Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Autumn in Paris/Total Celebrity

Paris Hilton: celebrity cipher or limit case that reveals fame's basic structure?

Britney's all gospel of work (those abs!); Aguilera the myth of talent (those pipes!); Idol/Top Model drips with American self-actualization (believe in yourself and hold onto your dreams.)

Paris—already rich, effortlessly thin, and free of discernible talent—detaches success from the usual narratives that give it meaning. Celebrity Paris-style exists in its pure state, “total celebrity”, like those pure poetries where syntax gets to be just syntax, grammar grammar, without the usual “justificatory” props that give them social purpose.

There’s something about the Paris phenomenon that mirrors the conditions of success in America 2.0 (a lot like the earlier military/industrial version but with twice the profit for half the people.) Overfilling a role can serve the same function as deconstructing it. Or can it? This is a post about poetry.

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