Mar 9, 2011

The Celebrity Accessory That Money Can't Buy

Celebrities seem to live in a world where everybody they meet is so obsequious and eager to fawn over them that they forget that they are just everyday people who happen to have one talent which they’ve exploited successfully

Britney’s had one, Mariah’s had one, Even Margot Kidder’s had one (Lois Lane from the Superman movies, keep up) Michael Jackson seemed to live in a constant one and now Charlie Sheen has had his Celebrity Meltdown too.

I won’t bore you with all the details here, you can catch Mr Sheen doing his thing just about anywhere you like, that’s not the point. The point is that celebrities seem to live in a world where everybody they meet is so obsequious and eager to fawn over them that they forget that they are just everyday people who happen to have one talent which they’ve exploited successfully.

Justin Bieber recently expounded his views on pre-marital relationships, same sex relationships and planned parenthood. He’s a callow teenage boy who’s been brought up as a Christian and hot-housed into stardom by his parents; what does he know about anything? And yet, because of his celebrity status people convince themselves into believing that they care what he thinks. The last teenage opinion maker of any real note was Joan of Arc, and look what happened to her.

So when the rich and shameful go on their rants they come from an environment where people hang on their every word and no-one contradicts them. Mel Gibson has been learning some lessons in what the real world is all about recently, he blames his upbringing as if that’s a mitigating circumstance and it transpires that his drink driving outburst wasn’t the first time that he’s expressed his views on Hebrew culture and political influence.

John Galliano is now persona non grata for getting wrecked in Paris and ragging on people he thought were Jewish. Christian Dior spent no time thinking about their decision to cut him loose when the allegations of hate speech and racial abuse came out notwithstanding that he claimed to have been provoked and the police failed to charge him. He’s apologised now and appears to be working with the Anti Defamation League to turn the situation around and rehabilitate himself.

Unfortunately for them, stars are also the victims of their own success, people love to watch a car crash, it’s an evolution thing. If we’re scared of it we watch it very carefully so that it can’t take us by surprise. When it comes to a celebrity wigging out we watch because we’re familiar with their hyper reality, when things go wrong for them it causes a certain degree of weltschmertz, clearly something we naturally averse to.

The problem is that while we are watching them drive their lives into a brick wall with their foot firmly on the accelerator is that they are so accustomed to mass attention that they think they are actually achieving success. Sheen went on TV raving about The Charlie Sheen drug, tigerblood and winning and achieved a million followers on Twitter; he also lost his million dollar per episode contract on Two and a Half Men but now he has his own online channel through which he can talk directly to his fans not realising they’re gawpers who are simply rubbernecking.

And he’ll keep on doing it well after the first flush of ‘success’ because he’s a performer. That’s the tragedy, he thinks people are watching him to support him because that’s the only kind of feedback he’s ever had. As he continues to mug up for the cameras he’ll destroy himself and reputation making worse and worse mistakes as he gets more desperate. Look at Dustin Diamond making a frankly skin crawlingly embarrassing ‘sex’ tape, failing miserably and still floating it thinking it would boost his career, not realizing it took him from being a has-been to a WTF? With nothing in between.

Dan Cash writes on various issues of contemporary culture.In other news, he has a wide collection of wigs and also has a disconcertingly large number of fancy dress outfits, not limited to halloween costume ideas.

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