Are We More Annoyed by Celebrities Than We Used to Be?

Nader Elhefnawy
2 min readMay 17, 2024

My answer to this post’s titular question is an emphatic “Yes,” and I think there are three very good reasons for it.

1. The Worsening of Overexposure.
A celebrity’s publicity machine getting so aggressive that rather than interesting us it irritates us is not a new thing. But it is probably worse in an age of truly continuous subjection to media that devise like the smart phone have helped usher in — the more in as that publicity is amplified by the disease of the Internet that is clickbait. Amplified, too, by the way that celebrities personally contribute to this with their use of social media, making their idiocies tiresomely public as they take to heart the adage “Better to be thought a fool and remain silent than open one’s mouth and remove all doubt” and do the extreme opposite, and alienate at least part of the public in the process again and again.

2. The Fragmentation of Popular Culture.
It has become a truism that less than ever before do we all seem to be watching the same movies and television shows, listening to the same music, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. The result is that, especially to the extent that celebrity is associated with the entertainment world, we are probably more likely to be personally attentive to a smaller portion of the range of figures working in it, with the result that when we are hit by a piece of celebrity news we are more likely to say “Who is that?” And even after we learn who that is, not care — but still find ourselves constantly hearing about them so that we ask “Why am I hearing about this person I don’t care about all the time?” — which is undeniably irritating.

3. Culture War.
As if points 1 and 2 were not bad enough the world of entertainment, like everything else in American life at least, has been swallowed up by the culture wars. Along with it, so has celebrity culture, with stances, identifications, associations playing their part in it — meaning that just about everyone can offend somebody just by existing, and often what we are hearing about is much more than their existing, as the “journalists” of the entertainment press, analyzing the implications of every word and gesture, every trivial detail of dress, demeanor and everything else make of everything a statement, and every statement a battle. Whatever side of that battle we are on we are likely to find ourselves constantly annoyed, even if that side is no side at all, especially insofar as they detest the very existence of the culture war, because everyone else seems obsessed with it, and rubbing it in their faces all the time.

Originally published at https://raritania.blogspot.com.

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Nader Elhefnawy

Nader Elhefnawy is the author of the thriller The Shadows of Olympus. Besides Medium, you can find him online at his personal blog, Raritania.