Pop culture on fast forward

“It’s as if we no longer NEED heroes to tear down to feel better about ourselves, we just create people to be torn down as soon as they appear, not waiting for the time when they stumble.” (The only card Solitaire Rose needs is the Ace of Spades! – Barbelith Underground 2004)

The concept of ‘pseudo people’ or simply famous for being famous is an apparent new construct. Think Liz Hurley, Paris Hilton (Is Paris Hilton a Simulacrum?), Jordan, ‘reality tv’ celebrities.

With all of these people there seems a real (sorry) difference between the media side to them and the real ‘them’ (whoever that is)? Further it seems somewhat difficult to get to that reality past the seemingly ubiquitous media facade. So maybe fame is the simulacrum, one which is constructed by the media and the person themselves sometimes knowingly, sometimes not. This simulacrum almost appears as a barrier against the real, allowing no reality through, further questioning what that reality is in the first place.

So in a sense what is real (in the celebrity sense)? I think the line blurs (take Jordan, and the frankly disturbing announcement that Jordan is dead and Katie Price now only exists).

Of course fame is no new concept, nor the idea of fame to the talent less, one dimensional or simply opportunist. But one slight shift seems to be the time-scale – where fame may have been handed (undeservedly) to historic figures via legend, folk-lore and story-telling, fame is now handed out in the now and the here, legends are constructed, cemented and destroyed – sometimes in the space of a week.

Maybe History is dead, maybe our past only exists in the present, constructed at will to whatever purpose we choose. Then again, hasn’t this always been the case, E.H.Carr believed that ‘History is an un-ending conversation between the past and the present’ not something that can be pinned down to an exact ‘reality’.

Sometimes though it does feel as if the fast forward button is stuck.

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