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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Welcome to The American Idol Age "Michael: The Last Celebrity"

This should be the new logo for the miserably shallow Pop Culture Ruled age we've now enteredThat headline "Michael, The Last Celebrity" is the title of a WSJ op ed this morning, which I happen to agree with and have been saying this for a week now on this blog, as we all know too well, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett both passed exactly a week ago to the hours while I'm posting this little rant....

As many believe with them goes the era of the real celebrity, and when coupled with Karl Malden's passing yesterday and Ed McMahon also last week reminds we Americans in the "over 40" crowd that all we're left with from here on out are the sad and sorry "mostest and bestest"(sic) marketed image and American Idol talent of the moment.

As Twitter and Facebook further shorten people's attention spans to 140 characters or less , so is the depth of the people who are now being offered up as our leaders and celebrities, nothing more or less the latest marketing created person who they can cram onto the most web ads and TMZ sightings in a day.

In other words this is the end of Hollywood of old and the effective end of quality entertainment, as this has nowhere to go but down from here. And downward it will go faster than we could imagine, along with the general collapse of the civilized world with it, as the dumbed down populous now picks it's leaders in the same "of the moment" American Idol made for TV idiocy that brought us here.

To the sad, sorry and self centered "Age Of Obama", which is what historians will call this period of general western decline 100 years from now, when trying to figure out what was actually the defining moment when the great Unites States of America went the way of Atlantis and Ancient Rome.

January 2009, the beginning of the "End of the story".

This Op Ed today from Daniel Henninger goes down this path a little further as you can see I completely agree with his assessment....

Michael: The Last Celebrity -

The Age of Celebrity died with Michael Jackson's heart.

Those of us dedicated to the zoology of celebrity should have known it was over when the death of next-to-nobody Anna Nicole Smith filled the airwaves in 2007 for a week. Celebrity had lost its meaning. We will bury its golden age in Jacko's tomb.

Marketing runs the world now. Because of marketing the world is overflowing with people who are famous, or anyway familiar. These people aren't celebrities. Not real celebrities.

The most shocking thing to me about Michael Jackson's death is that he was 50 years old. I thought he was 25. Real celebrities never age, no matter what they look like. When people went to see Elvis in Vegas, you don't think they saw a fat guy in a white suit, do you? They were there to see Elvis. That's what they saw -- Elvis!

When Jack Benny said he was 39, people thought it was a running joke. No. Jack Benny knew. Jack Benny was a genuine celebrity, so he decided to stay 39. His fans agreed. Jack Benny was always 39.

Only real celebrities can do that. The first requirement is magic and Michael Jackson had it. His stillborn 50-concert London series, which was to start next Wednesday, sold 360,000 tickets in 18 hours in March.(

Regarding that child-molestation trial, here's the brutal way it works: If a celebrity does prison time, he's finished. If not, he's not. Female celebrities tend not to commit felonies but have a habit of being around when someone else is committing them. People always want these celebrities to live inside the moral universe, but it's hopeless.)

Michael is the last celebrity because he rose to fame in the 1980s, and in the 1980s there was no World Wide Web. We didn't have 1,000 cable TV stations. But we did have MTV.

MTV broadcast Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" video in 1983. Music videos helped make him a megastar, but Michael Jackson was the last one across the bridge from the world of celebrity to the media galaxy of bargain-basement fame.

It has taken some time to see how modern media squashed the life out of genuine celebrity. Web sites, TV and magazines shot Michael Jackson and his white glove into the sky like a Roman candle. But in the nature of fireworks, modern media then fired thousands of other people into the same sky -- singers, actors, athletes, talk-show hosts, psychologists, comedians, models -- and turned them all into . . . familiar faces. We're awash in the washed up continued.


The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. H. L. Mencken

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