Being Famous for Being Famous Not Paying Like It Used To

Magazines! Nightclub appearances! The once easy-access revenue stream for desperate celebrities is swiftly drying up in the shadow of this New Depression.

Pop singer Spears and her teenage, be-babied sister Jamie Lynn used to get paid for giving exclusive content to the gossip rag, but now new publisher Kent Brownridge has tightened the belt and Spears patriarch Jamie refuses to do business with them. OK! has banned its staffers from attending any Spears-related events (State Fair pickle jar guessing contests, Arby's ribbon cutting ceremonies, etc.) as well. As the magazine industry declines on its own, its peripheral celebrity remoras will just have to fend for themselves.

Much like kinda-celebrities who survive on appearance fees, another facet of the famous face machine that seems in decline, will have to strike out alone on their own two wobbly legs a bit more than in years past. Sure some folks like Chloe Sevigny still get hefty sums to show up to parties and look bored, but New Year's Eve proved to be lonely and profit-less for many a Z-list red carpet hog. Reality stars, who rely pretty much solely on useless appearance payouts to subsidize their crappy condos, will especially suffer in this new, miserly world—in which they have no practical talent or ability. The nightlife industry—restaurants, clubs, burlesque houses—are all immediate victims of recessiony tough times, and we'd bet that some of the first things to be whittled away from budgets will be the exorbitant sums once spent to have some Real World cast member show up and do shots in between yawns.

This decline seems partly the fault of the whole industry becoming just way too transparent. Even celebrities who give their magazine hauls away to charity, like Angelina Jolie, are catching heat for their pay-me-because-I'm-famous deals these days. A celebrity who's way less altruistic, but still as public about their big money arrangements with magazines and various nightclub venues, looks to be facing some insurmountable odds—as people become grizzled and hardened by stark economic futures, these bozos' pursuit of splashy, glittery lives achieved through very little work becomes less forgivable (may we be venturing into "unconscionable" territory?) People are just too concerned with actual important things (i.e. themselves) to tolerate all of this high-gloss chicanery. (For example, last night's Golden Globes broadcast brought the ceremony its lowest ratings in 12 years.)

We'd offer our condolences to some specific peeps, only we can't remember any of their names right now.