The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I'm not a fan of the "culture of celebrity." I'm not interested in being famous, knowing about the personal lives of the famous, or any of that stuff. Most celebrities, it seems, are actually pretty disappointing people once you hear them talk. Not terribly bright, or terribly cool, or much of anything else. And in the case of a lot of entertainers, they aren't particularly good actors, singers, etc.

But for whatever reason, a couple of article have appeared this week lamenting the phenomenon of celebrity. Maybe that's a good sign coming from left-leaning sources-- at least it's a nice change from endless stories lamenting one-party rule in America. It's nice to do some hand-wringing over something less serious for a change.

First up, a very funny Salon article about the exceptionally icky Paris Hilton:

Frankly, the time could not be more ripe for a recognition of Hilton's "Bad Seed" villainy. Even before her tabloid molestation of Spears, eyes were beginning to spring wide with comprehension. Three weeks ago, former "Saturday Night Live" head writer Tina Fey told Howard Stern about her antipathy for Hilton, calling the heiress a selfish, untalented, brainless "piece of shit" "SNL" guest host who is "unbelievably dumb and so proud of how dumb she is," and left "nasty wads of Barbie hair" on the floor of the studio. Meanwhile, conservative Manhattan Institute writer Kay S. Hymowitz wrote a piece in City Journal about the pervasive loathing of Hilton, summing up quite neatly Hilton's role as a "synonym for American materialism, bad manners, greed ... parochialism, arrogance, promiscuity, antifeminism, exposed roots and navels, entitlement, cell-phone addiction, anorexia and bulimia, predilection for gas-guzzling private transportation, pornified womanhood, exhibitionism, [and] narcissism." Hymowitz argued that while she "may be a composite of contemporary American sins," the act of hating Hilton is "a sign of lingering cultural sanity."

Then there was this view of celebrity from the daughter of Ann Landers:

There is no disputing that the public has always been awestruck by the famous. The problem at hand, however, is that the standards for fame have gone to hell, and now everybody and his dog want to be in the limelight simply because the perks seem like fun. B-list performers, for example, now go everywhere with their entourage--including, of course, bodyguards. I remember, when I lived in West Los Angeles, seeing Cary Grant walking around doing chores--and he was by his lonesome. Go figure.

Go figure.