Thursday, June 3, 2004

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The comparative advantage of American celebrities

Most American celebrities will do whatever they can to stay in the media spotlight. In recent years, this has meant participating in reality TV shows, either of their own making (Jessica Simpson, Anna Nicole Smith) or of others (Celebrity Mole, Celebrity Fear Factor, Celebrity Boxing, The Simple Life, etc.).

On a regular basis, social critics bemoan the manifest craving of fame that engulfs the United States and its celebrity tabloid culture. And it's undeniably true that there's much to be mocked. But in defense of American celebrities, they're willing to go to great lengths to stay in the limelight. Unlike, apparently, those from the country of Colombia, according to the Dan Molinski of the Associated Press:

The bugs — both the ones that bite and those that must be eaten to stave off hunger — the heat and other discomforts are claiming their toll as celebrity contestants on a Colombian "Survivor"-style reality show drop like flies.

Instead of trying to endure to the very end on a verdant tropical peninsula in order to collect the cash prize, several are pleading with their tribes to vote them off the show.

"Isla de los Famosos" — Spanish for "Island of the Celebrities" — has captured a broad audience, partly because viewers in a country where most people live in poverty are getting a kick out of watching models, singers and actors deal with the gritty business of day-to-day survival....

"I figured that since we were celebrities, we'd be given preferential treatment, but it was really, really hard," said Jorge Cardenas, a 33-year-old pop singer who begged his fellow tribe members to expel him only one week after arriving. His wish was granted....

Norma Nivia, a leggy, blonde Colombian model, also asked her teammates to oust her.

"For me, the problem was all the mosquitoes that were biting me constantly," she said after returning to Bogota, Colombia's cosmopolitan capital. "Then I got sunstroke, had to stay in the shade all day and cover my whole body with clothing."

Could you picture someone like Kathy Griffin begging off a celebrity show because of mosquitoes? Hell no!

So raise your glass to American celebrities -- the indefatigable cockroaches of the mediasphere!

posted by Dan on 06.03.04 at 02:42 PM


All this to return to the safety of . . . Bogota?

posted by: Crank on 06.03.04 at 02:42 PM [permalink]

Those whiner celebrities are similar to Johnny Rotten's stint on the UK survivor type show (I'm a celebrity etc) ...he really wanted off the show, used a fine double-expletive on live TV when he wasn't voted off, and then got his wish a little later. Not a cockroach.

posted by: P O'Neill on 06.03.04 at 02:42 PM [permalink]

If there's a fund to keep Kathy Griffin from ever appearing in the media again, I'll throw in a $20.

posted by: Hei Lun Chan on 06.03.04 at 02:42 PM [permalink]

I'll just note that 2 of the contestants on the most recent US Survivor (which used "all-stars" who had already taken part in one edition of the game) left voluntarily. If I remember correctly (I didn't watch it), one had an ailing relative at home, and the other was extremely upset by something that happened during the competition.

posted by: Devin McCullen on 06.03.04 at 02:42 PM [permalink]

Hollywood wasn't always so bad, and not all of it is so bad now.

James Woods serves as a Reserve Los Angeles Police Officer.

Pat Sajak serves on the board of the Claremont Institute.

Penn Teller is a Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute.

Kim Serafin served as Deputy Press Secretary to Rudolph Guliani.

Denis Leary established the Leary Firefighters' Foundation Fund.

Glenn Ford served with both the United Staes Special Forces and the French Foreign Legion.

posted by: Hollyood Will on 06.03.04 at 02:42 PM [permalink]

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