Even as a child, The Curmudgeon wondered about Zsa Zsa Gabor. She was on television talk shows all the time, but what, exactly, did she DO to make those talk shows so interested in talking to her? He didn’t recognize her from movies and he didn’t recognize her from television, except for being herself. She wasn’t a musician and wasn’t a writer. She didn’t run a big company or hold elected office. She had an interesting accent and an amusing but cartoonishly affected manner of speech and was attractive in a sort of one-step-short-of-a-drag-queen way, but she certainly wasn’t an interesting talk show guest at all.
But what did she DO?
Well, she WAS in movies and on television, but if you look closely, you can see that Gabor, who celebrated her 99th birthday last week, was mostly playing herself.
Back then it was pretty much Zsa Zsa and Charo alone in the “celebrity without any discernible talent” category, although Charo did play the guitar pretty well and apparently was able to fill modest theaters with people interested in hearing what happened when all the “coo-chee-coo-chee” stopped.
Today we have many more such celebrities, most notably but not only the Kardashians trashians, who are neither talented nor intelligent nor interesting yet manage to capture the public’s attention for fun and profit despite that lack of talent or intelligence and escape the drudgery of working for a living, mostly by behaving badly – and the more badly they behave, the greater the notoriety and profit they reap.
As a regular visitor to the philly.com web site, home of his hometown Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, The Curmudgeon has been seeing the name of a similar “celebrity” appearing with some frequency in recent months: her name is Amber Rose, and she certainly seems to be Zsa Zsa-like in her rise to fame. The local newspapers are interested in Ms. Rose because she is from Philadelphia.
According to Wikipedia – you didn’t think The Curmudgeon was going to dig too deeply for this one, did you? – Ms. Rose (born Amber Levonchuck) has been a model of no particular note, a stripper, and perhaps most significantly, the ex-wife of something called Wiz Khalifa and the token white girl in the lives (and, apparently, the beds) of a number of rappers, including Kanye West, the husband of one of the aforementioned Kardashians. She is tall and rather strange but good-looking with a head-turning figure that she shows a great deal of at every opportunity.
Her “career,” if that’s what you call it, was once managed by the mother of Miley Cyrus – another act that performs mostly under the big top – and she recently published a book tastefully titled How to be a Bad Bitch. (Wikipedia refers to it as her “first book. Aren’t we lucky?)
The Curmudgeon has reluctantly gotten accustomed to the stardom that some people acquire without the bother of accomplishing anything, whether those people are Kardashians, Real Housewives, or Zsa Zsa-wannabes. What he is not accustomed to, on the other hand, is the widespread acceptance that this is a legitimate way to pursue fame and a genuine accomplishment when that fame arrives.
But that’s exactly what the Philadelphia Inquirer did not too long ago when it published an article titled “Amber Rose, Philly woman who made good, coming to Barnes & Noble.”
In what alternative universe can the accomplishments/actions/shenanigans of someone like Ms. Rose be characterized as “making good”?
Even Ms. Rose seems to find it baffling, or at least has the good sense to pretend that she finds it baffling, telling the Inquirer reporter that “I was always just a humble Philly girl. I became famous for my look alone. I didn’t talk, I didn’t speak, I didn’t do interviews. I didn’t understand why people liked me or why I had fans for a very long time. I just got to the point where they’re my supporters, I might as well embrace them and love them back.”
Well, it looks like Ms. Rose is taking advantage of her celebrity status to help others. She has sponsored events called “Slutwalks.”
That’s not a typo. The word is “Slutwalk.”
Okay, back to Wikipedia, which with a considerable sense of gravity explains that
SlutWalk is a transnational movement of protest marches calling for an end to rape culture. Specifically, participants protest against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance. The rallies began on April 3, 2011, in Toronto, Canada, and after a Toronto Police officer suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts as a precaution against sexual assault. Subsequent rallies have occurred globally. The protest takes the form of a march, mainly by young women, where some dress as “sluts” in revealing, sexy attire such as short skirts, stockings and scanty tops. In the various Slutwalks around the world, there are usually speaker meetings and workshops, live music, sign-making sessions, leafleting, open microphones, chanting, dances, martial arts, and receptions or after-parties with refreshments. In many of the rallies and online, women speak publicly for the first time about their identity as rape survivors.”
The Curmudgeon first put together some notes for this piece about six weeks ago but was rewarded for his procrastination when Ms. Rose resurfaced recently by tweeting about how she used her finger during her horizontal time with Kanye West. Without going into detail, it appears that should the celebrity thing not work out for Ms. Rose she may have a future as a proctologist. Also, a company that makes sex toys has kindly requested the honor of making a mold of that now-famous finger for use in a new, special Amber Rose sex toy.
Slutwalks: for some a form of protest but for others, apparently, a career strategy.