Questionably Famous

October 31st, 2013 | BY: Gretchen Devero

It used to be that “famous” was “famous,” with no explanation necessary. A Hollywood star was famous, a musician on the radio was famous, a Nobel Prize winner was famous. But in this Internet era, and especially the social media era, what is “famous?” What do you have to be or do, to be considered famous? It means more than what Merriam Webster defines it to be:

fa·mous /ˈfāməәs/
1. Known about by many people.

According to this definition, Rebecca Black is famous and so is Antoine Dodson. Antoine Dodson acquired so many fans with his Bed Intruder YouTube video that he was asked to perform at the 2010 BET Awards. Rebecca Black’s Friday YouTube video got her 167 million views and interviews on morning news shows. Have 167 million people watched a movie starring Hollywood actress, Rooney Mara? Probably not. Does that make Rebecca Black more famous than a Hollywood actress? It depends on your definition of famous.

After Kanye West recently declared that his girlfriend and reality television star Kim Kardashian, deserves to be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, spokesperson for The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Ana Martinez, shed some light: “I hate to say it, but a lot of people just don’t like her.  No one has ever nominated her.”  So what is Kim Kardashian?  Dare we call her infamous?  What about sports professionals like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong who are struck with intense scandals that mask their professional talents?  Will they go down in history as being famous or infamous professional athletes?  Perhaps they take another form of infamous that we have not yet coined.

We created these words, “famous” and “infamous,” in the late 14th century to distinguish between the good and bad natures of fame.  It was black and white back then: Al Capone was infamous, Frank Sinatra was famous; Lee Harvey Oswald was infamous, Albert Einstein was famous.  But we have so many gray areas in today’s world of fame; these two terms don’t seem to cut it anymore.  We need a suite of words to help us better differentiate between the many types of “famous” and “infamous” in today’s Hollywood society.

Here at Sylvain Labs, we’ve tossed around a few. What do you think? Are there any other types of famous?

Familiage RealiteaseInspiraconMortifameSexiconPundistarShamshock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE: Sad. But true.

October 24th, 2013 | BY:

 

Every so often we hit on a topic that generates an email chain worthy of sharing. This article/video from NYTimes.com sparked the following conversation…

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/disruptions-more-connected-yet-more-alone/?_r=0#!

 The two minute video “I Forgot My Phone” has been viewed more than 26 million times. It follows a day in the life a woman while the people around her focus all their attention on their phones.

“It’s a direct hit on our smartphone-obsessed culture, needling us about our addiction to that little screen and suggesting that maybe life is  just better led when it is lived rather than viewed.

“It makes me sad that there are moments in our lives where we’re not present because we’re looking at a phone,” said Ms. deGuzman, [who starred in and wrote the piece], She mused that, like it or not, experiencing life through a four-inch screen could be the new norm.”

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The True Meaning Of Halloween

October 22nd, 2013 | BY: Merideth Peck

With October 31st just around the corner, the Halloween spirit is out in full force. Jack-o-lanterns litter our Instagram feeds. Candy corn fills our stomachs. Hocus Pocus beams from our screens. But, as the Halloween fury takes over, it’s important for us all to take time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday, a powerful sentiment that’s often overlooked. 

Like all of America’s holidays, Halloween is intensely commercialized. Second only to Christmas, people spend nearly $7 billion a year on candy, costumes, and decorations. More than $300 million of that goes to pet attire alone.

But, unlike our other dozen holidays, Halloween exists in commercial society alone. While other holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Independence Day, honor historic events that are relevant to our nation or religion, Halloween is uniquely freed up from its past. Does anyone know the story of how Halloween came to be? Do we know the history behind any of its traditions – Why we carve pumpkins, dress up in silly costumes, gorge on candy? Most of us have no idea. Nor, do we even feel the need to pretend we do.  Because that’s not what Halloween is about.

Alchemist Halloween.001

Instead of being focused on honoring history, Halloween is, in fact, an unapologetic celebration of consumer and pop culture today. Without shame or inhibitions, Halloween encourages everyone to take a moment to relish the awesomeness of America’s excessive consumerism. We don costumes, honoring advertising’s greatest icons and pop culture’s favorite heroes – Miley Cyrus, Breaking Bad, Duck Dynasty, and even the “Fox” from Ylvis’s viral video top Google’s lists of the most popular searched costumes this year. We scarf down Reese’s and Hershey’s candy. We carve pumpkins cherishing the latest memes. Halloween is indeed the one night we all come together to celebrate consumer and pop culture in all its glory, without guilt or humiliation.

So, when next Thursday night rolls around and we emerge from our apartments, likely dressed as a twerkin’ teddy bear or in a yellow jump suit, let us not forget the true meaning of the holiday and what we’re really celebrating. Gather everyone ’round and give a big Jello shot cheers for America’s amazing consumer culture and for the gift of Halloween that lets us truly honor it.

Featured Posts

Questionably Famous

It used to be that “famous” was “famous,” with no explanation necessary. A Hollywood star was famous, a musician on the radio was famous, a Nobel Prize winner was famous. But in this Internet era, and especially the social media era, what is “famous?” What do you have to be or do, to be considered […]

RE: Sad. But true.

Every so often we hit on a topic that generates an email chain worthy of sharing. This article/video from NYTimes.com sparked the following conversation...

The True Meaning Of Halloween

With October 31st just around the corner, the Halloween spirit is out in full force. Jack-o-lanterns litter our Instagram feeds. Candy corn fills our stomachs. Hocus Pocus beams from our screens. But, as the Halloween fury takes over, it’s important for us all to take time to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday, […]

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