Goose – Gander, Mr Gould

In his latest opinion piece, Bryan Gould pontificates about the evils of Trump and celebrity status. It cuts both ways Bryan. Quote.

We live, like it or not, in the age of the celebrity. High achievers in entertainment or sport have always commanded attention and headlines, but the reach, in today’s society, of film and television, and particularly of the social media, has meant that the impact of the “rich and famous” is greater today than it has ever been. […] End Quote.

We live, like it or not, in the age of the celebrity. Smiley faces pushed by a compliant media have always commanded attention and headlines, but the reach, in today’s society, of media and television, and particularly of the social media, has meant that the impact of the “famous for being well known” is greater today than it has ever been. Quote.

There is a further curiosity about the modern concept of the “celebrity”. The actual achievements or talents of the modern celebrity may sometimes be rather difficult to identify.

The Kardashians, for example, seem not to be particularly talented as individuals – but they are, as a family or “brand”, famous for being famous. What is undeniable is that they are very successful at promoting themselves. […] En

There is a further curiosity about the modern concept of the “celebrity”. The actual achievements or talents of the modern celebrity may sometimes be rather difficult to identify. Ardern, for example, seems not to be particularly talented as an individual – but she is, as a “brand”, famous for being famous. What is undeniable is that she is very successful at promoting herself. Quote.

Jacinda Ardern Vogue photo shoot at Bethells Beach, near Auckland. Photographed by Derek Henderson, Vogue, March 2018

The Kardashians exemplify another common aspect of the celebrity cult – the tendency of one celebrity to team up with another. Kim Kardashian is the partner of the US rapper, Kanye West – and David and Victoria Beckham’s marriage brought together a top British footballer and a singer from the Spice Girls. In instances such as these, the celebrity impact seems to be more than doubled but is multiplied several times over – and children of the union themselves become celebrities and add to the overall impact. […] End Quote.

Ardern exemplifies another common aspect of the celebrity cult – the tendency of one celebrity to team up with another. Ardern is the partner of the New Zealand fisherman Clarke Gayford, and Richie and Gemma McCaw’s marriage brought together a top All Black and Black Sticks player. In instances such as these, the celebrity impact seems to be more than doubled, multiplied instead several times over, and children of the union themselves become celebrities and add to the overall impact. Quote.

More seriously, the same phenomenon of celebrity seems to have been a major factor in the election of – and continued support for – Donald Trump as US President. The voters, despite the evidence before their own eyes and ears of his complete unfitness to exercise such responsibilities, seem to have been unwilling to trust their own judgment and to have been dazzled instead by the “star power” of a television celebrity. The price that the US – and the world – have had to pay is virtually incalculable. End Quote.

More seriously, the same phenomenon of celebrity seems to have been a major factor in the election of and continued support for Jacinda Ardern as New Zealand’s prime minister. The voters, despite the evidence before their own eyes and ears of her complete unfitness to exercise such responsibilities, seem to have been unwilling to trust their own judgement and to have been dazzled instead by the “star power” of a smiley face. The price that New Zealand and the world have had to pay is virtually incalculable. Quote.

There is no obvious or immediate antidote to this phenomenon. We can but hope that those who are happy to reap the rewards – earned or otherwise – of their celebrity might increasingly recognise the responsibilities they have to ensure that people, especially the young and vulnerable, are not misled to their disadvantage by following them in directions that lead at best nowhere, but at worst to shattered dreams, disappointment and unhappiness. End Quote.

A Newspaper


There is no obvious or immediate antidote to this phenomenon. We can but hope that those who are happy to reap the rewards (earned or otherwise) of their celebrity might increasingly recognise the responsibilities they have. These include ensuring that people, especially the young and vulnerable, are not misled to their disadvantage by following them in directions that lead at best nowhere, but at worst to shattered dreams, disappointment and unhappiness.

But hey, unlike Bryan, I’m not biased. 🙂

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