BreakPoint | Stephanie Bennett | Aug. 22, 2008
It used to be that people were known for being heroes. Doing something noble or worthy of praise would be reason for someone’s popular acclaim, but with the advance of mass media, a new phenomenon arose within American culture. People began to be known—just for being known. In media studies we’ve come to know this phenomenon as the rise of the celebrity.
Today, people famous for being famous are not simply celebrated; they are part of an entertainment culture that increasingly sets the tone for the values we espouse as well as those we project out into the wider world. Unfortunately, whether or not we personally adhere to the values of celebrity culture, we are influenced by them in many ways. Whether through obvious temptations, endless amusements and distractions, obsession with our “looks,” the frittering away of our time, or the slow and seemingly innocuous stream of a carnal images and ideas, our lives are increasingly shaped by the entertainment culture in which we live. It is an environment. We are in its bubble. [Read more…]