Cult Of Celebrity!

red-carpet

It may be too much to hope for, but it looks as if the terrible, terrible plague that has gripped our planet for far too long may be over.  … SERIOUS PAUSE … Uh – no – not that one, the other one: the soul- eating Cult of Celebrity.  Maybe — just maybe — our unholy obsession with celebrities could be in its final days.

It all started in March when Wonder Woman and her tone deaf (that works on so many levels!) choir trotted out John Lennon’s ode to hypocrisy, Imagine.  Although they meant it as feel-good manna from the ruling class, it didn’t take the peasants more than a few minutes to “imagine” Gal and the gang were a bunch of assholes.  After all, millionaires telling a bunch of people who are having trouble paying the rent to “imagine no possessions” is kinda adding insult to injury.  And from there, it just got worse.  Ellen DeGeneres, the world’s mightiest sycophant, told us that living in her multi-million dollar mansion was like “being in jail.”  Clearly, Ms. DeGeneres has never been in jail, seen a jail or even had a jail carefully described to her.  And of course, since then we’ve all learned that, even as she spoke, her smiles and chuckles production company was treating the staff as if Ellen was the warden.  Then along came Madonna, the Queen of Pop, and named Covid-19 the “the great equaliser.”  Oddly enough, she did it stark naked in a bathtub that probably cost more than my car!  Apparently, some of us are more equal than others, huh, Madge?  Then there was Jennifer Lopez frolicking in her huge backyard; Pharrell Williams, asking for money; Katy Perry, bored out of her mind, and on and on and on.  But for sheer audacity, nothing beats the crew of really, really white people on Twitter, celebsplaining how much Black Lives Matter in their “I Take Responsibility” campaign.  These Malibu militants were giving it their best shot, but it was almost impossible not to laugh at their “Dammit, I’m sincere!” sincerity.  First of all, they’re actors – Duh!  Secondly, we all know their only brush with black anything is probably Will Smith.  And finally, aside from wearing a T-shirt and maybe giving the housekeeper a Christmas bonus, these folks were done.  When they shut off the camera, they were going back to their enormous homes, their manicured lawns, their nannies, their drivers, their personal assistants and a little Grey Goose by the pool.  The message might be “We’re all in this together,” but anyone who’s watching knows we aren’t.

The truth is without Award Shows, Red Carpets, parties, photo-ops and the Late Night Jimmies (Kimmel and Fallon) the celebrity emperor has no clothes.  When push comes to shove and serious stuff is on the table, it’s painfully obvious that celebrities are less than useless.  In fact, they’re part of the problem, because they insist that fame somehow makes them relevant — that their political insights, their social awareness and – OMG! — their medical advice actually means something.  It doesn’t.  It’s just muddying the water.  Personally, I’m praying that, as more and more people discover this, when the New Normal finally gets here, there won’t be any room for these parasites.  We can only hope!

I Don’t Hate Celebrities

musicMany of my friends believe I hate celebrities.  I don’t; I just think most of them are assholes.  Actually, I don’t even have a philosophical problem with the cult of celebrity.  Like it or not, it’s a serious part of our social structure and always has been.  For example, in the 1840s, the pianist, Franz Liszt, was mobbed wherever he went.  People fainted at his concerts, and fans fought over bits of his clothing.  Heinrich Heine called the phenom ” Lizstomania.”  (Sound familiar?)  My point is we worship celebrities ’cause it’s fun.  It’s sexy.  It’s a chance to dance with the kind of charisma that’s normally just doesn’t occur in our day-to-day lives.

The problem is a lot of contemporary celebrities have come to believe they’re not just the latest dog-and-pony show.  They actually think they’re special and have amazing insights — not only into the world’s problems, but the solutions, as well.  Unfortunately, the ability to memorize dialogue, cry on cue and strum a guitar are not the skills we need to tackle our many political, spiritual, medical and economic problems.  However, even though these self-diagnosed messiahs haven’t got a clue, they do have a very big pulpit to preach from — the media — and they absolutely refuse to shut up.

I’m not saying that musicians, actors, comedians, Reality TV stars, etc. shouldn’t have opinions, I’m just saying here’s some tough truth:

When your idea of roughing it is room service is late, you really can’t speak with any authority about the soul-eating poverty of sub-Saharan Africa.

Two years of drama school doesn’t mean you’re competent to dispense medical advice.  This includes health tips, nutrition, “jade eggs,” cures for cancer, what causes autism and who should or should not get vaccinated — among other things.

People who travel in private jets and  personal limousines to parties in Ibiza,  movie premieres in Los Angeles and  Broadway shows in New York — all in the same week — have no business telling the rest of us we shouldn’t carry our pork ‘n beans home from the grocery store in a plastic bag.  Who’s ruining the environment for whom, here?

If you own four (five?) palatial mansions on two continents, you’ve got a lot of cojones yipping about how we’re not doing enough for refugees.  It looks to me as if you’ve got a few empty bedrooms there, George.  How about a couple of those Syrian families bunking in with you?

When a guy who’s constantly spouting off about corporate greed takes a gig as the “What’s it your wallet?” shill for one of the richest banks in America, he’s either a total hypocrite or a total whore.  (There’s no third choice on this one.)  And, with those kind of credentials, his off-the-wall ideas about the world’s economy are totally suspect.

And this just goes on and on and on.

Okay!  Celebrities are cool.  But they’re offering half-baked, simplistic, Instagram solutions to complex problems they don’t even understand.  And the reality is this crap is muddying the water so badly it’s actually become part of the problem.

So, as the man said, “Shut up and sing.”

 

Thank God They’re Gone!

not famousA couple of weeks ago, E! cancelled I Am Cait — and not a minute too soon.  Quite frankly, Caitlyn Jenner’s 15 minutes were up last year when she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Cait is going to go quietly, but, with any luck at all, she’ll just dissolve back into the Kardashian Universe and we’ll never hear from her again.

Here are a few other celebs who’ve recently got the memo “Hey! You’re Not Famous Anymore.”  And don’t worry if you don’t know who these people are — as “media whores” go, they obviously weren’t that good.

Sean Combs, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy or whatever he’s calling himself this week — Back in the day, this guy actually had a music career, but he got outrun by younger, faster and better.  Ever since then, he’s been trying (unsuccessfully) to reinvent himself and has changed his name so many times even Google doesn’t know who he is.

The crowd from Jersey Shore — Will we ever forget Snooki and her friends? (I’m guessin’ yes.)  Honestly, calling yourself JWoww or The Situation in 2016 is just sad.

Nick Carter — Very few people knew who this guy was even when he actually was somebody.

Charlie Sheen — The poster boy for WTF.  “Hey, Chuck! Nobody cares anymore!”

Shia LaBeouf — Charlie Sheen’s evil little brother.  Every since LaBeouf showcased his acting talents in Transformers, he’s made a new career out of being a jackass.  It isn’t working.

Tyga — One of the ickier members of the Kardashian Universe.  His claim to fame was “dating” a very underage Kylie Jenner — with, I might add, Caitlyn and the rest of the crew’s tacit approval.  These days, he’s living off his rep and making headlines for getting robbed.

Jonathan Cheban — Another Kardashian hanger-on people generally referred to as “Who?”

And finally, the grandmother of them all:

Paris Hilton — The gal who invented Nouveau Skank.  Paris started falling off the media radar when she dumped BFF Nicole Ritchie and people discovered just how boring she was as a solo act.  These days, she’s a DJ and was seen recently, in Vegas, pumping out fake orgasms for the Thunder From Down Under crowd.

Fame, thy name is transient — thank God.