More TV channels. Quicker rotation of films in multiplexes. More magazines. “More” magazine. Facebook. Youtube. Popbitch. Book-signings. Store openings. Twitter accounts. Big cities. Posh bars. Celebrities are EVERYWHERE. No longer the distant, all-known entities that stay solely on the other side of a cathode ray tube or cinema screen, celebrities are now visible in a range of ways every day. They are inescapable. They are also frequently just around the corner from you. Living in Greater Manchester, I occasionally stray into the big city and- once in a while- I stumble across someone who is / was on TV. I've written about occasional celebrity encounters on this blog, and I'm not someone who can get special access anywhere, except the building I work in. And that's FAR from glamorous. Because of the explosion of available media, people are being thrust into the limelight at a faster rate than ever before, and are sometimes available to meet, greet or maybe just tweet. That's certainly what I've found. But what does it mean to be a celebrity? Let’s see what those who know have to say:
A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.
-Fred Allen, US comedian
A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
-H. L. Mencken, US Author
You have to remember that when you are a performer you become a celebrity, but you are not saving lives. It's not that important.
-Victoria Beckham, UK pop star
If you say a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert and a drug addict, all it means is that you've read his autobiography.
-P. J. O'Rourke, US comedian
Any actor will tell you, anybody in the public eye, that the tabloids are the worst kind of ramification of being a celebrity.
- Tracey Gold, US Actress
Celebrity - I don't even know what that means. Obviously it's the same basic word as celebration, but I don't know what's being celebrated. -James Woods, US actor
Celebrity and secrets don't go together. The bastards will get you in the end. -George Michael, UK singer
Ninety-five percent of celebrity is good. -Kevin Bacon, US actor
Somebody can become a celebrity for being stupid. That is what it's turned into. -Kate Hudson, US actress
You don't know when you're being watched. That's one of the weird things about celebrity. It's my least favourite part of acting, celebrity. -Denzel Washington, US actor
To round off, let’s go outside the box and hear a bonus quote from someone who knows the water well but doesn’t swim in it:
Celebrity-worship and hero-worship should not be confused. Yet we confuse them every day, and by doing so we come dangerously close to depriving ourselves of all real models. We lose sight of the men and women who do not simply seem great because they are famous but are famous because they are great. We come closer and closer to degrading all fame into notoriety.
-Daniel J. Boorstin, US Historian