Breaking News: Paris Hilton back to jail, screaming all the way.
These are the headlines in the world news tonight. The media circus over Paris Hilton’s entry into jail, then out of jail, and now back into jail is the perfect closing to Pluto’s passage through Sagittarius where the world of celebrity (Sagittarius) has blown out of any reasonable proportion. Today the news is all Paris all the time, including a minute-by-minute timeline of Paris’s every move.
Paris Hilton is a smart young woman who is famous for nothing other than posing for photos. She has taken celebrity to a new extreme. From Wikipedia:
the 1970s, academics began analyzing the phenomenon of celebrity and stardom. According to Sofia Johansson the “canonical texts on stardom” include articles by Boorstin (1971), Alberoni (1972) and Dyer (1979) that examined the “representations of stars and on aspects of the Hollywood star system.” Johansson notes that “more recent analyses within media and cultural studies (e.g. Gamson 1994; Marshall 1997; Giles 2000; Turner, Marshall and Bonner 2000; Rojek 2001; Turner 2004) have instead dealt with the idea of a pervasive, contemporary, ‘celebrity culture’.” [notice that these dates correspond with the Pluto in Sagittarius cycle that began in 1995.] In the analysis of the ‘celebrity culture,’ “fame and its constituencies are conceived of as a broader social process, connected to widespread economic, political, technological and cultural developments.”
In Bob Greene’s article “The new stardom that doesn’t require paying any dues,” he argues that for “most of man’s history…people of talent would work to create something–something written, something painted, something sculpted, something acted out–and it would be passed on to audiences.” With the rise of reality TV shows, Greene points out that audiences have been turned into the creators. He argues that the “alleged stars of the reality shows “Survivor” and “Big Brother,”have become famous not for doing, but merely for being.”
Greene says that “You simply have to be present, in the right place at the right time.” Whereas “…public[ly famous] people were once defined as such based upon the fact that their remarkable skills had brought them to the attention of the public,” Greene states that with reality TV, “one can become a public person just by being a person, in public.”
Poor Paris Hilton – she is really just the public face of the phenomenon of being famous simply for being photographed, one of the few who have understood this phenomenon well enough to profit from it.