Sunday, May 22, 2005

Celebrity - How? Really??

I have always wondered what makes a celebrity?? With all these shows like Channel V popstars and some other channel's Indian Idol, can anyone become a celebrity or does it take something really special to become a celebrity?

For too long, celebrities were an alchemic creation, taking a mystical combination of ability, timing and blind luck to suddenly pop into our midst. We marvel at these Godpeople, who seemed to be one of us while being so utterly celestial. It was never clear how exactly one turned from flailing duckling to cruising swan and that was part of the mystique surrounding celebrities.

A consumer society needs two opposite powerful forces to pull against each other. We must believe that celebrities are impossibly distant and yet know that anyone can become one. Just like fashion, which makes us feel uniquely individual while making us conform rigidly to the current notion of what's in. This tension between apparent inapproachability and the manifest accessibility propels us in an ascending spiral of desire. We want more because there are things we cannot have, but people just like us have managed to get.

Be that as it may, as a country we have certainly made progress. We are now our own hypnotists - we have found a way to publicly collaborate in manufacturing a god-like being through all the shows possible and still retain some belief in this God of our own making.

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