Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Emperor's Public Affair

Yesterday I was about to pass a downtown hotel where a flock of paparazzi were waiting patiently for someone. A black SUV was standing at the curb, doors open, driver standing by, waiting. My friend implored me to stay and wait, and so I did, even though I feared this would be a living example of all that I hate about the cult of celebrity. And it was, for in just a few minutes, Jessica Simpson walked out, slowly and deliberately, her hangers-on discreetly far enough away so as to not block the cameras. The entire thing was incredibly fake, and so obviously planned. How did a dozen paparazzi know to be standing by the front doors of the Soho Grand at just that time? How did a few people manage to have glossy photos of her ready for a signature? It was so clear that her publicity machine had tipped them off and yet here she walked, bravely holding court under the "pressure" of so much attention. ("Poor thing! She can't even walk out of a hotel without being bothered!" Well, you know what? She can! It's called discretion, and subtlety, and not making such a big deal about everything so that others think it's a big deal that you can take 100 steps unaided. Oh, never mind.) She had on a really bad short platinum wig, although as I remarked to my friend, isn't she always in a wig? My impression is that her hair usually is extensions.

I sometimes think I'm the only sane person around, the only one watching the Emperor trip down the sidewalk in his birthday suit who is repulsed by the fact that he's flabby and naked. (Yes, I just made a flabby and naked metaphor for Jessica Simpson. It's early; leave me alone.) But really, I just wanted to smack those photographers on the sides of their heads and ask, "Don't you have anything better to do?" And to Jessica's "handlers" (one of whom, my friend pointed out, is her stylist - apparently one needs a stylist on hand at all times - even one with questionable taste in hairpieces), what the fuck are you doing? There's something weirdly JonBenet-ish about watching this tiny plastic doll shoved out on display, all to generate income for the money-making machine that is her "career." She didn't look happy, or natural, or relaxed, or even human.

Okay, so I don't happen to like the woman. I think the attention paid to her is grossly disproportionate to the level of her talent. She's pretty (if you like that china doll gone porn star vibe) but her career is based on "singing" and "acting," neither of which she seems to do very well. It's all in the packaging, and when all you have going for you is that, you'd better hope nobody wakes up and sees the Emperor's nakedness. The biggest issue I have is that there are many truly talented young artists out there who don't happen to be as attractive as she is, or able to afford the plastic surgery, or have a father/manager like she has, but can actually produce great music if they only could get noticed.

Of course, I'm being silly, as nobody is going to point any of this out, not as long as she is making money for them. My friend said that those photographers earned a pretty penny for those photos. (Really? Even though they were obviously staged?) Too late, I remembered my new phone has a camera, so to mark the occasion, I took a shot. As you can see, I wasn't that concerned about getting photographic proof that I shared a sidewalk with a blond "pop star" but I think you can make out her shiny blond bob to the left.

Now, when you Google "Jessica Simpson" images, will this come up? Has my hit-rate suddenly sky-rocketed? Maybe I need to make more of those naked Emperor references in this post.

Blogger spell check snafu of the day: For "Jessica's" it suggestes "cheesecake."" Is someone out there having fun?


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