Why have we got a celebrity culture?

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11/01/2013 at 06:49

Schools are to blame, they give the nice things to kids

"you can be what you want" - "aim for the stars" etc so they look at celebrity and aspire to it, our school system doesn't give them reality and they get a harsh lesson.

I always told my kids think of the worst hardest teacher you ever met, then double it, and that's the nicest boss you'll ever meet when you start the real world. There's nothing wrong with the real world, you just need to be ready.

PSC    pirate
11/01/2013 at 06:54

blame the telly....

when there was 4 channels time and effort went into programme production.  Now there are hundreds of channels and so any old shit is broadcast including endless reality TV shows and other get famous quick schemes.  We lap it up in our sitting rooms and then want to see the same goons opening shopping centres and the like.  But fame and fortune is fleeting for most of them.

11/01/2013 at 07:34

TV. They're always from TV. There's a lot of that. It makes an impression.

But then again, you have to have people who are very very easily impressed but with almost no status, talent or particular ability of their own.

Its relative. To most of us, some 'celebrities' seem pointless. To others they are Gods.

11/01/2013 at 07:59

i dont think much of it is even escapsim anymore, since 90% of people considered "celebs" these days are reality stars who live boring mundane lives when they are not appearing on the next installment of : I'm a Z list celebrities hairdressers son..get me out of here"

11/01/2013 at 09:49

There can only really be one answer. The public respond to it, and someone makes enough money to keep it going.

11/01/2013 at 09:58

Multimedia saturation fuelled by the telecommunications/internet revolution.

1980: three TV channels and a few newspapers.

2012: Forty-six thousand TV channels, more freebie publications than ever before, one gazillion outlets to the globe via t'interweb.

Generally speaking in the old days to be in the public eye you had to be either extremely talented or extremely privileged.  I guess there would have been a lot of competition to be on one of only 2/3 TV channels, so you would have earned your place via years of radio broadcasting, journalism, theatre, other live entertainment, etc.  Nowadays there are fifty squillion schedules to fill, and with a finite population that basically means a higher proportion of Joe Public with little or no talent getting their moment of fame.

I really do think it's simple maths.  It's not what people demand; supply creates its own demand.

Edited: 11/01/2013 at 10:00
11/01/2013 at 10:00
EKGO wrote (see)

There can only really be one answer. The public respond to it, and someone makes enough money to keep it going.

Exactly !! no other answer really , as long as someone somewhere is getting rich, whether its the idiots that put themselves out there or the TV companies, the only way it would ever go away is if the public stopped voting/buying the celebs mags with pictures of who is falling out of a nightclub bladdered or put on / lost weight etc, and that's not going to happen, its here to stay! 

Edited: 11/01/2013 at 10:01
11/01/2013 at 10:42

most celebrities are cheap, easy access and readily available to the media.  Im not talking about the talented ones such as film stars but the im famous because i appeared on big brother types.  Tom Cruise has a well oiled PR machine so getting access to him is near impossible, but he knows every 9months or so he will churn out a movie that will generate interest and he will automatically have the publics attention.

the big bro rejects realise they dont actually have a talent so need to turn up at the opening of envelope and have no way of generating interest in them that is meaningful so they make themselves available to the paparazzi.  Its very cheap & always accessable for the media, there will be a ready supply of them so when one loses the publics interest another will be created. In an environment where the printed media is struggling, cheap glossy photos are a god send.

For the general public who are you going to aspire to be...Mo Farah who has to get up early every day, run a 100m per week and live like a monk....or some z list who gets up at 3pm, is on TV & in mags living a glamourous lifestyle but without putting in any hard work.  Not a hard choice for the majority of the lazy public.

Edited: 11/01/2013 at 10:44
11/01/2013 at 11:06

it's comforting.

we like to be reminded that there are people out there dumber than us. laughing at them makes us feel better.

that said, is mo farah not a celebrity?

"ce·leb·ri·ty   /s????lebr??t??/ Noun
  • A famous person.
  • The state of being well known: "his prestige and celebrity grew".
  • 11/01/2013 at 11:07

    It was invented (to a large extent) by Rupert Murdoch.  News of the World before he took over was all about randy vicars, not people on television.  "Celebrity" culture was a way to make more money out of gutter media - you don't need to employ expensive journalists if you fill your newspaper/TV channels with made up ephemera about vacuous famous people.

    ...and then it snowballed from there, because it worked so well.  The complimentary reason being that we evolved to live very closely together in each other's pockets as part of small close knit groups.  That largely isn't the case any more, there are no tight communities, existence in our more developed society is much more rarified.  So for stupid people, being able to share gossip about some idiot in a reality TV show acts as an easy proxy for being able to gossip about the actual village idiot who's been caught buming the farmer's pigs again.

    11/01/2013 at 11:25

    There has always been a celebrity culture. It's just evolved due to the 24/7 access we have to news/media/entertainment. In the past celebrities would have been Kings, Emperors, explorers, gladiators, poets or even updating a bit sports stars, musicians, comedians etc.

    We still have the legacy celebrity culture in the UK with the royals. People of no note what so ever but a birth line, but one gets married or pregnant and people line streets waving flags, papers are covered with news of the "big event". That's no more stupid that people looking at some other idiot on the tv screen with no discernible talent.

    We've show people that they can be famous and make money for doing nothing of of any great worth or talent. Is it any surprise that many people see this as something to aspire too?

    11/01/2013 at 12:56

    Because we no longer appreciate real achievement because it's too much of an exclusive club - it takes talent, intelligence, hard work and, probably, being a bit different to those around you. The idea of "aspiration" has now been denigrated so far that the so-called "achievers" have, in essence, to be just like everyone else.  

    Wanting 50% of young people to go to university is another aspect of this.


    11/01/2013 at 13:07

    Being a Wag is now a career choice , dress like a slapper and hang out in nightclubs where footballers get pissed on their days off, get pregnant hey presto meal ticket for life, better option than getting pregnant by a jobless waster just to get a council house !! 

    11/01/2013 at 16:21

    Instant fame might be new but "celebrity culture" isn't. People have always been interested in the lives of those with more money, beauty, power, status than themselves and loved it when they were involved in a scandal. Look at the pamphlets and ballards made up about the sex lives of the monarchy centuries ago .. nowadays we have the Daily Mail  

    11/01/2013 at 16:23

    Oops, I didn't read Eggy73's post before writing mine!

    12/01/2013 at 13:37

    Speaking about celebrities, I just noticed that Amy Childs and Pete Burns are lookalikes, are they related?

    13/01/2013 at 16:19

    We ahve a celebrity culture because the media portray these people with over inflated egos as heroes, and some people are stupid enough to believe that these people are actually heroes. This then makes these celebrities think that they are someone special.

    At one time sportsmen and leading academics were the figures that people looked up to and admired. Some examples are Sir Stanley Matthews, Dennis Compton, WG Grace and Mary Peters for the sports people, and Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Marie Curie and Ernest Rutherford for the academics. Nowadays, with the X Factor/Big Brother/ Jeremy Kyle Show 'make me famous and do it quick' culture, people are becoming famous for the sake of being famous. They don't do anything of note to achieve fame, and there lies the root of the problem. You don't have to be anymore than a pretty face, or a right chav in the case of the Jeremy Kyle Show, to achieve fame.

    What sort of message is this sending out to children? "Don't worry, you don't need to work hard and pass exams. You can become famous as easy as that!" It's breeding a generation who thinks that they can have it all, then they become dissillusioned when fame passes them by. This is unfair on these kids, as society perpetuates the lie that life's one easy ride. The people responsible for this are the ones that worship the millionaire footballer who abuses the referee, the diva of a superstar who's photographed coming out of a nightclub at 2am and punches a photographer and those that spend money on voting for the wannabes who perform on the X Factor, filling the pockets of ITV.

    13/01/2013 at 18:31

    I guess its because there's a market for people who are famous for being famous.

    Its all about being able to make the right noises, getting noticed.

    Once on Kilroy (remember him?) He had Lulu on as a guest and the subject was about fame.

    The studio was full of fame wanabe's. And one of them declared that they just wanted to be famous. Lulu asked famous for what, and the reply was don't know, doesn't matter. When she pressed further, the wannabe pointed out that she (Lulu) was famous, how did she do that?

    Lulu said that she wanted to be a singer, that she wanted to be a good one and that the fame was just a by-product. She didn't set out to be famous.

    I think that concept was beyond most of the guests. Being famous for being a prat was good enough. Though I did think the girl (took 10,000 attempts by the TV production company) who was delirious at appearing as a client at a clinic for STD's was being hopeful. 

    Clap stars.

    Edited: 13/01/2013 at 18:33
    18/01/2013 at 13:27

    The idea that we recently switched to enjoying the more prurient elements of fame over the creme de la creme of sports and art is a bit revisionist. If anything, 'celebrity culture' is an interesting human-specific development in that we can externalise and recognise difference without the herd killing it (most of the time). Those who populate BBC3 and C4 reality shows are just the C21 version of lepers, vagrants, carnival types, medicine shows, travelling snake oil salesmen, freaks in the freakshow, local eccentrics; to be discussed and reduced to two dimensions. There's also an economic argument to be made, though as it is tedious, I shall leave it on the shelf.

    18/01/2013 at 13:49

    if it's something that bothers you, it really is possible ujst to zone out of the majority of media fluff.

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