The Art of the Celebrity Pecking Order

September 08, 2017

With the seemingly endless celebrities populating our culture, why limit them to A- and B-list hierarchies? On September 6, People magazine broke the news that the surrogate hired by Kim Kardashian West and her husband, Kanye West, to carry their third child is pregnant. Not news to rival the...

Why Sexual Coercion Scandals Are Good News

July 25, 2017

Celebrity culture has given women the confidence to defy and challenge those with power and influence in show business. “You brought the flames and you put me through hell.” The words are from the American singer Kesha’s recent track “Prayer” and are, in many people’s opinion,...

Reading the News: Branding and Celebrity as the Anchor of Late Capitalism

June 29, 2017

Late capitalism encourages, rewards and adulates those who invent artificial means to narrow the competition. In an article about the marketing of sportswear from The Motley Fool, apart from noticing an obviously egregious slip in which the journalist calls basketball star, Stephen Curry, the...

The Triumph of $ellebrity Culture in US Politics

June 15, 2017

Until the late 20th century, most presidents had no greater ambition than to be respected as serious custodians of the nation’s institutions and economy. Jack Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura. What’s the connection? Two Democrats,...

Can Celebrity Admiration Go Too Far?

June 06, 2017

Remember that “fan” is an abbreviation for “fanatic.” My interest in celebrity worshipers began on July 17, 1999, when I turned on the news to hear a brief report about three very newsworthy events: meetings that might lead to peace in the Middle East, China threatening military...

Selling Star Quality: Celebrities in Advertising

May 30, 2017

Stardom sells, but it may not always be as effective in advertising as you might think.  Some of today’s most popular commercials feature a who’s who of pop culture. The Wall Street Journal credits the late Michael Jackson for helping usher in a new age of celebrity advertising when he...

Why Am I Famous?

May 19, 2017

Today, celebrity describes a culture and a set of attitudes and behavior that absorbs as well as surrounds us. Ten years ago, Paris Hilton was the victim of a sort of hacking. Hundreds of her albums (she was a recording artist, in addition her several other roles) were remixed by the guerrilla...

Celebrity Culture: Famous For Being Famous

May 19, 2017

While the concept of celebrity culture is not new, modern technology and a thriving gossip industry have put our fascination with fame in an overdrive.  Background When you think of the nature of celebrity, almost infallibly the first thing that comes to mind is the concept of “15 minutes of...