Going back to Adam Kirsch‘s article we are offered more clues:
“In fact, you might say that we are living through a period of fundamental change in the meaning of celebrity. The rise of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) means that you no longer need to have a press agent to publicize yourself; an ordinary person supplying pictures and videos and sound bites of herself is effectively acting like a celebrity in the micro-world of her acquaintances. At the same time, the popularity of reality TV has blurred the lines between celebrity and anonymity from the other direction: reality “stars” have the recognizability of celebrities, but are in no way glamorous or enviable. On the contrary, the purpose of celebrities like Heidi Montag or Snooki from “Jersey Shore” is primarily to be mocked and looked down on — they are more like our culture’s court jesters than the demigods of the silver screen that Inglis grew up with.”
On one hand we have court jesters, and on the other, silver screen legends (who captivated our attention at a time when mystery and glorification of said presence preceded actual human flaws which are scrutinized to minutiae levels today). Yet at all times we always had the media. It’s just that what the media reports and how it reports has changed considerably over the years. With new media, the deregulation of media and the introduction of electronic media everything is now up for grabs. Including you. In fact many of you are very cognizant of this fact if I were to judge the amount of personal facebook status updates I see every day, not to mention those of you twittering your personal actions, thoughts or feelings to other followers- your own synthetic fan base, or community. Which begs the question, who then isn’t a celebrity? You of course.
Going forward it will be interesting what transpires for attention, validation, big paychecks by corporates looking for brand name individuals to endorse their product’s affinity to our collective aspiration or fears, and those names that we will clamber to find out more about. Which makes us wonder will there ever come a day when we stop caring about what other people are doing, or how their actions reflect a particular underlying feeling in our society? Probably not, gossip and the creation of demi gods, real or imagined have always been amongst us. Which is a relief, because what else could tabloid hacks like us otherwise write about…?