There is a temptation to view modern celebrities as experts, as if we were gazing up at trapeze artists, assured of their capability on the line.
A turn or twist to surprise us, a wobble to goad. Even the occasional tumble seems overacted, milked somehow, and certainly choreographed. Those fallen stars maintain both our suspense and our attention for the remaining performers.
Middle America’s lovechild Justin Bieber, gushing and idolised, has been photographed smoking pot.
This is circus-theatre; we have paid our money and will laud, condemn and finally cast our judgement on the characters. For somebody in Bieber’s position this photograph constitutes a crisis. The predictable squirming and backpedalling by all involved has resulted in a series of heartfelt tweets, presumably with careful wording from his management agency.
This script is well written and not without precedent. An apology here is not enough. Bieber, acting as his own character reference, must denounce his actions as being inauthentic to his self.
This elucidates the condition under which celebrities such as Bieber are allowed their fame — provided that all private actions are subordinate to a public identity. Which, due to the ubiquity of phone-cameras, is a 24-hour job. He is a slave to his beliebers.
… Continue Reading