Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Shine like a star

What a coincidence! Within hours of my last post, about the Daily Mail attacking ageing celebrities, they ran another story that turned the subject on its head. This time though, they commissioned an ageing celebrity to attack other people - namely the 'sub-lebrities' who she feels are muscling in on her carefully composed limelight.

Demonstrating a talent for writing matched only by her acting skills, Joan Collins has thrown up a wonderfully condescending piece about her glory days - which you'd be forgiven for thinking would be around 1350 AD.

You see, Joan remembers when the word 'star' meant a gloriously untouchable luminary of stage and screen, rather than a dimly-remembered newsreader negotiating her dentures around a marsupial's testes.

These 'nonentities', as Joan so kindly refers to them, haven't put in the hard work to attain their celebrity. They're 'nobodies' and 'wannabes', "devoid of talent, beauty or charm". Which is a little rich coming from someone who sustained her own jet-setting lifestyle by allowing Leonard Rossiter to throw his Cinzano down her front, like a contestant in the world's least appealing wet T-shirt competition.

Come to think of it, the word 'wannabe' deserves a little more interrogation. I've always assumed it refers to a performer aspiring to be something they're not, which must be completely alien to a woman whose career only really took off when 20th Century Fox signed her in 1954 as their answer to MGM's Elizabeth Taylor. Or when she signed up for the woeful Flintstones sequel playing the role originated by Ms Taylor.

Missing the irony in her ugly rant, Joan continues: "Their instant fame had absolutely nothing to do with dedication to a craft, talent or even hard work. Instead, it was: 'Look at me, I'm famous' - and that's all they wanted."

Fame through association turns Joan's stomach. Unless, of course, it's her father Joseph publishing his own autobiography "A Touch of Collins" in 1986. Or her daughter, Tara Newley, and her ill-fated attempts at TV presenting and pop music. And the fact that Joan's most successful output in the 1970s was a pair of tacky sex romps, based on books by her sister, is neither here nor there.

Equally troubling to St Joan is the fact that these so-called (copyright Daily Mail) celebrities sustain their fame through reality TV shows aimed at the lowest common denominator. You know, shows like 'Joan Does Glamour', where the scathing septuagenarian bullied poorly-dressed proles for not wearing vintage Halston and a mink stole.

Scoring highly on Joan's sub-lebrity scale is Britney Spears, who was tacky enough to endure a psychological meltdown in the glare of the flashbulbs. Sympathetically describing Britney's various cries for help as "bizarre and outrageous antics", Joan blames the young singer for causing "paparazzi chaos whenever she ventured out of her house". Never once does it occur to Joan that the problem here lies, not with the celebrities themselves, but with the avaricious press that go to increasingly intrusive lengths to wallow in every aspect of these people's lives.

Bring back the good old days, says Joan. When homosexuals like Rock Hudson had the decency to hide themselves away. And when one of the most famous people in the world was Jackie Kennedy Onassis, a woman whose only notable talent was snagging a couple of powerful husbands.

Joan's got it wrong. The world of celebrity has always attracted fame-hungry, grasping, talentless whores. And people who live in glass houses need to clean their mirrors occasionally.

No comments:

Post a Comment