Press Whores Have Gotten Scarily Out of Control!
I shouldnt really complain much about the press-whore phenomenon, because Ive shamelessly enabled it for years as well as joined in on the hos frantic desperation whenever possible.
In fact, part of my job has always been as a sort of fame dealer to the wannabe stars, providing them with nickel bags of press mentions that make them high and woozy and begging for another score. Since the mid-80s, people have lined up to plead with me for a mention, any mention, certain that the clipping will spin their little head around and somehow prove that they actually exist. My most poetic image from that me-me-me decade was a club goddess lying in a pool of her own vomit, having taken one too many real drugs, but bravely holding out a magazine and murmuring, Look at my picture!
And I didnt feel above that at all, I have to admit. After all, Ive long promoted my own ass by throwing parties, sticking my face in cameras, and showing up for every two-bit nipple-tweaking contest in the tristate area if it might get me mentioned in a bar magazine. And Ive saved every single clip myself, as if the sum total provides some kind of staggering validation of my achievement, not just an aesthetic mess and a fire hazard.
But I am truly alarmed at how big this phenomenon has become! Back in the good old days, press whores werent quite as whorish, I swear! With more channels than everand networks dying to scoop up everyday folk and make them stars because they dont charge muchplus all the social-networking media designed to make everyone on the planet feel important and popular, things have gotten more out of control than a real hooker at a Republican convention. And, yes, I know that was the case seven years ago, but by now it has blossomed into mass psychosis on a truly terrifying level.
Bring back the days of snail mail! Back in the 90s, when you had to actually put postage on a press release, people were spare in their pronouncements, only filling you in on something newsworthy enough to warrant the money and effort. But now, every two seconds, theyre updating you about the last time they passed gas, then following up to see if youll cover it and will need photos!
Theyre even begging you to press Like on their Facebook page, not realizing that this basically amounts to extorting fake affection from faux-friends. Isnt getting someone you dont know to pretend to like you a rather hollow victory? Isnt it pathetic to beg your friends to vote for you on some Web countdown of the most popular local DJs, then send out blurbs crowing, I came in at #39! Thanks to everyone who voted for me!?
At least politicians say stuff like, Vote for me. Im the best candidate. Todays press whores just say, Vote for me. And the problem is, it doesnt really get you anywhere. The like (or mention) gives you a momentary lift, but since theres so much media now, basically nobody saw it and you have to walk around screeching, Go to presswhorenicklebags.org and youll see the link to my mention! Isnt it amazing?
And even if you are famous, now what? At least if you became famous for being a singer, you can try to keep on singing, which is what creatively propels you, after all. Getting press for actually doing something is fine because youre an artist who wants the publicity to stay relevant and who gets it because youre good at what you do. But if youre just famous for being famous, you have no direction and will frenetically try anythingwriting, acting, taco franchiseswhile hoping something might stick and keep you somewhere near the middle. Alas, by the time your product comes out, there are 100 more people who are famous for being famous and youve become a mere footnotea Didnt he used to be on the fourth season of what-was-that-called-again?
Really sad stories come out of this psychological wreckage, like the gal who bragged about how she was going to be a major player in that reality show, only to find, when the series aired, that she was mere background in a couple of scenes! Even more poignant is the saga of Charlie SheenGod, I hate to give him one more mentionwho became so addicted to his press that he didnt seem to realize he was pulverizing his career with every headline. By the time the high he got from the massive publicity around his self-destruction faded, Sheen was understandably begging people to write letters demanding he get his job back!
Yes, I know the fame mania is all a cover-up for the fact that none of us were loved enough as kids. Daddy never said, Im proud of you and Mama never cooed, Youre pretty, so now we roll around in the mud with our pants down, begging for any stranger to notice. But its sick. Its humiliating. And its got to stop.
Lord knows, Im trying to get some perspective on the whole thing. True, Ive shot no fewer than five reality shows in the past yearone in which I was just ensemble (but at least I knew that going in) and one in which I found myself co-starring with Lindsay Lohans father, of all people! But on this go-round, Ive been much calmer about my media blitz, knowing that it really doesnt matter in the larger picture. Because Ive finally found some deeper values? Nobecause Ill probably get cut out! Waah!
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