Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fast-food combo of love, luxury and purpose

Niedzviecki's "EVERYONE'S A STAR" strikes me as utterly true to the core. A major idea that he points out is that popular culture today encourages us to reach for the skies and run after our dream of becoming famous despite the  fact we may be as ordinary as it gets. There is a huge hype going on: everyone wants to become a superstar. This reminds me of how Professor Retzinger gave the example of how kids shifted from playing Candyland to playing Kids on Stage. But is it our fault that we strive for this dream? In reality, media has really embedded this fantasy in our minds to genuinely believe that this is what we want rather than living a mediocre life. Popular culture fills our head with empty promises of success, which Niedzviecki describes as the "fast-food combo order of everlasting love, luxury, and life purpose" (69).

He begins the passage using Canadian Idol as an example to show how the opportunity of being discovered has opened up. The thought of possibly making it becomes a potential reality. Regardless of who wins the ultimate show, all of the contestants have the same thing on their mind: I'll be recognize for simply being on the show. A contestant that Niedzviecki interviews even says "you get seen and maybe picked out for something else in movies, or singing or dancing." It's not a matter of which show you win; rather, how much time you get on the air. Todd Gitlin writes, "Today, there are vast possibilities for micro-celebrity: the talk-show guest, the studio spectator... the neighbor on camera after the kidnapping next door, the character wading into the margins of 'real life,' saying 'Look at me, I'm here too!'" He refers to the people who so desperately yearn to be on camera, noticed, for their 15 minutes of fame.

This bring me to the video I would like to share with you all. Do you remember the home break-in on the news and the protective brother of the victim? His emphatic speech meant for the intruder became a hit on YouTube, where people made remixes of it. If you were thinking Antoine Dodsen, you're right. He had two minutes on the air and those two minutes granted him all of this fame. He now has a YouTube channel with more than 106,000 subscribers. Even though he didn't mean to get famous in the first place, he is now using his reputation and the publicity to make himself known even more, doing celebrity meet-and-greets, filming commercials, and interviews. You can even find Halloween costume of the outfit he wore in the video.

Here is the original news coverage

Enjoy the remix

A preview of one of the commercials he did

1 comment:

  1. Great example, Jean. Niedzviecki was certainly on my mind this week, as I caught part of the first episode of the new X-Factor (with Britney Spears as a new judge). Based purely on musical judgment, I thought the first contestant to perform was okay, but not worth passing to the next round, but there was an extensive back story about the young man, the audience cheered him on, and the judges all praised him and put him through to the next stage. The power of the story? A lack of more qualified contestants? It boggles my mind.