For once, I agree with Chris Hedges.WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD?...We all have gods, Martin Luther said, it is just a question of which ones. And in American society our gods are often celebrities. Religious belief and practice are commonly transferred to the adoration of celebrities. Our celebrity culture builds reliquaries and shrines to celebrities the way Romans built them for divine emperors, ancestors and household gods. We are a de facto polytheistic society. We engage in shamanism. Relics of celebrities, like relics of the dead among ancestor cults in Africa, Asia or the medieval Catholic Church, are coveted as magical talismans.
...Buses wind their way through the Hollywood hills so tourists can gawk at the walls that barricade the homes of the famous. The celebrity interview or profile, pioneered on television by Barbara Walters and now a ubiquitous part of the news and entertainment industry, gives us the illusion that we are intimately related to celebrities as well as the characters they portray. In celebrity culture we seek to validate ourselves through these imaginary relationships with celebrities. Real life, our own life, is viewed next to the lives of celebrities as inadequate and inauthentic. Celebrities are portrayed as idealized forms of ourselves. It is we, in perverse irony, who are never fully actualized in a celebrity culture.
MORE AT THE LINK