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Post-Influencer/Celebrity Culture What it says on the tin

#1 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 09 January 2023 - 03:19 PM

I tried to find a relevant thread to post these thoughts in, but could not find one.

As a consumer of art (books, movies, tv ect.) I find myself seeing/reading "news" items of the entertainment industry, and 90% or more of it is now Influencer type rich people (Kardashians, ect.) or other celebrity rich people whose lives have become news. Like I came across a supposed news item that was pop artist Charlie XCX taking a pot shot at Hailey Beiber for wearing a t-shirt with the words "Nepo Baby" scrawled across it (unironic acknowledgement of who her family is I guess?)...how in the sweet living fuck is this news of any import to anyone? The next article? North West ripping on her mom on TikTok for likes...some rich assholes birthday party and who attended...the list goes on.

Can I ignore these articles? Yes. Do I? Yes. But it's the volume of them, and the sheer disconnect between us and these rich assholes who got rich off us being humans who instinctively like drama like they can provide by behaving like rich assholes...we are literally a fucking commodity...this sells and influencers are popular and followed because of this fact.

Add in social media and they've got a one-on-one line to everyone every minute of the day from their altar, and things go viral for this reason.

I keep thinking about us (as in the masses) coming to our senses ab out this state of being, where rich capitalists can even exploit our free time by digging in the salacious muck to get ad dollars to their sponsors, and swindle people not making their "BRAND" as people still relevant.

I want to open the news one day and learn that the Kardashians (I'm using them as an example, because holy fuck not a day goes by that I don't hear SOMETHING related to them) are no longer relevant, that in a hopeful and perhaps post-scarcity world they have become dinosaurs and reminders of one of the most selfish times in our history as humans.

Of course this means climate awareness, anti-capitalist points taking hold, politics leaning much more left, and a world in which we MAKE them irrelevant by dint of their utter and complete uselessness to us in what they do or provide society.

There's a character in Kim Stanley Robinson's Cli-Fi (more Financial-Fi; FiFi? really) who is technically an influencer as we would view one...BUT....she hosts an internet show where she rescues endangered species and moves them to more hospitable environments as the climate continues to make ecosystems shapeshift...this is the thing that makes her popular and worth watching. So it approaches the idea that we will never rid ourselves of celebrity as a whole, but we can change what it is they promote, produce, and what it provides society by being critical of anything that doesn't.

I'm just tired. And cranky. And old. I want a world for my kids that doesn't include the vapid level of influencers/celebrity who provide nothing to society but exist as rich soap opera fodder for people to consume.

I realize that this is all in the clouds, and we will likely drive down further into such things....but I kind of wish that GenZ and Gen Alpha eventually band together to reject this shit and surprise me. I've seen inklings of it in Gen Z being MUCH more aware of progressive topics...but we need it to happen in larger numbers to make a dent.

This post has been edited by QuickTidal: 09 January 2023 - 03:23 PM

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#2 User is offline   Tsundoku 

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Posted 09 January 2023 - 03:40 PM

I've always thought that decidely unhealthy fascination with celebrity BS spoke to a certain nasty/base/slack-jawed follower part of the human psyche. A quote about noone ever losing money betting on the shitty side of human nature (or something like that) comes to mind.

It's terrible that these people get insane amounts of money to be ... shitty people. And the masses eat it up. Like bread and circuses. Appealing to the "lowest intellectual common denominator".
I sort of put actors, musicians and athletes under a similar label, but at least actors, musicians and athletes produce something, even if they are obscenely overpaid. They have the same level of worship though, and a horribly mistaken kind of belief that their utterances mean more than anyone else's, even if they know even less than the average person on the street on a topic.

Certainly NONE of them should get more money than a brain surgeon, et al.

The only one I have even the vaguest respect for among all those "influenzas" is curiously - Kris Jenner. As a "momager" she parlayed her daughter's not-even-particularly-good sex tape into a multi-billion dollar beast featuring all her spectacularly-untalented daughters. For me, they are the gold standard and turning point for when "being known" - and not for doing anything AT ALL - became it's own industry. Kind of like the old maxim "sufficient quantity takes on a quality of it's own".

In Sombratopia, they'd all have 90% of their money taken from them. Because NOONE should get more than, say, $10 million per year. And what they WASTE it on, it's enough to make you shed tears of frustration.
Stop tweeting about the latest cause du jour about "awareness" (ugh, slacktivism is all about you feeling good than actually doing good) or us donating our hard earned, when your ilk could solve whatever the problem is by passing the hat around and donating a few lazy billion from down the back of your couches.
Similar to the argument that one years worth of the world's defence budgets applied constructively could resolve all hunger, poverty and homelessness, but that's another rant entirely ... sorry, got off track there.

TL;DR - same as QT.
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#3 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 09 January 2023 - 04:01 PM

View PostTsundoku, on 09 January 2023 - 03:40 PM, said:

The only one I have even the vaguest respect for among all those "influenzas" is curiously - Kris Jenner. As a "momager" she parlayed her daughter's not-even-particularly-good sex tape into a multi-billion dollar beast featuring all her spectacularly-untalented daughters. For me, they are the gold standard and turning point for when "being known" - and not for doing anything AT ALL - became it's own industry. Kind of like the old maxim "sufficient quantity takes on a quality of it's own".


Further to this point, and digging into the history of the family, they GOT their money and status initially from....they dad....who defended and subsequently got his college friend OJ Simpson off punishment for murdering his wife and her lover. Like it's not like they came from money, Robert Kardshian's dad was an immigrant garbageman FFS. The only reason any of that family HAD social reverence at the time of the sex tape...was due to the money and influence they gained off the back of the OJ trial and the circles that caused them to run in. It's rotted riches spawned from evil.


View PostTsundoku, on 09 January 2023 - 03:40 PM, said:

In Sombratopia, they'd all have 90% of their money taken from them. Because NOONE should get more than, say, $10 million per year. And what they WASTE it on, it's enough to make you shed tears of frustration.


Indeed, and I'd argue that the supposed "free market" allowing anyone to make more than 1million a year (which is more money than most people will see at one time in their lives) is BEYOND wasteful, and is what fomented billionaires being a thing.

Like some of these people could band together with thew wealth they've hoarded (I would never say "earned") and Solve-A-Crisis....drinking water in Detroit? Poverty in LA? Homelessness? Starvation?....like those millions could easily solve those things...but no, apparently it's better for single individuals or nepotistic families to hoard millions-billions for themselves...
"When the last tree has fallen, and the rivers are poisoned, you cannot eat money, oh no." ~Aurora

“Someone will always try to sell you despair, just so they don't feel alone.” ~Ursula Vernon
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#4 User is offline   LinearPhilosopher 

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Posted 09 January 2023 - 10:42 PM

You know as much as I'd like to write if off as an American thing because the Americans love their culture icons and even have a tendency of electing them as president/governor...

I am then painfully reminded of the cult of personality surrounding the shitty artist known as drake, and never mind how frequently there's puff piece about the latest bit of melodrama involving the British monarchs and their dislikable family. (We shoulda taken a page from the french and guillotined them all but alas).

It honestly baffles me, but then again I think to get any further insight into this you'd have to ask someone who into this stuff to understand what they get out of it.
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#5 User is offline   Macros 

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 05:57 AM

Oh sweet fuck the royals.

Never have so many pages of the papers been devoted to such a pointless fucking family.

I couldn't agree more.

Let's start a wave, where the influences we see are Decent human beings
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#6 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 07:12 AM

I like influencers. They're where I get all my ideas. ::shrug::
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#7 User is offline   Maark Abbott 

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 08:48 AM

People look to the lives of the wealthy and indolent and they see things they want - and of course because they want wealth and indolence, they idolise those attributes. You'll notice that influencers do an extremely small amount beyond existing and being famous for existing.

So effectively it's just another extension of the wealth cult - "we must worship these people and hang on their words because they're rich, and that must mean they're our betters!". Desgustang.
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#8 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 12:54 PM

View PostMaark Abbott, on 10 January 2023 - 08:48 AM, said:

People look to the lives of the wealthy and indolent and they see things they want - and of course because they want wealth and indolence, they idolise those attributes. You'll notice that influencers do an extremely small amount beyond existing and being famous for existing.

So effectively it's just another extension of the wealth cult - "we must worship these people and hang on their words because they're rich, and that must mean they're our betters!". Desgustang.

Forget the wealth, I could just do with a little more indolence in my life tbh.

But yeah, the whole cult of celebrity and the "famous for being famous" is getting progressively more ridiculous.

The Fyre Festival documentary is a salve for it in case anyone needs one haha
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#9 User is online   champ 

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 02:08 PM

I just turn off to the whole social media / celebrity / influencer / reality TV bollocks. I have zero interest in any of it. It's a crazy world with too many people suffering from main-character- syndrome! It's a lot of what is wrong with the world tbh.

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#10 User is offline   Maark Abbott 

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 04:38 PM

View PostTiste Simeon, on 10 January 2023 - 12:54 PM, said:

View PostMaark Abbott, on 10 January 2023 - 08:48 AM, said:

People look to the lives of the wealthy and indolent and they see things they want - and of course because they want wealth and indolence, they idolise those attributes. You'll notice that influencers do an extremely small amount beyond existing and being famous for existing.

So effectively it's just another extension of the wealth cult - "we must worship these people and hang on their words because they're rich, and that must mean they're our betters!". Desgustang.

Forget the wealth, I could just do with a little more indolence in my life tbh.

But yeah, the whole cult of celebrity and the "famous for being famous" is getting progressively more ridiculous.

The Fyre Festival documentary is a salve for it in case anyone needs one haha


Fair and same tbh.
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#11 User is offline   Mezla PigDog 

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 08:54 PM

I mostly manage to avoid the whole influencer thing and I watch some serious crap on TV. I don't watch anything on YouTube or social media though. Could that be the trick?

I have mentioned before that I have a friend with a sister who is building a business as an influencer and guru in a certain type of online business sector. It's a lot harder than it looks. Specifically it seems difficult in the sense that it encroaches on all areas of her life. She's constantly curating her life for content. And she has hired people to make it easier but that has just added to the workload because she is the commodity and they can only do so much. She gets free holidays all the time but while she is there she has to be working on the next thing but make it look like she's living it up.

I'm not saying it isn't a load of shit but they do have to put the hours in and kind of exchange their own peace in return for success. It's selling the idea that there is some special knack to living and you could have the same if you drink the Kool Aid. Vacuous fantasy sells!
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#12 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

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Posted 10 January 2023 - 11:20 PM

'1 in 4 Gen Z-ers plan to become social media influencers

[...] “41% of New York Gen Zs intend on becoming an influencer in the future, whilst 30% from [Los Angeles] also feel the same way.”

[...] guessed the average yearly income of an influencer was between $75,001 – $100,000, and many pointed to free products, earnings and meeting other influencers as the top perks of the profession.

[...] more men, at 20 percent, than women, 13 percent, feel being an influencer is the only career option for them[...] Almost one in five Gen Z members said they would quit their job to become a social media influencer compared with over 12 percent who said they’d quit college to do so.

A quarter of respondents also think there should be social media influencer training in high school.

[...] 26 percent of respondents said they trust influencer product reviews over product page reviews, underscoring the marketing power influencers hold. '

1 in 4 Gen Z-ers plan to become social media influencers

... they actually believe influencer product endorsements... presumably that extends to paid endorsements. Maybe classes on critical thinking would serve them better....

Of course I think much of the economy is a wasteful and actively harmful garbage fire, and it should be heavily regulated to focus on science, automation, and improving human well-being (through meeting basic 'needs' (partly through advances in efficiency, partly through virtualization...) as well as human optimization, self-cultivation, etc.).
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#13 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

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Posted 11 January 2023 - 12:54 AM

If people who do product reviews on Youtube count as 'influencers' then I've watched a bunch for reviews of music software.

For example, there's an autistic Scottish Youtuber who does randomized double blind head-to-head comparisons of different mixing and mastering software and hardware. I assumed he was a professional mixing engineer but apparently not. He's become a bit of a celebrity I'd suppose. (Can't remember his name offhand.)

Then there's the Dutch Youtuber who does 'Is it snake oil?' for music software. He actually is a professional mixing engineer (or so he claims), but he doesn't bother to read the manual or spend significant time with the software before making a video about it, so his videos are often laughably bad, and I've mostly stopped watching them.

I've also watched a lot of reviews and walkthroughs by random people, some of whom confess to having been given free copies, mostly to get a better sense of what the software sounds like.

One perplexing thing about the influencer trend is the move away from expertise towards aspirational 'relatability' and parasocial relationships. To an extent it makes sense to want to see what a non-expert can do with a product, particularly a non-expert who seems similar to you, or to the type of person you want to be like, and whose video persona you personally 'like' (as if they were a friend or mentor); teenagers have probably come to organize much of their social identities around influencers.

But the more rational course of action would be to have experts *and* non-expert end users in the same video... with none of them doing paid endorsements. Ad revenue is a little tricky because targeted ads would likely feature some of the products they review... and the parasocial relationship, coupled with celebrity and popularity, may make it difficult to hold influencer reviews to high standards of integrity....

This post has been edited by Azath Vitr (D'ivers: 11 January 2023 - 12:56 AM

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