Is it just my imagination, or is the fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhol forecast for us all getting longer and longer?
Or is it that the fifteen minutes is an average?
So, when you take the fifteen minutes that I won’t be enjoying, nor will any of my friends and family, and you multiply it by all the other no-fame cohorts out there, and add them all up, you get a lot more than fifteen minutes for The Kardashians and Billy Ray Cyrus?
I don’t actually begrudge the folks with talent who get their fifteen-minute multipliers.
Personally, I don’t pay Lindsay Lohan any/much attention, but at least at one point in her life, she did have oodles of promise as an actor.
No, the ones that completely bother me are those who seem singularly lacking in anything that might account for their being so present in the media. One thing if there’s at some modicum of intelligence, wit, accomplishment, athletic ability, genius, charm, beauty, charisma, imagination, empathy, vision, talent. But so many of the famous seem only to have a phenomenal talent for brassy self-promo, and a complete and utter lack of shame. (Or are these one and the same?)
Into this category falls the relentless and, if I look at my list, the pretty much everything-less, Snooki Polizzi.
Frankly, after a pouf of publicity attending The Jersey Shore a year or too back, I hadn’t heard Thing One or Thing Two about Lalapolizzi for a while. Perhaps, I thought, her comet had burnt out.
For as long as there are people out there whose lives revolve around GTL – gym, tanning, laundry (not goodness, talent, and likability; or greatness, thinking, and learning) – there will obviously remain a place in the sun (metaphorically speaking; if you go to tanning parlors you don’t need direct sun) for Snooki.
Snooki found her most recent sun spot in the land of Jersey Shore, speaking at Rutgers University.
Where she was paid $32,000:
…to dish on her hairstyle, fist pumps, as well as the GTL – gym, tanning, laundry – lifestyle.
This, it must be noted, is $2K less than the nice chunk of change that Rutgers is paying Toni Morrison to give the May commencement address there.
Now, whether Toni Morrison – or any commencement speaker, for that matter – is worth $30K, rather than a more modest honorarium ($5K? $10K?, plus T&E) is an arguable point. I’d come down on the side of “no”. But I suppose that parents, after writing big checks for four years want the big payoff of sitting under thundercloud skies in the football stadium and hearing a big name speaker. Those parents want something more than a tee-shirt that says “My kid went to Rutgers and all I got was this lousy Scarlet Knights tee-shirt.” Thus the Toni Morrisons of the world have their day.
I have no idea whatsoever what Toni Morrison would be like as a speaker, but at least she has some heavy weight bona fides behind her: all those novels and, oh yeah, that Nobel Prize in Literature.
Now I do realize that Ms. Polizzi was not giving the commencement address. She was not at Rutgers to impart wisdom, or to assure the paying parents that their tuition money had been well spent. She was there to entertain.
But surely there are plenty of means available to entertain college students that don’t involve the university’s paying $32K to an individual who, to most folks with reasonable standards, seems fairly devoid of any talent, other than a canny ability to keep herself in the public eye.
Or have college students changed that radically since I was one of them that this is what they crave and expect?
Rutgers was prominently in the news last fall when a freshman killed himself, shortly after his roommate web-cammed him making out with a fellow. And broadcast it with the help of another student.
I suppose if that’s entertainment, then Snooki is an upgrade of sorts.
Still, you have to kind of wonder what’s happening on the banks of the old Raritan.
Not to mention in Snooki’s head.
Do you think she ever wonders about the why, how, and worthiness of seeing herself catapulted from well-deserved obscurity to the point where Rutgers will pay here $32K to tell its students to “study hard, but play harder”? (As if most of them need that advice. Maybe we should get her on the road to China, instead. Our own secret weapon…)
All I can say for the Snooki Polizzis of the world is that they may end up serving an important societal function.
As job opportunities for those with nothing in particular to offer continue to diminish, the twin hopes of winning the lottery or becoming well-known and well-paid for having nothing in particular to offer may help keep the lid on society. Let me amend that: nothing particular to offer other than a cretinous world view, where that world view is circumscribed by what’s available at the Jersey Shore with respect to GTL.
Forget bread and circus. We’ll have Big Macs and Snooki.
Talk about cry, the beloved country.
On the cultural upside, there was the heartening news that Charlie Sheen got booed off the stage during the first outing of his one-man show.
Source: Huffington Post.