Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Culture of Celebrity: A Second Look

New World Notes News
Vol. 3, No. 26 -- July 3, 2010

This week in New World Notes, radio program #122, July 6:

The Culture of Celebrity:
A Second Look

In brief

The corporate media enthusiastically promote "the culture of celebrity." This culture does worse than yield trivial entertainment. It make people more passive and powerless, more inclined to blame only themselves for their misfortunes, less able to organize and fight back against The System. Celebrity Culture is a tool used to pacify the masses. Or so argues journalist-prophet Chris Hedges.

We'll hear more of Hedges' October 14 talk in Winnipeg. This week Hedges focuses on Michael Jackson's career and especially on his funeral-- "a variety show with a coffin." (Other parts of this talk are in New World Notes #115.) I'll add additional specific examples--a few dozen headlines from a popular news-and-entertainment Web site--and some commentary.

Top: American Idol, 2010, Lee DeWyze.
Bottom: Miley Cyrus.
Most photos: Click to enlarge.

Notes, Credits, & Links

This week's music: I read a few dozen celebrity-culture headlines over a "bed" of hit instrumentals by The Ventures. They are, in order: Wipe Out; Pipeline; Walk, Don't Run; and Out of Limits.

Hedges' speech was recorded on October 14, 2009, by Ethan Osland, of Black Mask Winnipeg. Thanks to Ethan and Black Mask for permission to rebroadcast.

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "first floor") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

New World Notes is archived at both and The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

Coming Soon -- Tuesday debut date shown:

  • July 13 -- Interview with health-care activist Susan Rosenthal, M.D., on her new book, Sick and Sicker: Essays on Class, Health and Health Care

Top: Michael Jackson. Bottom: Chris Hedges.

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