No doubt every simian tribe of hunter-gatherers had their local celebrities: the woman who gave birth to quintuplets, the boy who swallowed a porcupine and survived, the man who wrestled with a tyrannosaurus and... well, he probably would have died, but celebrity status would have been applied posthumously.
If, however, the man wrestling with a Tyrannosaurus was a modern Hollywood celebrity, not only would he have lived, he would have pocketed something like $20 million for his efforts, and earned the adulation of several billion people.
The global celebration of modern celebrity is partly a product of our pre-historic need for heroes. In a world where philosophers keep telling us that God is dead, the modern Hollywood celebrity also serves as a brittle substitute for both the post-Christian and pre-Christian need for deities. If, as is often claimed, Hollywood operates under the assumption that only eight different stories can be told, then all eight stories can be found in the Greek Myths, with the exception of the Christian ideal that the weak, not the strong, are blessed.
Like the Greek Gods and Heroes, Hollywood celebrities rarely die on screen. They often possess superhuman powers and are gilded with either Herculean invincibility or Venetian beauty. If they do die, it either represents a martyrdom like Christ's death, or is due to an Achilles heel or a dark fate, serving to heighten the tragedy. Finally, the Hollywood celebrity manifests a god-like ubiquity both on and off the screen- they can be in many places at one time - acting on thousands of screens, smiling from thousand of billboards and photographed and interviewed in thousan...
... middle of paper ...
...t - the news was so utterly contrary to the image Ford had created, both on screen and in his private life, over two decades.
Marcel Duchamp, arguably the most influential and iconoclastic artist of the 20th Century, once said `Success is just a brush fire, you have to keep finding wood to feed it.' Never is this more true than with the Hollywood celebrity. The hundreds of celebrity successes, burning like brush-fires of variable intensity throughout the Hollywood Hills, are ultimately meaningless and palpably destructive to the film industry. In most cases, it just seems to be a matter of keeping up with the Jones's.
Paul McDonald: The Star System
(Wallflower Press 2000)
Clive James: Fame in the 20th Century
(BBC Books 1993)
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ... If a deviation from a moral principle leads to corruption, then the moral parameter within which the society operates in needs to be identified. We could then be able to deduce if the shift from the ideals occurred from the youth, or from society. Perhaps a reformation in the moral parameters may have occurred with each generation. Socrates, in Plato's Apology, before the Greek assembly, states that society is incapable of educating the youth. He gives an example of the horse, “.........But suppose I ask you a question: Would you say that this also holds true in the case of horses.... [tags: generation, society, views]
1259 words (3.6 pages)
- Cult films, what does it mean and what makes a film cult. Cult has been around for quite some time and the term has grown throughout the years in which it has been known. Although it has been out since the 90’s, many people are unsure of what cult is and how it is defined. In her article Cult Film or Cinephilia by Any Other Name, Elena Gorfinkel, a Professor in Cinema Studies, addresses and argues how the contemporary definition of cult is defined through the merge of cult and cinephilia. In addition to Gorfinkel’s article, Dan Bentley-Baker, a literature and film studies teacher at Florida International University, provides a more detailed list of characteristics found in cult cinema in hi... [tags: cult films, cinephilia, film analysis]
1027 words (2.9 pages)
- Celebrity Activists in Contemporary Society Works Cited Not Included According to the book Celebrity Politics, approximately 10 percent of Americans get national political news from nightly entertainment shows such as the Tonight Show. For Americans under 30, the number is nearly five times as many (Orman and West 100). Citizens are looking to be entertained rather than simply educated by the nightly news. As David Schultz aptly put it, “ The new media cover politics, but only politics as it entertains, in part, because the audience the new media attract is a less politically interested audience than traditional news audiences” (20).... [tags: Politics Celebrities Essays Papers Effect Cause]
3625 words (10.4 pages)
- Much of today’s society seems obsessed on what actors/actress, athletes, and music artist are wearing, eating, who they are marrying, dating, where they are vacationing, what affairs they are having or have had, and how they live their everyday lives. What’s so interesting about this obsession is as a society we are implacable and often place celebrities on a pedestal, only to destroy them when they are illusive or promiscuous. Media outlets are swift to report when celebrities are in trouble but quickly forget all their accomplishments.... [tags: Celebrity]
763 words (2.2 pages)
- ... Still to this day Charles Manson has many followers that continue to praise him and his beliefs. The Ku Klux Klan have brained washed many people into believing that their race is superior to anybody else’s. The Ku Klux Klan along with Hitler were responsible for murdering millions of Jews. “The intent of such a group is to control and keep its members for life or until the victims cease to be of value to the leader.” (According to the Cult information Centre) To the Ku Klux Klan, the more warriors they recruit, the more powerful they become.... [tags: victims, cult leaders]
1293 words (3.7 pages)
- There are a large variety of people in the world and they all care about certain issues to varying degrees. Celebrities fall well into this category. People fall between two ends of the spectrum when it comes to celebrities. Following them as die hard fans and caring for them on unimaginable levels, or could care less about them because they are people just the same as you see in your everyday life. Regardless of how someone feels about celebrity culture it is nearly impossible to argue against the fact that they are of huge relevance in our society.... [tags: Mental disorder, Suicide, Psychiatry, Celebrity]
1163 words (3.3 pages)
- How would you feel if you were the most famous celebrity of the world. You probably reply that you would enjoy of being the one which is at the top of everyone. However, the reality is that you might not be as happy as you expected. Everything actually has two sides like medicines will relieve your pain but they also have side effects. When you have the most of everything, you might also lose more than others. For instance, you often see that the person that wins a lottery ticket usually wears a mask or have concealed his face by mosaic during any interview.... [tags: Family, Personal life, Celebrity, The Fame]
1204 words (3.4 pages)
- Olimpio, Elena SOC 150 Professor Dr. McDonald September 19, 2014 Assignment #1 In today’s society, human beings feel the need to read about other people’s lives in order to be entertained. Rather than taking interest in other activities like reading or the arts, people take interest in celebrity gossip. Society takes an interest in celebrity gossip because it is entertainment for them or it makes them feel better about themselves. Either way, people are reading more on celebrity gossip rather than picking up a good book and reading that instead.... [tags: Celebrity, People, Gossip columnist, Emotion]
1242 words (3.5 pages)
- Introduction The media is one of the most powerful tools in people’s lives, since it’s used by many as the medium for the delivery of useful information to diverse audience. Over the past few years, the media landscape has undergone noteworthy developments. Prized information about various cultural groups is often relayed through appropriate media, and it’s interesting to note that blogs are currently being utilized as the best medium for celebrity gossip. Celebrity blogs are usually thronged with readers, who would like to know more about their favorite superstars.... [tags: Gender role, Gender, Celebrity, Justin Bieber]
863 words (2.5 pages)
- People do a lot of ridiculous things in life. Celebrities are usually the worst offenders, and they often soapbox about what they do, much to my consternation. However, as much as celebrities' ridiculous dietary and spiritual proclamations irritate me, I'm usually not personally concerned. If they want to do master cleanses, or sleep with crystals in their rectums, or god knows what else, that's fine. They're private folks at the end of the day, living their lives. I mean, I watch shitty movies for fun, and enjoy fruit-flavored milk tea.... [tags: Celebrity]
1151 words (3.3 pages)