Death of Celebrity Culture?

Crimson

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In the aftermath of this year's Met Gala -- and particularly influencer Haley Baylee's tone-deaf "let them eat cake" viral (now deleted) video -- there's a growing trend of users blocking celebrities and their corporate sponsors on social media.

https://www.aol.com/news/let-them-eat-cake-why-190129656.html

This isn't the first time in recent memory that there's been blowback to the very idea of "celebrity". After that ridiculous video of celebrities singing "Imagine" in Covid-era, there was some musings that we don't need celebrities and probably never did. After that though, celebrities managed to scurry back like over-dressed cockroaches. Personally, I'd be happy for the end of celebrity culture. I find their schtick increasingly tedious -- their preening and smug moralizing and grotesque money-grubbing can hit the road.

(I'll make the distinction that I think society does need artists and performers; I have no objection to their work. It's the idea that we're supposed to care about them as famous people that has run its course.)
 

Willie Oleson

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I think that celebrity culture (as in: artist and royalty celebrities) has already started to decrease since the turn of the century, maybe sooner.
I can watch terrific actresses like Cate Blanchett or Isabelle Huppert picking their favourite films in the Criterion Closet and they come across as people I could meet in the supermarket.
Films are now marketed as just the films, rather than "starring Joan Crawford, the way you like to see her!" or "from the maker of Taxi Driver!"

Social media and reality TV "personalities" have taken over the Celebrity Status and it's never bothered me that much simply because I've never believed in these talentless whores - and they're very easy to avoid (unless you subscribe to certain media that mention them a lot).
Case in point: I don't know who Hailey Balee is or what she said, let alone what went viral.
 

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Social media and reality TV "personalities" have taken over the Celebrity Status and it's never bothered me that much simply because I've never believed in these talentless whores - and they're very easy to avoid (unless you subscribe to certain media that mention them a lot).
Case in point: I don't know who Hailey Balee is or what she said, let alone what went viral.

I think this is exactly it. Our society is over crowded with all the celebrity wanna bes who doesn't even get 15 minutes of fame anymore. The Internet is full of influencers and social media people who is all competing for our attention. They are famous without having a claim to fame. They are not the stars of a movie, tv-series or a singer, athlete, television show host, fashion designer or anybody worth following.

They are ordinary people who is looking for attention from others. Probably to make them feel important or to fill some sort of void in their lives.

I think celebrity culture has imploded as a result of social media. Or maybe it's just an age thing. As we grow older we have less and less time for celebrities, as we don't really need role models to look up to, as much as kids and teenagers do.
 

Snarky Oracle!

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I commented on the Met Gala a couple of years ago and said the tone-deafness of it now seemed particularly pointed, that it felt like a sign that the Hollywood bubble was even more out-of-touch than ever.

And that was before onlyfans models started being invited.

I think the cause is absolutely due to the reasons named above, but those things combined with the economy -- certainly the economy in America (where so many of these things seem to flow) -- late-stage capitalism where the federal government is 100% corrupt, the politicians and media are owned completely by the corporations, and citizenry are strangled to point of near-unconsciousness.

As a result, anything that says "establishment" faces more and more contempt and increasing disinterest from the general public.
 
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Willie Oleson

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Or maybe it's just an age thing. As we grow older we have less and less time for celebrities, as we don't really need role models to look up to, as much as kids and teenagers do
It could also be an era kind of thing, and wonder if the next wave of internet users will be equally susceptible to internet fame and its "heroes".
Those who wanted to profit from the opportunities of social media did it at the right time, and to be honest, who could blame them? In a strange way it was almost an 1980s greed = good revival, but eventually people will get tired of all the flash & splash presented in nauseating vocal fry.

Could this actively blocking (cancelling?) of celebrities be the beginning of something big?
We, the masses, have such immense power - in fact the greatest power in the world - so why do we keep giving it away to a small group of vultures?
What keeps us from plundering everything back? It's obvious that something needs to change - not for me, personally, but for the next generations.
I wonder if I'll live long enough to watch the young ones storming the mansions, armed with torches and pitchforks, shouting "algorithm is dead!".
 

Crimson

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I think celebrity culture has imploded as a result of social media.

Largely yes, although that only speaks to one side of social media. The vapid influencer type are the terrible culmination of famous-for-being-famous, but there's another side of social media consisting of real people sharing their passions, knowledge and humor. My interest in Hollywood's output is at a lifetime low; in the last year and a half, I think I watched 3 new movies and zero new TV shows. Amateur short-form content, from podcasts to Youtube to TikTok, make up almost the entirety of my entertainment these days.

What keeps us from plundering everything back?

Middle-class complacency , the fear that no matter how bad it is it could be worse. As the middle-class continues to shrink, that protection the 1% relies on is disappearing. The greed of the elites has hit a pathological level, where they aren't willing to share even for their own self-preservation. It may not happen in our lifetimes, but I think guillotines are going to be dusted off at some point this century.
 

Snarky Oracle!

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Largely yes, although that only speaks to one side of social media. The vapid influencer type are the terrible culmination of famous-for-being-famous, but there's another side of social media consisting of real people sharing their passions, knowledge and humor. My interest in Hollywood's output is at a lifetime low; in the last year and a half, I think I watched 3 new movies and zero new TV shows. Amateur short-form content, from podcasts to Youtube to TikTok, make up almost the entirety of my entertainment these days.

Yes. And the US is trying to ban TikTok (or at least force its sale to American tech companies) not because "China is using it to spy" (which is stupid; China doesn't need frickin' TikTok to spy) but because the intel agencies in the States can't control American independent news coverage on TikTok (because it's owned by China, an 'unfriendly' nation) like those agencies do on most platforms owned by American tech companies or countries receptive to American intel influence and control.

Middle-class complacency , the fear that no matter how bad it is it could be worse. As the middle-class continues to shrink, that protection the 1% relies on is disappearing. The greed of the elites has hit a pathological level, where they aren't willing to share even for their own self-preservation. It may not happen in our lifetimes, but I think guillotines are going to be dusted off at some point this century.

The Occupy Wall Street protests of a decade or so ago apparently genuinely frightened the employees of Wall Street firms (who knows how that may or may not have affected the owners -- or if they're even on site). Which led to the Woke emergence, an attempt to re-route the increasing public anger back onto itself, to get the underclasses to fight amongst themselves to deflect attention -- and rage -- away from what the rulers are really doing with all the money (which is the oldest political trick in the book: rile up the peasants against each other).

Some corporate whistleblowers have even admitted such. It was on purpose.

But many people -- either dumb or pretending to be -- still think Wokeness is a legitimate leftists movement designed to assist and support the marginalized and disaffected.

Evil is not about a guy in a red suit with a pitchfork, but extreme selfishness and extreme greed -- and extreme selfishness and extreme greed always, always has a sadistic element at its core. Always. It is absolutely aware of it impact on its victims. And sadism is, of course, ultimately self-destructive. So the rulers' willingness to destroy the peasants ultimately crosses over into a willingness to destroy themselves in the end.

I mean, a spree shooter and the guy-that-pushes-the-button knows he's destroying himself, but he's willing to do so just to say "eff you" to God and objective morality for a few seconds before he himself is annihilated by his own actions. Like pursuing an orgasm you know will kill you -- but you're fine with that.

That may sound like an excessive, perverse over-analysis. But it's not. It's what they're doing. And it's what they've always been doing throughout human history -- and, presumably, always will.

I think this was once referenced in the Apocrypha but got taken out for some reason.
 

Willie Oleson

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The vapid influencer type are the terrible culmination of famous-for-being-famous, but there's another side of social media consisting of real people sharing their passions, knowledge and humor.
I agree.
As for celebrity culture in general, we the non-celebs also have to take responsibility for both the good and the bad.
The result can be so simple, as it shows in your situation. You don't like it anymore and you're not paying for it anymore. And that's really the only way to let them know, even if you know that one person isn't going to make a difference.
Corporations don't care about opinions, and that so-called "feedback" is only there to create the illusion that your opinion matters. PR has never been so irrelevant as it is today (and yet people are still being trained to do the job. I can imagine that, after years and years of study, someone finally gets that precious job and then they're being told "we need a PR guy so sit over there and do absolutely nothing, don't even move. You don't mind working overtime, do you?").

Therefore I wonder, is it the non-deserving celebrity that I dislike, or the non-celebrities/followers who worship them? Can we really blame the celebrities to make the best of a situation? Can we really expect them to say "keep your money, this doesn't feel good".
We may think that they are not worthy of the whole celebrity enterprise thing but as long as it works it works, as long as it pays it's real.

My interest in Hollywood's output is at a lifetime low; in the last year and a half, I think I watched 3 new movies and zero new TV shows.
Is it possible that COVID has wiped out the less-profitable but more talented competition? Maybe it's going to take a little while but I think a new wave of talented young artists is coming (if it isn't already happening).
If you know what's wrong with modern entertainment, and I know it, then I expect millions of other people to know it as well.
Gosh, this thread makes me feel all revolutionary. I think I'm going to buy a beret.
 

Crimson

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The Occupy Wall Street protests of a decade or so ago apparently genuinely frightened the employees of Wall Street firms (who knows how that may or may not have affected the owners -- or if they're even on site). Which led to the Woke emergence, an attempt to re-route the increasing public anger back onto itself

The obviousness is, well, obvious. At the very point when the lower- and middle- classes were aligning against income inequity, the Establishment and its lapdogs in the media suddenly decided they were obsessed with race and later gender. Both guaranteed to be divisive, but which pose no threat to the profits of the 1%.

Heady stuff for a conversation about celebrities, but they are part of the problem. I read a biography on Bob Hope that referred to him, in his later years, as the Court Jester to the Establishment. I think about that a lot; not in relationship to Hope specifically but all celebrities. They're a distraction. Even when they like to pretend to be socially conscious, it's performative and self-serving.


If you know what's wrong with modern entertainment, and I know it, then I expect millions of other people to know it as well.

This could be a whole separate conversation likely, but it seems to me that, for the first time in its history, the American movie industry is run by men who don't like movies. Once they started referring to movies and TV as "content", they revealed their contempt. It's an assembly line product to them. These are generic businessmen running studios the same way they'd run factories producing automobile parts. Of course, Hollywood has always been run by businessmen. To paraphrase Lily Tomlin, they call it show business not show art. But at any other time, the men (and to a much lesser extent women) seemed to love the craft of filmmaking. The Old Hollywood moguls were vile men for the most part, but they understood how to balance entertainment, art and profit.

this thread makes me feel all revolutionary. I think I'm going to buy a beret.

And you have a new cell phone, so we can notify you when the revolution starts. It would be a shame if you overslept.
 

Willie Oleson

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The Old Hollywood moguls were vile men for the most part, but they understood how to balance entertainment, art and profit.
And wouldn't it be ironic if, at least initially, they gave the audience more value for their money? Because, as a relatively new industry, they had yet to calculate the value and future importance of said industry?
Kinda how it happened to Dynasty season 1, come to think of it.

But it could also be a matter of different standards, a sort of old-school pseudo-intellectual snobbery (as Steven Cord described his wicked mother's upper-class generation in Peyton Place).
Look at the American mansions they've built at that time.
Yes, maybe that's it. Maybe you can judge a movie man by his choice of mansion.
Very expensive mansions are still being built but it's obvious to me that these people usually have no taste whatsoever, and it spills over into their product or service.
They keep spending millions and millions and millions on the most rotten films and I guess the audience keeps thinking "maybe this time they'll get it right".

Furthermore, people have always loved the cinema experience and they don't want to give it up, even if that means lowering the expectations.
I could imagine that you would see a movie with your friends and think, bah this sucks, but you don't want to be that bitch and complain about it and ruin the evening so you're like "yeah yeah twas great yeah yeah" (besides, if you want to complain you can always go online and post a vengeful review on IMDB).

This could be a whole separate conversation likely
But the thread is about a lot of different things going on at the same time, further complicated by the nonsensical complexity of the...*pauses dramatically*....human condition (as they like to say it these days).
 

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I wouldn't know so much about the modern world of TV via streaming (although it makes sense that with so many shows so many places, stars of new series will be less recognized by the vast majority of the population), and I cannot feign any interest in any internet or reality TV personalities, but I do know the movie world, and that feels close to dead right now.

On the one hand, the major studios are in an endless cycle of sequels and remakes, making films that are cynical money ploys to recapture the warm feeling moviegoers had several decades ago. It's cheap, cynical, crass, and dull.

On the other hand, the independent studios make films for the Oscars that have ceased to feel real. They feel cultivated, angry, inorganic. They drip with disdain for humanity in general. They have also removed any decorum of taste. I saw today about a film aimed at Oscars that comes out in December called Nightbitch. Amy Adams plays a woman who loses her mind and thinks she's a dog, and then proceeds to relieve herself on all fours her neighbor's front yard because she disagrees with their political views. The studio is calling it a bold statement on the trauma of suburbia and motherhood. What is supposed to be the response to such a thing?

In short, to say that movies are good now, you have to drink the Kool-Aid, and, as big of a fan of movies that I am from the 1920s to 2007, I refuse to do it anymore. They took away originality, sensitivity, empathy, literacy, and good actors away from film, and if we're lucky, we've only had 10 films worth saving in the 2020s thus far. The industry has committed suicide.
 
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