When I was younger I would at times hear my grandparents speak of their youth and how they longed for those times. Fast forward 20 years or so (give or take) and I am starting to recognize why they had a love for all things nostalgic.
For me the lamenting of older times came after the release of Pam Anderson’s sex tape, then Paris Hilton’s sex tape, then R. Kelly’s sex tape … with a minor. It came from Kate Moss’ coke fest at the studio. It came from Naomi Campbell’s beating up on the help. What about Brangelina, Bennifer and Blakegate? Ok the last one I made up for alliterative purposes. No one came up with a name for the Robert Blake fiasco so I figured why not?
These celebrities (take that term in the loosest possible sense) appeal to the lowest common denominator. They would sell their souls for the quickest possible road to fame and a buck. The photographers that follow them and those that consider themselves serious news journalists are no better. Instead of going for the next Pulitzer covering ethnic cleansing in some third world country, they sit camped out in front of Jennifer Anniston’s house hoping to catch a glimpse of Vince Vaughn by the pool. I guess someone has to do the dirty work.
The celebrities of yesteryear were flawed as well. There are no halos around the likes of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Marlon Brando. The difference may be that we have 24 hour access to celebrities of our time. If Colin Farrell is in bed with a married young starlet, we will know the minute the condom comes off. DNA testing will prove that the tryst happened; but who will need DNA when the DVD is on sale at your local porn emporium? His publicist would have already spun the affair into something that could put more rears in seats for the debut of Miami Vice.
The time of the fashion icon with grace, mystery and majesty may be over. Audrey Hepburne may have had several interests but you would never be in her bedroom with night vision video recording the whole affair. Frank Sinatra may have slept with half of Hollywood but he did it his way and we never knew about it except for the rumors. That mystique is gone and when I read about Star Jones’ stomach stapling and face lift, I long for it.