Celebrity Culture Rant

I'm sitting in Kansas City International airport right now watching CNN repeatedly talk about Paris Hilton.  If you haven't noticed, the whole celebrity culture in America has run completely amock.  Not just because people are following celebrities, but because America's celebrity culture has now produced its own celebrities.  People that are famous for being famous.  Paris Hilton, Hillary Duff, Nick Lachey etc.  I realize that we've probably always had this group of celebrities, but it seems like in the past fame was much more dependant on ability, as in, people were famous because they could do something better than the rest of us.   I mean, I realize Nick Lachey is still recording music, but how many people can actually name a song of his?  He's only still famous because he was married to whats her face.  Paris is only famous because she's rich, and I'm not even sure why I know Hillary Duff's name. 

The other thing that's been killing me is what passes for live music now.  American Idol, pop, and even more notoriously rap.  There's nothing more pathetic than rapping.  I don't know when the definition of having talent switched from having musical ability to being good at what amounts to glorified karyoke, but I'm pretty sure we're not living in music's golden age. 

…but maybe i'm just old and cranky…

MTV ‘ s User Generated Content

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Last night I did my best to endure MTV's Movie Awards, which actually turned out to be somewhat entertaining (although I still think their branding work is ten times better than anything they actually broadcast).  Sticking with the current theme of user generated content, they had viewers make spoofs of films for a contest.  All of the entries were culled down to 5 finalists, and an award was presented to the "best" one near the end of the show. 

Keeping consistent with the majority of USG, all of them were terrible.  Really terrible.  I think that USG has its place on the Internet, but I've yet to see any kind of decent fusion of user generated stuff with broadcast.  It reaffirmed, to me anyways, that just because production technology has been democratized doesn't mean that the professional content maker is going to be put out of a job.  Quality ideas, storytelling and craft, the things that make film an art, cannot be democratized.