Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Price Of Fame ...

All this Britney tabloid-and-beyond feeding frenzy has set me to thinking about the nature of fame.

Ten years ago, give or take, when Brit donned her sweetly sexy schoolgirl get-up and pranced through her first video, the world was a different place.

Sure, there were the weekly gossip rags, but you could count them on one hand. And Entertainment Tonight was the only nightly entertainment "news" show. There weren't a hundred cable outlets. And the "Internets" were still, technologically speaking, toddlers.

Today, the paparazzi are out of control. With a bazillion outlets for their photos, they'll shoot anything. I saw a picture today of Kirsten Dunst in her car trying to shield herself from photographers by holding a hat in front of her face. Turns out, she ran her car into a curb, you know, because she couldn't see where the hell she was going. But the bigger question is, why is Kirsten Dunst driving her car a photo anyone should care about seeing? Kirsten Dunst DRIVES?! What's the world coming to?

So I feel for Britney. It's insane that celebrities shouldn't be able to walk down the street without a throng of photograhers blocking their every move. Or walk out of their house, for that matter. Or drive down the street.

That said, in Britney's case, my sympathy for her is tempered by the fact that she's actively courted the media attention throughout her career. Anyone who produces her own reality show about life with her new husband, splashing her newlywedness all over television week after week, can't really bitch when people demand more and more minutiae about her life.

The pursuit of fame comes at a price these days, and those who chase the dream know what they're in for if they manage to grab the brass ring.

But I don't see an end to the madness. Every print and video outlet feels the need to glom onto all of these stories because we - sadly - have an insatiable appetite for this voyuerism and we'll find it wherever it airs. At the risk of losing viewership or market share, everyone carries everything and the circus never ends.

I hope Britney slays her demons. For the sake of her children. She has a responsibility to those two lil' guys.

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