The F.O.G. of Celebrity: A Brief Essay
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The F.O.G. of Celebrity: A Brief Essay

Yet another celebrity prom has waltzed its red carpet wonder across our collective digital platform as the Golden Globes kicked off award season into high gear last Sunday. But, I couldn’t help feeling a creeping sense of dread as I watched the typically over-long show. Ricky Gervais’ snide comments, expertly aimed at these privileged performers, forecasted a ‘perfect storm’ of smug that was slowly, inevitably enveloping the room.

We all know that the Golden Globes are less of an award show and more of an opportunity for Hollywood to advertise their content while they prime our collective attention for the upcoming Oscar awards. And with every celebrity at the show drinking endless bottle service, the alcohol-fueled vulnerability lends their acceptance speeches a kind of awkward sincerity that allows the audience to think these celebs are just as flawed as themselves.

These award shows have always been purposed towards the wholesale manufacture of these contrived moments of authenticity performed by Hollywood’s chosen few. Who wouldn’t want to vicariously participate in the artistic victory and subsequent validation of their favorite actor, writer, director, etc…?

But after the Sony hackings conspicuously articulated the present state of Hollywood dysfunction, will we as an audience still buy the masquerade of sincerity that pervades throughout these kinds of ceremonies?  The answer (of course) is yes – and we always will. We all want to be in that room. We all want to be an “F.O.G.”(Friend of George). That being said, did Mr. Clooney need to remind everyone in that room they have “caught the brass ring.”? I’m sure Jennifer Lopez was pleasantly reminded of this as she donned her boob-bearing Zuhair Murad dress.

Regardless of our willing suspension of disbelief when it comes to award shows, the Golden Globes can’t help but showcase these vulnerabilities as they are inevitably transformed into ever more grandiose displays of contrived honesty. Is all that we are left with now just desperate celebrities showcasing even more desperate ways of legitimizing their careers? It seems that the only sincerity that Hollywood has to offer is (was) under virtual lock and key and it ain’t ready for prime-time (much less the red carpet).

The Emperor’s New Clothes have never fit so well as the artists and their bosses marched down the red carpet clothed in nothing but a sense of mutual contempt that has deeply compromised Hollywood’s ability to prop up its own manufactured sense of sincerity. All we’re left with is a celebrity cluster fuck of well-rehearsed smiles on top of a heap of loathing and contempt broadcast in all of its naked glory.

Billy Bob Thornton’s acceptance speech for best supporting actor in a T.V. series for his role as Lorne Malvo in the FX series Fargo seemed to be the most cogent response to the current era of Hollywood’s digital dysfunction, “These days, you get in a lot of trouble, no matter what you say. You can say anything in the world and get in trouble. I know this for a fact. So I’m just going to say thank you.” How’s that for sincerity – nuff said.

 

article written by Arthur Glover and John Mclean

 

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