Friday, September 09, 2005

Celebrities as Orators and What the Fark?

I've been reading this aricle at Wonkette about last night's opening day football extravaganza (go Patriots) featuring artists such as Kanye West and I began to wonder about the immense role celebrities have commandeered in our society. The article makes clear that most celebrities now feel free to espouse their own viewpoints to their vast audiences. Networks have ceased using 10 second delays for profanity, instead censoring inappropriate and perhaps overtly political remarks.

I'm torn on this issue for many reasons. The main reason is that I dont believe celebrities have the ethos necessary to spew out their own political opinions, regardless of how right or wrong they are. I'm not sure if what Kanye says is correct, maybe he's right in some regards. But he's not exactly Jon Stewart, who in my mind has the most credibility of any faux-journalist/quasi-celebrity. Kanye's remarks were inappropriate because they were spoken at an event that was meant to be uplifting and affirming. However, I'm not sure I like the idea that networks are now terrified of political statements in broadcasts either. Regardless of how stupid or inappropriate or inconsiderate Kanye's remarks were, he still has the right to make them and suffer the consequences afterwards.

Which brings me back to the ethos of celebrities. We have preconceived notions regarding celebrities. We judge them based on what films they make, what songs they write, etc. They gain their ethos from us based on the personas they present in the media. It is immensely easy to destroy that persona by slipping and making a radical political statement, which in turn causes that celebrity to lose a certain amount of splendor. An excellent example of the shattering of a persona is Tom Cruise's recent scientology love-in. He believed he had the ethos to go out and blast prescription drugs and other celebrities. Has anyone considered not taking their amoxycillin or valium because of Tom? I actually probably need to go to the store now and get some more valium just to tolerate looking at him and Katie Holmes.

Okay, that was mean, but not necessarily off the mark. A question has been sticking in my mind ever since class last night (which is not long, but the way my mind works it feels like forever). I've been looking at and checking out their website and wondering if it's a blog or just a scattered set of links. There is no doubt that what Drew Curtis has created is truly ingenious, but I'm not sure if it qualifies as a blog. Drew has created something more like a card catalog of fun stuff. I've been reading the comments next to the links and while they seem authoritative in some regard, they mainly summarize what the website actually is. Occasionally you can feel an editorial voice lingering in some of his commentaries, but mostly he's just being funny or silly. I'm not yet ready to define what a blog is, but there's something inside of me telling me isn't it.

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