Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm gonna live forever, I'm gonna learn how to fly?

In the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that fame or reputation cannot be the greatest good, because we want to be known for our virtues and accomplishments. That may have been true in his day, but in this time of the Kardashian sisters, the insufferable parents of Balloon Boy and a couple of near-bankrupt socialites who, in the interest of getting themselves on reality television, crash a state dinner, I wonder whether he would still be right.
Celebrity and fame used to be the result of something: X was famous for y. Now, Z is simply famous for being famous. Maybe we have Warhol to blame for making us aware of this, but we only have ourselves to blame for making it possible. We honor the famous for being famous and so fame has become an end in itself. So, instead of universally damning people who put their own notoriety above a state visit of the head of state of the largest democracy on earth, we wait to hear their side of the story with the crypt keeper of fame, Larry King.

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