dec 13

On Celebrity

These two things from disparate parts of the Sunday Times (Week In Review and Styles) should be mashed up:

It "is one of the most symbolic documents of our age," the historian Daniel Boorstin wrote of [Celebrity Register]. "It is an index to the new categories of American society" -- the categories, he meant, that were formed by the media, which had degraded the hero into the mere celebrity. "The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his image or trademark," Mr. Boorstin observed. "The hero created himself; the celebrity is created by the media. The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name."

-- Tiger Woods and the Perils of Modern Celebrity

A growing number of Web sites now play the role of middleman, connecting aspiring contestants with casting directors. And as the reality genre has thrived, so has the cottage industry of online talent scouts that serve it -- sites like RealityWanted, Talent6 and GotCast, where people can find casting calls for TV shows and submit their resumes, often for a monthly fee.

-- No Balloon? Point, Click, Get on TV

1 comment

Athletes are admired -- even seen as heroes -- because they accomplish things few other can and, presumably, have superior mental powers of a peculiar kind. Tiger's "appeal" was not just his athletic prowess, but his ability to be MENTALLY superior to his opponents. His focus and relentlessness was what people marvelled at...which makes his complete lack of discipline sexually so....ironic. Heroes have a very hard time being ironic, alas.

To me, the most interesting athlete as "celebrity" is Chad Ochocinco. He re-branded himself when he changed his name. He cultivates celebrity. Twitter is perfect for him, which is why he is on it constantly. He is a great athlete, but an even better persona because he PLANS that persona down to specific details. He will have staying power after football.

posted by Karl K at 5:39 PM on December 21, 2009

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