Monday, August 20, 2007

What Ever Became of Celebrity?

❍Paris, Britney and Lindsay: Drunk, knickerless and arrested. Does it matter?

Well, what a story that was.
The famous Natasha Longhorne-Smythe pictured out on the razzle, completely our of her brains on drugs, driving a car in which a well-known criminal was a passenger, and flashing her breasts at the policeman who stopped her.
She’s certainly facing a long time in the slammer.
Or in my imagination, maybe.
Because that’s where all of the above happened.
But does it matter? If there was a Natasha Longhorne-Smythe, she’d probably be forgotten in a week anyway.

Isn’t it an odd world, where people appear to be obsessed with minutiae of the lives of people who really aren’t that interesting and certainly, don’t qualify to be described as ‘celebrities.’
For weeks, but not months, poor unfortunates who are voted of television reality shows, are hounded by the cameras.
They are shown drunk. They are shown almost naked where possible. They are shown angry, sad, happy, alone, in company. Everywhere.
And then, they disappear back where they came from, forever to be forgotten.
There are one-hit wonders who grace the front of celebrity mags for a few weeks. Or, at least, until their next record bombs and the news of their dumping by a record company, makes on par, without a picture, on the music pages.
There are the ‘next big things’ in sport who turn out to be the next big nothing.
And actors and, in the main, actresses who are photographed shopping and with bits of flesh preferably hanging out. They are snapped crying or laughing and, hopefully, wearing as little as possible on the beach.
The most notorious trio on the planet, Lindsay, Britney and Paris are, in the main, famous for being famous. Sure, Britney had a hit or two. But none have left an indelible mark on the world, other than for shaving their heads, not wearing knickers or driving drunk.
Whatever happened to real celebrity?
Are there to be no more Grace Kellys or Marilyn Monroes who both had their difficulties, who both caused controversy but who both retained a certain dignity, despite it all?
Will we ever see another Audrey Hepburn or Sophia Loren who simply exuded class?
Are there no more Steve McQueens or Gregory Pecks?
Are there no more Clark Gables, Jimmy Stewarts or Kirk Douglases?
Have we seen the last Bobby Charlton, the last Joe diMaggio, the final Muhammad Ali?
Will there ever be a replacement for John Wayne and Laurence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis who although of vastly different talents and who all had their problems, were without doubt, celebrities in the real sense.
Sure, some of the great old stars ended up with drink problems, divorced, in the slammer.
But they didn’t have a paparazzi wishing them into rehab, praying for them to fall over drunk just as the camera was ready or fighting a hideous eating disorder which contorted their bodies and made pictures of them all the more saleable.
Try, if you can, to get your hands on a celebrity mag from last year, even from last month. See how many of those who once managed to get onto the Z list, have vanished without a trace, eaten up and spat out by a fickle world that seems to have no understanding of what it is to be a celebrity.
Who will be drunk/knickerless/arrested/overweight/pregnant/divorced/in rehab next week?
Frankly, my dear, i don’t give a damn.


Sean said...

Just saw blog for first time. Expecting great things for it to match your weekly World but so far so good.
Been a fan for 20 years. Best comment in a few words. I remember the old Sunday Tribune when you and radio man Matt Cooper were in charge years ago. It WAS great. Like the World a lot, always were my two papers on a weekend, now it's just the World alas and alack.
Keep up the good work Paddy Murray.

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