Celebrity then, celebrity now: What's the difference?
"People are ambivalently amped up on celebrities. They wildly worship them. They aim their adolescent adulation at them and get bupkis back. It's depressingly disassociative. It's idiotic idolatry. Fan magazines fan the flames of fatuous fancy and reinforce the fact that your favorite stars will never fuck you. Scandal rags rip that reinforcement and deliriously deconstruct and deidolize the idols who ignore you. It's revisionistic revenge. It reduces your unrequited lovers to you own low level of erratic erotics. It rips the rich and regal and guns them into the gutter beside you. It fractiously frees you to love them as one of your own."That's James Ellroy in the voice of gossip columnist/sleuth Danny Getchell. Ellroy wrote the story in the 1990s, and the passage refers to an earlier generation of gossip magazines, presumably the ones from the 1950s and early 1960s that Ellroy says were a formative aspect of his upbringing.
— James Ellroy, "Hush-Hush"
Today's stars, of course, have made it out of Scandal Town and moved on up to Take Me Seriously City (originally settled as Clooneyville, before it seceded from itself, seeking greater control of its own publicity). They have taken ownership of their own personas and have left the scandals to the Snookis and Kardashians, selling empathy instead. But the connection is no more real now than it was then. Or is it?
What is the difference between celebrity in the 1950s and celebrity now?
© Peter Rozovsky 2014