Saturday, January 02, 2010

The catchphrase of the decade. - By Ron Rosenbaum - Slate Magazine

The catchphrase of the decade. - By Ron Rosenbaum - Slate Magazine: "Fifteen minutes of fame has had its 15 minutes of fame. Way more than 15 years of fame, actually. And its original meaning has been subtly but ineradicably distorted. When Andy Warhol uttered it in his faux-naive way (or real-naive—I could never really tell; I'm not sure even he could), he meant it, at least in part, as a celebratory observation, not an anti-celebrity thing. When he said 'in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,' he was pointing out how much fun that would be. Fame, in other words, would be as widely accessible a popular commodity as Campbell's soup. And, he implied, that's a good thing.
OK, maybe that didn't turn out to be true in all respects. Still, the phrase is inevitably used now with a disdainful sneer. A self-satisfied tone of elitist condescension. I mean, didn't you feel there was some of that in the sneering at the White House party crashers? How dare those little people, those nobodies, seeking their '15 minutes of fame,' aspire to be seated next to the truly important people in Washington who have done so much good for the nation? Who had to put in years of sucking up to get invited to a White House dinner, while these climbers waltzed right in?"