The Psychology of Modern Celebrity

In Taki’s Magazine Dalrymple expresses puzzlement over the interest many people have in the private lives of celebrities:

The psychology of modern celebrity is curious and interesting. There seems to be an implicit contract between celebrities and those who confer celebrity upon them. Celebrity is conferred on people almost, though not quite, at random: their talents are minor and their appearance pleasing, but they must not otherwise be remarkable or too far removed in their tastes and manner, at least in public, from those who give them their fame.

In return for this they live a fairy-tale life of the greatest possible luxury, removed from the economic constraints that circumscribe the lives of their adulators, but they must also allow their lives to be examined and reported on, truthfully or not, in all the media. They must agree to be in the public eye as an old-fashioned family doctor was always on duty for his patients.

2 thoughts on “The Psychology of Modern Celebrity

  1. Bradford Tuckfield

    This is something that has always puzzled me too. Why does the IMF listen to Bono? Why does the UN listen to Emma Watson? Shouldn’t these people stick with what they can actually do (music, acting)? I’m glad that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    1. Robert Murray

      The IMF and Bono contection is even more bizarre since he operates under an alias, and when his corporate self was required to put up its tax assessment it simply hied off to tax-friendly Ireland.


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