This morning I have been asked to comment on the fact that famous hotties Brooke Shields and Katie Holmes both had babies yesterday.
Beyond my usual smirkingly cynical yet somewhat pained (I myself am human, one tends to forget) recognition that each new H. sapiens birth brings our highly overrated species that much closer to its inevitable, grisly, and agonizing extinction at the indifferent hand of plague and starvation, I find that I am unable to feel anything at all concerning these celebrity bundles of joy, no matter extravagantly beautiful they are expected to be.
I am all for the public individual. That is, if the individual in question really is an individual, with a sparkling intellect or brilliant sense of aesthetics or at least a knowledge of fine wine to match her charisma, whose body of work adds to, rather than subtracts from, some ennobling endeavor of the species. When fame can accentuate personal genius, when it is not merely the end objective of some private, self-serving ambition, “you go, girl!” is the cry that parts the Twisty lips.
But celebrities are a different story. They are not public individuals, they are public globs of marketing. They enbiggen nothing worthwhile. Their genius is limited to their mastery of slimming techniques and pole dancing. Their “work” is to a) recite scripted dialogue under direction, b) conform to patriarchal beauty standards while doing it, c) summarily execute a sex scandal or a drug problem, and d) write a book about it. Nobody, aside from a few hack critics who shill for the movie studios and publishing houses, really gives a crap about part A so much as they do about the supposedly extraordinary personal lives manufactured for these celebrities as a result of all that crazy marketing.
It is an unfortunate myth that anybody, however asinine or repellent, can be famous. This gives false hope to the masses—who necessarily view fame as the pinnacle of human achievement—which in turn feeds the mammoth industry that sustains celebrity. Celebrities are like televangelists, bilking the hapless out of their hard-earned cash with the promise of a better life, then jetting off to St. Tropez to get the hell away from them. Brooke Shields, Katie Holmes, and all similar vapid receptacles of proletarian fantasy are the bourgeois royalty of capitalism.
And to the extent that they publicly exemplify bogus femininity as defined by the patriarchy—modeling their conventional beauty in makeup and clothes designed by misogynist fags, dipping their heads to the camera in gestures of delicate submission, smiling ceaselessly through their pregnancies, and, and, at least in the case of Holmes, performing a total subsumption of the self to an egomaniac male Svengali—they are vulgar caricatures. Screw’em.