[Being a celebrity] doesn't even seem to keep the fleas off our dogs - and if being a celebrity won't give me an advantage over a couple of fleas, then I guess there can't be much in being a celebrity after all.
When once a man has made celebrity necessary to his happiness, he has put it in the power of the weakest and most timorous malignity, if not to take away his satisfaction, at least to withhold it. His enemies may indulge their pride by airy negligence and gratify their malice by quiet neutrality.
Imagine of all of life were determined by majority rule. Every meal would be a pizza. Every pair of pants, even those in a Brooks Brothers suit, would be stonewashed denim. Celebrity diet and exercise books would be the only thing on library shelves. And-since women are a majority of the population-we'd all be married to Mel Gibson.
Americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. Today they are expected to raise their children in opposition to them. Once the chorus of cultural values was full of ministers, teachers, neighbors, leaders. They demanded more conformity, but offered more support. Now the messengers are violent cartoon characters, rappers and celebrities selling sneakers. Parents are considered "responsible" only if they are successful in their resistance. That's what makes child-raising harder. It's not just that American families have less time with their kids; it's that we have to spend more of this time doing battle with our own culture.