Brian’s Column: Liberty and Celebrity

Some thoughts on ‘being known for being known’
and what it means to the freedom movement

This definition of celebrity—being known for being known—is pretty close to a quote from a an interesting piece I read from a Web article by Daniel Epstein published a couple of years ago in The Weekly Standard of all places[1].  Actually, Epstein was quoting Daniel Boorstin from The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream: “The celebrity,” Boorstin wrote, “is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness.”[2]

Epstein continues by making a distinction between fame and celebrity: fame being based more on actual achievement, while celebrity especially recently become more the art of being paid attention to by large numbers of people on television regardless of any personal noteworthiness. Probably the most classic example is Brian “Kato” Kaelin, the house guest of OJ Simpson.  The Kaelin persona reminds me of the Woody Allen movie, Zelig, in which a nondescript man seeks to blend in and dissemble as if he were one of the famous people himself. Continue reading

Movie Review: Burlesque

Holding on to family values ____ 7.5/10
Review by Brian Wright

BurlesqueAli Rose: Jack, why did you leave Kentucky?
Jack: Well, why did you leave Iowa?
Ali Rose: Because I looked around and realized there wasn’t one person whose life I wanted.
Jack: Exactly.

Right, family values. Song and dance and the suggestion and celebration of sex, which is what, after all, does make families and all those family values that make the world go ’round. In the early scenes, Ali (Christina Aguilera), coming from Iowa to the bright lights of LA, asks Tess (Cher), proprietor of the Lounge, whether the establishment is a ‘strip club.’ Tess does a double-take, exclaiming that burlesque is to strip clubs as a carriage is to the bacteria on the underside of a snake crawling in the ruts of the carriage’s wheels. It puts me back into the memory banks: I suppose if you’re younger than 50 you may not even know what burlesque is… Continue reading