In this essay, the author seeks to address the issue of celebrities which has become very pervasive in contemporary America. The author begins by expounding that the world “culture” no longer holds its original meaning but rather has evolved to mean the general emotional atmosphere that surrounds a particular word to which the term is attached.
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The article goes on to articulate the difference between being famous and being a celebrity. It states that fame is earned through talent or achievements while being a celebrity achieved through broadcasting of one’s achievement or by cultivating something which may pass for achievement.
The article derides celebrities of appearing to have brilliant accomplishment while most of them don’t have any worthwhile accomplishments or talents.
For this, the celebrities are accused of fraudulence. According to the article, celebrities purport to live our fantasies and as such, are the nearest thing to a god for most people. However, the author also suggests that people loathe celebrities and wish to see them fall from grace. It is for this reason that tabloids such as the Star and the National Enquirer are full of stories of the troubles of the rich and famous.
The author reveals that being a celebrity in present day is different than it was in the previous decades as the intensity of the celebrity-creating institutes has changed. While in the olden days stars were afforded some privacy, today’s paparazzi, gutter-press and television invade the lives of the celebrities. Also, the author notes that while in the past people used to pay off the media to avoid talking about them or making them celebrities, money is presently used to buy celebrity.
The author also discusses the class of academic celebrity who are not necessarily genuine scholars but rather people who gained the right exposure to the public through television or radio programs. The author especially decries the celebrity culture among intellects and other literally figures whom he asserts should be the aristocrats of the spirit and not promoters of the work that they write. Epstein says that while authors aim to acquire more readers, their primary objective should be producing good works
“Death to film critics! Hail to the CelebCult!” by Roger Ebert,
In this article, the author laments the replacing of the articulate thought provoking film critics with non-intelligent gossip on celebrities. The article begins by praising the role that film critics played as warning bells. However, the author notes that now the critics have been reduced to gossip mongers.
The article highlights the change in direction that the American newspapers have taken with emphasis being laid on focusing on the celebrity items that readers are interested in. As such, newspapers will emphasis more on celebrity news which instills poor values in the youth. The article contrasts the 1950s scenario where celebrities enjoyed some privacy to the current scenario where they are hounded by press personnel.
A major issue that Ebert highlights is the phenomenon of big newspapers firing film critics and more attention being paid to ignorant gawking. The author notes how more newspapers have done away with the traditional film critics opting for critics who “reflect the taste of the reader”. This is as opposed to the primary role of film critics which is to encourage critical thinking and introducing new development to being of lascivious gossips.
The article notes that while in the past newspapers used to act as weathermen on social trends and encourage critical thinking, they have now fallen to covering senseless gossip. These non-intelligent stories are favored since it is allegedly what the people want to know and hence the newspapers aim to remain relevant to their readers.
The author concludes by remarking that the celebrity culture which is prevalent in America is turning us into infants and eradicating critical thinking. The sign to this is the doing away with the intelligent and critical film critics and replacing them with the
“Return of the brainless hussies” Traister Rebecca
This article by Traister addresses the issue of stupid women being projected as sexy and desirable in mainstream media. The article begins by demonstrating how Paris Hilton has achieved widespread fame and celebrity status by presenting herself as a very stupid girl to the public. This is despite her being a role model to many young girls. The author suggests that playing dumb seemingly makes a girl admirable and hence acceptable by Americans.
The article also records the findings of the author in her research on the effects that the current celebrity culture could be having on the teens. The author records that the material that is available in the teen books is not as ant-intellectuals as critics suggest and the teen literature is sound and of value to the readers. The article suggests that people should be more concerned about the impression they create to teens through their behavior since this examples have a bigger impact that books or magazines.
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The author also addressed the craze for celebrity and the propagation of stupid-girl which results in most celebrities portraying themselves as dumb in public. The article question the values that celebrities are instilling in teens since one can become a celebrity for simply losing weight.
The article notes that the American public does not make women celebrities based on their intellect. It goes on to highlights how some of the best known women celebrities attained this status by posing dumb questions or out of their ignorance. This is retrogressive in nature and a step away from the liberalization which the feminist movement championed. The author concludes by stating that it is the media which is guilty of portraying the blonde dumb girls as sexy therefore playing into the male ego and feelings of superiority.
Crafting Your Image for Your 1,000 Friends on Facebook or MySpace by Wolpert Stuart
In this article, the author explores the role that social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace place in creation of identity by the youth. The article suggests that the youth are creating idealized versions of themselves on these sites and then striving to achieve these versions.
This is a very important function especially since it helps them explore their emerging identities and gauge public reaction to the same. As such, the article praises the role that social networking sites are playing in self-development among the youth. The article declares that we are always engaged in self-presentation and social networking sites allow us to do this at a higher level.
The article notes that as a result of social networking sites, the meaning of friendship has been watered down as people who are mere acquaintances are grouped as friends. These sites devalue real friendships and negate the needs of face-to-face relations. This results in detachment as people use the sites as a stage where they are performing to an audience as opposed to being real. However, this performance results in one experimenting on different things until they get their own identity.
The article suggests that social networking sites are inappropriate for children under the age of 10. In any case, the article insists that children should keep a close watch of their children as they interact with others and ensure that they discuss online safety issues so as to ensure they are not harassed online.
The article highlights the fact that privacy is infringed on by social networking sites since events can be broadcasted without someone’s consent. However, the article also claims that the sites can strengthen existing relationship by giving people who would otherwise have no ways of keeping in touch a means by which to do so. The article also states that these sites assist people with lower self-esteem by helping them overcome this barrier and have a larger network of friends.