Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Random Thoughts From a Random Guy #13: In the Future Everyone Will Be Famous For 15 Minutes. Except for You, You, Oh Definitely Not You...

There are few things that take your mind off of work like watching idiots talk about idiots doing idiotic things. This is why I found myself watching Chelsea Lately a few nights ago. The show usually ends with Chelsea interviewing some D-list celebrity about whatever that person happens to be doing professionally at the moment.

Chelsea is a caustic lady by any stretch of the imagination. This is why I find it so perplexing that she was so kind towards her guest that night: Audrina Patridge.

For those of you who don’t know who she is, don’t beat yourself up. I only found out about her about a year ago. She was a teenager from Orange County, California who was asked to play someone’s friend on a reality show. Yes, you heard right. She is playing someone’s friend on a reality show.

The idea is about as absurd as an Obama/Dean ticket, but not quite as exciting. I can’t help but wonder if the “professional celebrity” phenomenon, which was once ridiculed, is now thoroughly accepted.

Not too long ago, the biggest celebrities were athletes. This was acceptable by my standards because though they did not have Ph.D.’s, they worked as hard as most of us. Magic, Bird, even Neon Deion Sanders worked harder than Ms. Audrina Patridge.

Come to think of it, Deion sort of epitomized what we used to value in a celebrity. He was loud, conceited, and rich; we loved him for it, but only because he combined it with hard work and was actually an extremely gifted football player.

There is no doubt that in the 90’s, cockiness was as American as apple pie, but so was hard work. So, if Deion epitomized who we were, and Audrina epitomizes who we are, then who are we?


Well, lets see. During her interview on Chelsea Lately, Audrina revealed that she is really a struggling actress who was spotted by people casting for The Hills while she was staying at a five-star hotel. In other words, she is a struggling actress who never actually struggled.

If you’ve spoken to any kid from an elite school, he or she will tell you that there is no such thing as "paying your dues." In fact, "paying your dues" is an expression stupid people invented.

So, this means that Deion was an idiot for being loyal to the Falcons for five seasons and Audrina is a genius for following her dreams in the most half-assed way imaginable. This is getting depressing.

If you walk into any newsstand you’ll see at least one member of the cast of The Hills in US Weekly, Teen People or any of the other celebrity gossip magazines. What I’m worried about is the eventual day one of these reality stars ends up on a prestigious magazine such as Vogue.

Can you imagine Annie Liebowitz having to adjust lighting and set up shots for some girl who is playing a character on a “reality” television show? Unfortunately, the idea is not as far fetched as we would love to believe.

I’m not one of those people who believes that pop culture is a reliable window into the public conscious, but occasionally it is. People used to take pride in struggling to get somewhere, and paying one's dues was seen as a rite of passage, not a nuisance that can and should be avoided.


By the way, I’m well aware of the fact that I have just given the young lady a little more notoriety just by writing this. I am also well aware that if you have stumbled upon this article, you are probably a fan of ms. Patridge, and there is little I can do to change your mind.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch the Olympics. After all, they’ve trained rigorously for four years to get to where they are; the least I could do is cheer them on.

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