Ostensibly writing about Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, Michael Jackson and Radionhead s Thom Yorke in her Washington Post column yesterday, a chastened Tina Brown really seems to be speaking from the heart (she has one!) about her own recent experience. She writes with sympathy and feeling of the space human multimedia brands inhabit and how they come to feel like prisons.
Now that every celebrity has become a human home page, we are assailed by her brand extension at every turn. Each time Martha Stewart announces another new deal it makes me want to slip quietly away and take a nap...Doesn't Martha realize how lucky she is not to have to show up at the Time 100 Most Influential People dinner?...The genuinely, or even minimally, creative artist or performer who carries around the usual bundle of frail nerves, ill temper and gloomy introspection learns that the multimedia universe is becoming a place where you can sicken and die from the sight of your own reflection...You so rarely hear big-time talent talking this way about their work. It doesn't fit the paradigms of celebrity journalism. Artistic angst — which, after all, only the luckiest people on Earth are in a position to feel in the first place — is not what readers of the fabloids want to hear about. They want to hear about the marital, romantic and weight-gain sufferings of the stars.
"O sleep! O gentle sleep!/Nature s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee/That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down/And steep my senses in forgetfulness?" Wouldn't it be grand? No more Graydon. No more Hearst. No more Harvey. No more Talk. No more Henry the Intern...—MG
Trapped in the Celebrity Web [Washington Post]