A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Have you ever wondered what happens to flash-in-the pan celebs? You know the ones. They’re all over the media for what seems like forever, and then, one morning you wake up and they’re either dragging their ass through some second-rate reality TV program or they’ve pulled a total Houdini and are off the radar entirely. Where do they go?
The poster boy for this phenom is, of course, Macaulay Culkin. In the early 90s, you simply couldn’t get away from the little brat. Then suddenly, mid-decade, he disappeared. Personally, I think puberty caught up with him and, since faux precocious was his only talent, he was out of a job. In 2005, he resurfaced to explain a series of close encounters with Michael Jackson; in 2006 he wrote a book nobody’s bought, read or heard of; and in 2013, he ate a pizza. That’s pretty much it.
I’ll bet if I said Nayda Suleman you’d have no idea who I was talking about. Surprise! It’s Octomom, that baby-making machine of 2009. Since pumping out more than half a basketball team, six years ago, Suleman the Magnificent has gone on to do all the usual mom stuff: bitch about the kids, declare bankruptcy, go on Welfare, deny it, admit it, go on Oprah (twice) make a porno movie, deny it, admit it and check herself into Rehab. Makes most new moms look downright lazy, don’t it? Frankly, Octomom didn’t disappear so much as wear out her welcome. But the weird thing is, in this entire media storm, nobody ever mentioned Octodad.
I don’t know where Crocs have gone, and, honestly, I don’t care.
Like Cinderella, Monica Lewinsky parlayed a simple party dress into an entire career. Although the jury’s still out on whether Ms Lewinsky is enjoying her happily-ever-after, or not. Ever since she and President Bill were inappropriate together, Monica has played an elaborate game of hide-and-seek with the media, popping up at odd times to remind people how terrible it is to be a pop culture celeb. America’s Favorite Kiss-and-Tell has also made a ton of money. (One million dollars from Barbara Walters, alone!) These days, she’s involved in TED Talks…. (TED Talks? Man, have those people gone downhill!)
Back in 2010/2011, Julian Assange was the bad boy of the week, WikiLeaks was the cause de jour and governments were getting in line to prosecute the guy. Pretty good for an Australian whose only talent is sneaky. They even made a movie about him: The Fifth Estate (which, BTW, was so godawful even The Cumberbatch couldn’t save.) But what a difference a year makes! Rather than face the music, when the lawyers started circling, Assange (just like that smarmy tattletale from high school) ran for cover behind the legal gates of the Ecuadorian Embassy. Wait a minute! The champion of free speech is hiding WHERE? Anyway, despite the irony, he’s been there ever since.
Unless you’ve been living on Neptune, you’ve heard of Psy. In 2012, he came storming out of South Korea and Gangnam Style became Asia’s most contagious export since the Black Plague. It was the first video to exceed a billion hits on YouTube, and Psy generated so much media power he was able to bring MC Hammer back from the dead. What’s he doing now? No idea, but chances are good he’s spending a lot of time chillin with Right Said Fred, Bobby McFerrin and the Starlight Vocal Band at the One-Hit-Wonder Retirement Centre.
Nothing prepared the world for Paris Hilton. She wasn’t the first celeb to become famous for being famous, but she certainly was the skankiest. In 2003, when she “accidently” released a sex tape on the Internet to promote her TV show The Simple Life the media practically wet its pants. From then on, the paparazzi have followed Paris like French pigs hunting truffles. Not bad for a woman who has one expression — vapid. Finally outnumbered by the Kardashians, she was kicked to the curb in 2007 and has remained there ever since, although she was recently spotted in Vegas faking orgasms for a dollar a toss at Thunder From Down Under.
How the mighty have fallen!