Won't somebody please
please tell me what's wrong?
We don’t have stars anymore.
We have celebrities, but we do not have stars.
This is a star.
This is also a real woman.
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I can remember when Elvis debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show. This was pre-1960. The Beatles on Sullivan came years later. Presley's gyrating hips on TV in the late 50s was heralded as a signpost in the decline of Western Civilization as we knew it. But to answer Josh's question about what's wrong today, I think I can put my finger on it. Today nobody wants to be the grownup in the room.
"Let somebody else do that, I just want to have fun. Yes, I know I'm 35 and not getting any younger, but still, make somebody else play the grownup." There have always been people who took that tack but fortunately there were always enough other people who wanted to be the adult in this play we call Life. What has changed since at least the 90s is that NOBODY wants to be the adult now and that is painfully evident in our pop culture.
This problem extends to entertainers and sports figure who don't see why they should be role models just because they're blessed with certain abilities, talent, and lots of money. Role models, i.e., grownups, have become an endangered species. The big irony is that nobody is completely grown up anyway so there was always a bit of play acting in it. Cary Grant was a respectable man whose impoverished upbringing on the mean streets of Britain marked him for life. How did he become known as the epitome of class, style, and urbanity? He agreed to play the grownup. It was difficult and Grant acknowledged as much when he commented, "It's not easy being 'Cary Grant'." A lot of people understood what he meant - and blessed him for it.
I suspect reality TV has something to do with it. Fame no longer requires achieving anything at all.