Strange Search Terms

November 03, 2003

I check to see how folks find my blog. Most of my references come from places like the Carnival of the Vanities or the folks who have blogrolled my little diary. A few people come through google. Over the last couple of days I have seen a surge of searches focusing on: Ann Coulter Pictures Adam's Apple Transgender. It appears that my little piece on the Politics of Personal Appearance has gotten into the search bots, and that people are indeed concerned with this sort of triviality.

Then again, we live in a culture that celebrates "celebrity" - which as near as I can tell consists of being famous because you are famous. Celebrity this, celebrity that. ABC is flogging a night of celebrities to celebrate its 75th anniversary of television broadcasting. The murky corners of the web are full of pictures celebrities with and without their clothes.

I guess that I do not watch enough TV and do not listen to enough modern music. I hear about these celebrities, and all I can think of is "who dat?"

I wonder how many folks in the 19th century had the same response when Charles Dickens went on tour through the United States? I know that many people flocked to see Jenny Lind sing, and she too was famous largely for being famous - and for singing well and letting P.T. Barnum package her well. Can we trace modern celebrity culture back to P.T. Barnum and, perhaps, the sunset tour of the United States by the Marquis de Lafayette in the 1830s? If so then perhaps instead of being grumpy about celebrityhood and praising myself for not knowing these people, I should condemn myself for failing to take part in a fine American tradition.

But I still do not know who most of these people are.

Posted by Red Ted at November 3, 2003 03:18 AM | TrackBack