June 27, 2019

The Rise and Fall of Celebrity Supernovas

“November 29, 2006. The New York Post ran, on its front page, a photo of Lindsay, Britney, and Paris (if last names were even remotely necessary, the story wouldn’t have been), captured together, in a single image. They were in a car, looking rowdy, reckless, ready to bust loose, raise hell, pursue the dark ecstasies of night and the city, the matching gleams in their heavily shadowed eyes telling you just how profoundly they didn’t give a fuck. Stamped across the bottom, the headline: BIMBO SUMMIT. There’s the smug sneer of “bimbo,” of course, yet there’s also the grudging marvel of “summit.” It’s the marvel that gets it right. These three were at the center of the heat and the flash and the noise. Not merely stars, but stars that were simultaneously rising, falling, exploding, and, suddenly, colliding—a new kind of star being forged in the process. They understood what nobody else did: that Hollywood wasn’t a geographical location, it was a state of mind; that rock ’n’ roll wasn’t a musical genre, it was a way of life. And they were, in that moment, more Hollywood and rock ’n’ roll than anyone.

he photograph defined that present. Also, this present. Lindsay, Britney, and Paris weren’t of their time, they’re of ours. The world we’re living in is the one they made 15 years ago.

The Child Star. On November 21, 2003, principal photography wrapped on the teen comedy Mean Girls. It was a sensation, as was Lindsay, its lead, known until then as the cute-as-a-button Disney spitfire. The transition from kid performer to grown-up is a perilous one. Yet no sooner had she made it than she appeared to lose interest. Sure, she was playing opposite the national-treasure likes of Meryl Streep and recording certified-platinum albums, hosting S.N.L. Didn’t it all seem a little dull, though—a little predictable, corny, old-fashioned? Her fame morphed for a second time, into notoriety. She had trouble with alcohol, drugs, guys, girls, tabloids, the law. And as her reputation for unreliability grew, she not only worked less but the work she did do was less compelling.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"On June 23, Erdogan and his party suffered a historic debacle in the rerun of the mayoral race in Istanbul. Binali Yildirim, an AKP heavyweight who ran as the candidate of the People’s Alliance between the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party..."

"Former Vice President Joe Biden will enter the first Democratic presidential debates with 19 rivals taking aim at him — nine on the night he will be onstage, 10 the night he won't be there to defend himself. He is the clear-cut frontrunner and..."

"The latest round of attacks and counterattacks in Israel and Gaza demonstrates the respective governments’ inability to extricate their people from an awful situation, decades in the making. Palestinians and Israelis live in the same land, share..."

"Yesterday, a new musical dramedy debuting this Friday, conjures up a world we can’t begin to imagine: one in which the Beatles never existed. Somehow, after a global blackout, no one on Earth has ever heard of the band, except for the protagonist.."

"“America will never be a socialist country,” President Trump said as he launched his bid for re-election last week. That declaration was an effort to frighten Americans and undermine growing support for expanding Medicare and Social Security..."

"SpaceX launched 60 satellites last month that now swarm around our planet like bees around a hive. It’s the first phase of Elon Musk’s ambitious Starlink project that will eventually send thousands of satellites into orbit to create a worldwide..."

""At the end of May, TIAA, the financial services and investing giant, rolled out new gender-identity awareness guidelines for its client-facing consultants. The guidance included: “Never assume someone’s gender identity” and “Be aware that a..."

"Nobody knows who threw the first brick at Stonewall. It might not even have been a brick. Legend has it a woman in the crowd yelled, “Aren’t you going to do something?” as she was dragged away by cops. We don’t know who she was."

"Secular studies were an afterthought in my all-male yeshiva high school, offered in the late afternoon after eight hours of religious subjects. After “English,” we often returned for a few more hours of Torah study. The person who was supposed,,,"

"Meat is dead. Carnivores are going the way of cigarette smokers and, by 2050, there’s a good chance that it will be socially unacceptable to eat meat. In the same way that we’re now horrified people used to smoke in offices and airplanes, we’ll..."

"In order to embody the philosophy of elegant simplicity, we need to address the relationship between science and spirituality. Some people think that science and spirituality are polar opposites, but are they? Science is about things which can..."

"Labels are a necessary evil when talking about Judaism. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform denote different religious streams, but they are simply primary colours which hardly do justice to the kaleidoscopic variety of the modern Jewish landscape..."