Might as well get THIS one out of the way: the Sex/ Internet/ Microfame story of the week comes to us courtesy of Kat Stoeffel at the New York Observer, who introduces us to 21 year-old college student and occasional writer-about-sex on the internet "Marie Calloway" (a pseudonym). Sometimes Marie writes about sex, on Tumblr, or on Thought Catalog. Does this make her "the model for literary seductresses" in the "internet age?" No. It just makes her a girl, with a Tumblr.
How did fameballs get famous in 18th-century Britain? They died! Now that we have the Internet, you don't have to wait for your own death to get written up in the papers—you can publish all your career-killing overshares yourself. But back then, "research by the University of Warwick shows [that] death gave birth to the modern cult of celebrity, as the sudden rise in the popularity of obituaries of unusual people in the 1700s provided people with the... equivalent of a celebrity gossip magazine," says Eureka Alert. It was often the eccentrics "from all walks of life" that people loved to read about, such as a man who would "hire himself out to impersonate a doctor and tell fortunes in a fur cap, a large white beard and a worn damask night gown." Hm, what sort of eccentrics would we write about today in those obits? Perhaps a girl from the Midwest who came to the big city, and whose quest for any sort of fame involved buying 180 candy bars, removing the wrappers, and stitching them together to make an eye-catching outfit:
So I was in my bathroom last night, flipping through the "It Girl" issue of Nylon* and the whole thing reminded me of another thing I saw but had no desire to post about earlier this week, the fact that Leigh "Princess Coldstare" Lezark was photographed attending at least 21 shows at Fashion Week. Yeah, no one cares! Blame the Subprime Celebrity Crisis.Of course no one cares about Leigh Lezark and Cory Kennedy and Peaches Geldof and even Julia Allison and no offense but their "zero money down" strategy w/r/t talent! This silly idea of Andy Warhol's about everyone getting to be microfamous is just as silly as the idea that everyone in America needs to own a house when obviously they really don't have the "marketable skills" our society would deem worthy of that sort of security. But we invested then-valuable hours in their crappy fundamentals and look what happened: they and Lindsay and Paris and the pothead socialite tranche and the Kardashian tranche and the reformed rapper concubine tranche brought the WHOLE CELEBRITY MARKET crashing down with them. And now it is up to Us Weekly to make sure Sarah Palin doesn't get elected while we at Gawker educate you in the ways of the new communist regime. Look, it is not like people were paying us to give them "AAA ratings." We hated them all along, every one, but we get paid by the page view. That is how the free market works. Or doesn't, I dunno! Anyway thank you market for rallying in support of us trying to figure out complicated things such as "How fucked are the people who don't actually have any money?" Please celebrate the liquidity while it lasts this beautiful cold weekend!
The much-vaunted Miss Williamsburg pageant we warned you about has come and gone. What to say—the hip neighborhood manages to simultaneously be everything that's wrong and right with Brooklyn's creative slacker class. Since we didn't have the energy to attend (it sounded exhausting), we are happy that the New York Press covered the blessed event. "The girl crowned Miss Williamsburg, C.J. Johnson, boasted the talent of shot-gunning a PBR and taking her panties off through an American Apparel 'onesie'..." Click through to see the crowned King and Queen of Williamsburg, along with pageant drama (includes Xanax and New Jersey!)
Microcelebrity: how long does it last? Will there be a retrospective blog roundup in early 2009 called "2008's Fameballs: Where are they now?" We suspect that the half-life of Internet fame is even shorter than that of regular fame. Continuing today's Warholian fifteen-minutes-fame theme—hey, we exist just to accelerate the man's predictions—Young Manhattanite writes that "the Gawker orbit in 2003-04 was a weird one, full of sparkling transient miscreants who you befriended, respected and were disgusted by all at the same time... [Matt Harvey] was a fixture, as much as one could be in Denton's then sparsely furnished loft, on the scene and got his share of linkage." Wait, who? The only photo they were able to dig up of the supertan former Anonymous Outsider blogger in the wild is this one, taken years ago in said loft. Maybe he got eaten by the Internet! No, actually—as an article by Harvey himself explains in the New York Press's sex column this week, what he's been up to is kicking heroin:
Oh, Rexie! The Internet micro-fame expert and boyfriend of the Huffpo's Rachel Sklar seems a bit shook up by our post about him yesterday—which honestly, by our standards, was fairly mild. "I wish I could remember my internet safe word," he Twittered. We'll congratulate him on the S&M reference, but Internet "friends" are irresponsible playmates that don't always stop when you're writhing on the floor, simultaneously begging for more and crying, "Red!" You know what else is fallout from microfame? This is how you know you've truly made it: somebody anonymous devotes 1,489 words to writing a fake chronicle of your sex life.
Fake it 'til you make it, as the saying goes. Noncelebrity Julia Allison is doing just that, advertising for three interns to do God knows what—in the words of the current intern, "One day you might be picking up dog for food [our dogs] Lilly and Mason, and the next you're researching great date spots or the newest gadget." We know, you're thinking "Why does one need an intern to help you run your professional Tumblr?" After the jump, actual evidence of what the last intern did: collect quotes from gushy reader e-mail for Julia's vanity-project "personal collection."
Rex Sorgatz arrived in New York six scant months ago, but he's already got it all figured out. After an advanced anthropological study of Internet Microfame, he's published his initial findings in New York Magazine. In explaining the concept, he also instructs the reader on how to become microfamous in three easy steps! "To persevere in the new age of celebrity, you need to return to the well, repeating these steps of creating, oversharing, and responding." Soon you too can dog-sit for Julia Allison. We are all Tay Zonday, Emily Brill, and the Tron Guy now. [NYM]
You may have seen an article in this weekend's Times Sunday Styles section concerning frustrated office workers yearning for pinprick shafts of fame who achieve those tiny morsels of celebrity by offering tiny nuggets of wit on popular weblogs. That's right: The age of the commenter has arrived! Using a tortured analogy to Elton John's "Rocket Man," the article, absolutely dripping with derision, examines the psychology of why someone might extend so much effort for such a meager payoff: They're too lame to start their own blogs!