Fake celebrities are back in vogue

by Barry Koltnow

The Orange County Register (MCT)

15 March 2010


Finally. The Olympic flame has been extinguished, and the last Oscar has been awarded.

Can we please get back to normal? Can we please get back to a world where celebrities are famous for no apparent reason? Can we please get back to being a society where hard work, talent and courage have nothing to do with how many times one gets on a magazine cover?

This has been a very difficult couple of months for celebrities who are famous for being famous. They have been forced to shrink quietly into the shadows, and do whatever it is they do when they’re not promoting themselves, and wait while those other celebrities — the talented ones who can skate, ski, act, direct and write — get all the glory.

But, in the world of fake celebrity, patience is a virtue, and that wait is paying off in a big way.

All the usual suspects are back where they belong — on the celebrity-obsessed magazine covers. The pseudo-celebrity planet is back on its axis.

Just in case you have been so immersed in watching the Olympics, and even the Oscars, here is a little refresher course on the celebrities you thought you were sick of before you got distracted by real talent. Get ready to be sick of them all over again.

Here are the 10 celebrities, or groups of celebrities, who are delighted to be rid of the Olympics and Oscars:

1. The Kardashian sisters — It’s been quite a year for Kim, Khloe and Kourtney. These young women hung around so long, trying to convince us on their reality show that their lives had meaning, that their lives started to have meaning. You have to give them credit for persistence. While you weren’t paying attention to these women, real stuff was happening in their lives. Kim not only ate a sloppy salad in a commercial and turned herself into a commercial brand, she was the hit of the Super Bowl because she proved not to be a jinx to her boyfriend, Reggie Bush of the world champion New Orleans Saints. Khloe married Laker Lamar Odom after a two-week courtship and Kourtney had a baby out of wedlock. Not that any of this was motivated by publicity.

2. Britney Spears — Our little Brit Brit finished a successful concert tour with a circus theme, and seemed to get her life in order, but now she’s starting to pop up in paparazzi shots again, and we suspect that it’s only a matter of time before she gets back her tabloid crown. A leopard and its spots, we suppose.

3. “The Real Housewives of Orange County” — Personally, I prefer “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” because I really miss “The Sopranos,” and they’re as close as one can get these days.

4. “The Hills” — I don’t even know who these women are, but I see them everywhere. I’m not even sure if this is one of those reality shows, or a scripted drama that just feels like a reality show. It’s very confusing.

5. Heidi Montag — Jeez, you go through the trouble of undergoing 10 cosmetic surgery procedures in the same day, just for a little attention, and then the world has the nerve to rain on your parade by staging an Olympics. Well, the games are over ... let the games begin.

6. The cast of “Jersey Shore” — As someone who grew up at the Jersey Shore, I can assure you that these people do exist in real life, and nobody in Jersey is particular happy about it. These tan-obsessed, self-proclaimed “Guidos” are painful to watch, and yet people continue to tune in. The human train wrecks are getting the last laugh, however. They get richer and tanner every day.

7. Nadya Suleman (Octomom) — Another source of pride for Orange County (people Back East keep asking me what’s wrong with us that we attract these people?), but I thought Nadya was keeping a low profile until I saw her on “The View.” It was one of the scariest moments in TV history.

8. “The Bachelor” ” I’m sorry, but I can’t get myself to watch one minute of this show, although I have been forced to watch “highlights” on countless TV entertainment shows, not to mention the magazine covers. Why is this television show considered cover-worthy?

9. Nicole Richie — She had a baby. That’s nice. She’s engaged to a rocker. That’s nice. She’s a pop icon’s daughter. That’s nice. But why should we care?

10. Kate and Jon Gosselin — When this couple broke up, I thought we were done with them, but the news that Kate will be on “Dancing with the Stars” sent chills down my spine. We have not seen the last of her by any stretch.

//Mixed media


Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

READ the article