Celebri-spiral™: Enough Already

Our culture is in a celebri-spiral. We're conflicted over our ridiculous, growing celebrity culture consumption via magazines, websites, and TV shows. In 2007, my love/hate conflict made me take to the blog-o-sphere. All writing on this site © Dave Singleton 2009.

Friday, January 12, 2007

January 12, 2007: Fame Junkies! It's All About BIRG (Basking in Reflected Glory)

I love the new book Fame Junkies by Jake Halpern. Check out the excellent Fame Junkies synopsis.

Especially notable is the concept of BIRG, or basking in reflected glory. We truly are a culture obsessed with celebrity culture. Maybe one day schools will offer courses in being celebrity assistants since reflected glory is as good as glory itself to fame junkies.

Then one day kids will grow up telling their parents, "Mommy, I want to be Madonna's assistant." This is terrifying: "Interestingly, even those teenagers who are not expecting to become famous themselves are very much caught up in this obsession. In his survey, Halpern asked teenagers to choose which profession they would most like to have when they grow up. Among girls, 43.4% indicated that they wanted to become assistants to a celebrity. They chose this option twice as often as "the president of a great university like Harvard or Yale," three times as often as U.S. Senator, and four times as often as "the chief of a major company like General Motors."

What's so interesting about this statistic is that, among girls who indicated that they received bad grades in school (i.e., C's or below), the percentage who opted to become assistants rose to 67%. What's more, among both boys and girls who got bad grades – and who described themselves as being unpopular at school – the percentage who opted to become assistants rose further to 80%. Certainly, as these teenagers mature, many of them will develop other professional goals. Yet even if a fraction of them pursue their current aspirations, there is still the potential that vast numbers of young people may soon be flocking to LA and New York, in the hopes of enhancing their self-esteem by working intimately with celebrities."


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