two little kids doomed for a miserable existence? All I could say is – “you deserve it, you nincompoops”, next time I truly hope you’ll wake up and smell the real flowers, listen to some genuine music and pay to see gifted musicians.
How come that “California’s chronically crowded county jail system” didn’t cause judges to reduce the sentences of non-celebrity criminals, while Paris Hilton’s time was halved twice due to the same reason, plus for a phony “good behaviour”. Can it become more pathetic than that? Perhaps her sentence will be reduced further to 48 hours of house arrest because the cocky heiress’s claim that her life would be endangered by sharing the cell with other inmates who would ask her to perform live for another videotape, or by finally coming out as a mental case patient, and requiring a special treatment for nut cases like her?
Oh, c’mon, send her to jail and lock her up with Lindsay Lohan. Don’t forget to take away Lohan’s driver’s license once and for all – she’ll never learn how to drive anyway.
I sincerely hope that our culture is not damned forever and that my daughter will get a chance to listen to the truly gifted musicians and watch genuinely engaging actors when she grows up. Renaissance, please hurry up and save our future.
Vivien writes to us from the wonderful country of Canada. She writes us bit after bit of inspiration on her blog InspirationBit.