Happy In Bag

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Well Hung

I always marvel at the sight of spectators going nuts at sporting events in an effort to appear on the stadium’s video screen for a few fleeting seconds. And the people who consent to television news interviews on the worst day of their lives completely mystify me.

But as I watched William Hung warble a remarkable version of Achy Breaky Heart and ineptly croon Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree, I had an epiphany about the state of celebrity in America. The former American Idol participant was in Kansas City Friday as the "Grand Marshall" of the 18th Annual Elvis Parade.

Forget Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame. We can all be stars now, all of the time. The charisma-free Hung stands as proof of that. Any one of the geeks dressed as Elvis, every sad-sack devotee of the classic rock radio station sponsoring the event, and all of the office workers in attendance on their lunch break would be more competent than Hung. And that’s the point.

Fame has been democratized. Technologies and platforms including ubiquitous camera phones, Xanga, My Space and reality television have accelerated this welcome revolution.

Of course, I’m no different. I produce this modest blog and I co-host a significantly more popular podcast. There will always be traditional celebrities. But their stars will be diminished by this new form of everyman celebrity.

There’s not just a bit of Elvis in all of us. We’re all William Hung.

Can I have your autograph?


  • At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for not saying that "we're all Will Hung."


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