Celebrity Badness As Good Career Move!

It is no new revelation that celebrity is a shaping force in our society. Richard Corliss, TIME magazine cultural critic once said, “celebrity is possibly the most vital shaping force in society¢â‚¬¦Celebrities have become, in recent decades, the chief agents of moral change in the US.”

Nor is it a new revelation that contemporary celebrity is about being known for being known as opposed to great accomplishments, Daniel Boorstin reminds us “Shakespeare divided great men into three classes: those born great, those who achieved greatness, those who had greatness thrust upon them. It never occurred to him to mention those who hired public relations experts and press secretaries to make themselves look great.”

What is rather new is the phenomena of “being bad as a good career move” and a journalistic disdain for the trend. Commenting on Kate Moss success after being busted for cocaine use, the New York Time’s reporter Guy Trebay observes, “Redemption lately, as media disgrace is transformed into a bargaining chip in a celebrity’s career often before a bad boy or girl has stumbled home from the crime scene and showered off the taint of shame. What seems evident is that public humiliation has lost its barb. There might have been a time when being caught on camera in flagrante delicto or hoovering up lines of coke would have ended a career. But as Paris Hilton proved, being videotaped by one’s boyfriend in a zonked-out state and naked on all fours does not put a hitch in one’s five-year plan. If anything, the bubble-gum divinity apotheosized on the basis of a homemade pornography loop, a moronic catchphrase and a mental vacancy cavernous enough for storing yellowcake appears set to enjoy a media half-life about as long as that of a spent plutonium rod.” Moss, he points us, lost H&M & Burberrry as clients, but picked up Virgin Mobile, Dior, Roberto Cavalli, CK Jeans and waqs the cover feature in French VOGUE.

The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan picks up the same theme in “My bad, so sad–my T-shirt is a hot fad, reminding us that Kate Moss joins Naomi Campbell, Winona Rider and a host of others, who have brokered criminal activity into career advancement, or at least more celebrity via T-Shirt sloganeering. (Campbell’s T-Shirts include “Naomi Campbell Hit Me¢â‚¬¦and I loved it” and Riders boasted the “Free Winona” shirts.)

Modeling is hard work, but alas, as Givhan points out, the most essential elements to success in the career are “wearing clothes well and taking a nice picture.” Perhaps Models ought to be alarmed that highly photogenic and lower-priced competition is emerging in the Netherlands where a hotelier has outfitted sheep in cute outfits advertising their product. They are paying ($)1.23 per day, per sheep. So far there are no reported cases of sheep snorting cocaine, beating their housekeeper or shoplifting. Should such illegal activity follow in the wake of their newfound celebrity, which given human patterns they likely will, the sheep will undoubtedly raise their rates, unionize and insist on front page photos in the new “Sheep Magazine,” which will bring us all the latest scoops on the Sheep that have broken out of the crowd and become known for being known.

There is good news. Turns out God loves sheep! Though “all we like sheep have gone astray,” the most oft quoted Psalm in the Bible is the 23rd, which opens with the words, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack anything I need.” This promise of God’s provision for our every need is made to anyone who chooses to walk close to the Shepherd. Jesus said when the sheep stay near, “they will hear his voice.”

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

PS 2. If you haven’t yet done so, register for our daily updates. You won’t regret it!

  • Register for CW

  • PS 3.

    If you have comments regarding this column please contact us at:

  • CultureWatch: culturewatch@dickstaub.com

  • This web site is supported solely by tax-deductible donations. Please mail your generous contributions to: The Center for Faith and Culture, PO Box 77385, Seattle, Washington 98177

    ‚©CRS Communications 2006

    Posted in Staublog in April 24, 2006 by | No Comments »

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    − 5 = 4

    More from Staublog