Ian Astbury's always fascinated me and he always seems to have something intelligent to say. In one of the interviews I found with him, he made an interesting statement about fame nowadays; how it's affected by the internet-especially on YouTube. He said that Warhol's theory of fame being 15 minutes long no longer applies (I'm paraphrasing here), that fame is actually 1:28 minutes long now (I DO remember that specific number for some strange reason). He went on to say that current artists are now competing with things like "kitty flying an airplane" and "cute babies."
Though this should have been obvious to me a long time ago, I just never happened to really think about this. I've often thought about how the line is blurring between those we've considered celebrities over the years, and those whose names we don't know but seem more popular than many names we DO know. I never quite connected the dots like Ian Astbury did so eloquently in his interview (which is why he's Ian Astbury, and I'm not, I guess).
After hearing Ian's statements, I started thinking that perhaps we're all unknowingly in the process of redefining the term "celebrity." How DO we define one, by the way? Surely someone with 1.5 million Twitter followers must be a celebrity-but so many fall into that category and we don't know their names or even what they "DO." Someone with 5 million hits on their YouTube vid HAS to be a celebrity, right? Heck, it might not even be a person-or a living organism. As an example, I love YouTube vids of talking ravens and cool stuff done with Lego's. I don't know the names of the people who make and/or upload these vids-I only know I enjoy watching them. Oh, there are some awesome ones too I enjoy of a dude who does prank calls using hand puppets of Sesame St characters and imitates their voices on the phone (The Count calling an Asian restaurant is one of my faves)-again I don't know the dude's name or what he does for a living-I doubt he's getting paid for calling people with his hand puppets.
Anyhoo, this was quite a revelation for little ole narcissistic me-we're not competing against the industry as independent artists, we're competing against gratification of the most instant kind-on many thick levels. How are we going to get people to watch our videos and listen to our songs when they have so many kittens, babies, Lego's, and talking ravens to watch? I haven't made it far enough along in this thought process to offer any answers, and a part of me is thinking maybe there simply aren't any. Perhaps the age of the "celebrity" as we understood it is dying a quick and painless death. Thoughts and opinions are most welcome!