May 19, 2011

It's not Lady Gaga unseating Oprah that disturbs me. It's Elton John and Bon Jovi in the top 10.

"The World's Most Powerful Celebrities"... according to Forbes.

We need better celebrities! It was bad enough back in the 80s when Elton John and Bon Jovi were the celebrities we had to settle for. But here they are. Still "powerful," whatever that means. Growing up in the 50s and 60s, I really got the wrong impression of the speed of the flow of new celebrities into the popular culture.

Maybe this is why time has seemed to go faster as we (Baby Boomers) have gotten older. Or do you think it should be a reason why things should appear to be going slower? When nothing's happening and you're bored, time does seem to go slower. But uneventfulness also makes long stretches of time look shorter. It's a paradox. The paradox of the puzzling persistence of Bon Jovi and Elton John.

79 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

What power do these performers exert exactly?

The power to do high paying gigs for wealthy persons? Nice work if you can get it, but any power is limited. Beyond that they get to preach to us on various issues (although Elton John is least guilty of that bunch on that score).

Oprah acted as a gate keeper to a show with high ratings, that gave her power.

This is a nonsense list.

Fred4Pres said...

This is Forbes trying to fill a few pages and sell a few magazines. Meh.

E.M. Davis said...

Powerful?

They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.

Fred4Pres said...

Elton is least guilty compared to Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi.

Not compared to Taylor Swift.

Henry said...

"Powerful" to do what?

But Fred4Pres beat me to the question.

rhhardin said...

Blue Eyes is as musically interesting as it was when it came out.

J.P.McCarthy on WJR said at the time that Elton John had turned into a crooner.

Fred4Pres said...

Powerful = Rich?

That sounds like Trump talk to me.

I wonder if Trump is in more financial trouble than we know? I am just tossing that one out there. It might explain a lot of the self promotion he is doing. I heard he said Forbes (which I think had him pegged around 2 billion) was short on his real wealth. Trump made similar statements before he almost went under last time (80s and 90s). A few of his projects are underwater now.

edutcher said...

If you're bored, things usually drag, but I agree that celebs ain't what they used to be.

Gaga is a warmed-over Madonna wannabe.

If you think about it, people like Elvis and Brando had a lot more influence on society than the pale imitations today. In another way, people like Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe set standards for beauty that are still copied. Same with someone like Cary Grant.

PS Agree with Fred on both counts.

AllenS said...

Fred has the thread winner, twice.

Henry said...

Derek Jeter is #69. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. His is the power of the over-the-hill celebrity athlete to get owners to pay for crappy on-the-field production.

Brett Favre must be steamed.

Baseball sabremetricians have a very useful stat called VORP. VORP stands for "Value Over Replacement Player". A low VORP means that basically any scrub can do your job. Derek Jeter's VORP this year is negative.

Pop culture is a zero-VORP wasteland. If Lady Gaga didn't exist, a Lady Haha would seamlessly take her place.

Rumpletweezer said...

Time goes faster as you get older? I wish. On Tuesday night I sat through a "talent show" at my daughter's school. I was shocked to find that the Sun wasn't rising when we left.

k*thy said...

The appeal of Bon Jovi escapes me.

I am Teriffic Man said...

The appeal of Bon Jovi escapes me.

Imagine how I feel after 30+ years of Bruce Springsteen.

Scott M said...

Elton John doesn't puzzle me at all, but Bon Jovi does.

(Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do...cuz they're fast)

Non-sequitors aside, what are the criteria that Forbes is using? Is it empirical or editorial and subjective? If it's subjective, it could be the relative ages we're dealing with among those that put this together. It could certainly be a factor.

Oligonicella said...

"We need better celebrities!"

Why? For that matter, why the need for celebrities? Like a street sweeper or constitutional law professor, they're just jobs.

wv: edics - celebrities like to issue edics, which are like edicts, except they lack the supporting facts.

Scott M said...

Like a street sweeper or constitutional law professor, they're just jobs.

LOL...you've obviously never been one.

The Crack Emcee said...

Of course, the Boomers are skewing the numbers, but "powerful" means nothing if you're not using it. Can you name one artist/band Elton, Bon, or GaGa has introduced to the public?

This is where Rappers have had it all over Rock acts right from the beginning - they share the wealth and power (such as it is) with other artists - keeping the music fresh. Just from the band N.W.A.:

There'd be no Bone-Thugs-and-Harmony without Easy-E.

There'd be no Eminem or 50 Cent or The Game without Dr. Dre.

There'd be no Del tha Funkee Homosapien or Westside Connection without Ice Cube.

Boomers think nothing happened before, or should happen after, them. That's a cultural death sentence. No wonder they're bored.

And oh yeah:

Boredom is for the boring.

gerry said...

We baby boomers had/have the most petty and superficial celebrities. That Gaga is now a powerful celebrity is somewhat redeeming in that regard.

EPITOMIZE THE DECLINE!

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

Elton John doesn't puzzle me at all, but Bon Jovi does.

Not me. Bon Jovi runs a very tight ship, has a sweet 360 deal, and a string of hits to fall back on. I wouldn't be surprised if he keeps more of his take in than everyone else on the list.

Bon Jovi is one very smart man.

gerry said...

The C in RAP is silent.

Chris said...

We're leaving the era of super huge rock stars and movie stars behind. There will never again be rock stars as big (big as in rich and influential) as there was in the 60s, 70s, and 80s... and to a lesser extent I don't think you'll ever see actors reach the ridiculous megastar status of guys like Arnold any more.

For the most part this is a good thing.

Scott M said...

Bon Jovi is one very smart man.

I've never doubted that and have actually met/interviewed the guy. Sitting on a couch with a newly name-flipped John Cougar Mellencamp. I'm not sure he deserves to the uberstar status that Elton enjoys.

This is where Rappers have had it all over Rock acts right from the beginning

Debatable, but what's not is that far, far fewer rock acts shoot other rock acts. I also noticed you capitalized "Rappers".

AllenS said...

I'd rather listen to yodeling than rap.

The Crack Emcee said...

gerry,

The C in RAP is silent.

Says the man or woman claiming it's "somewhat redeeming" to celebrate a musical artist best known for her outfits.

And does anyone else notice that, at the first mention of Rap, there's ALWAYS got to be some asshole to attack the entire genre? Not a particular artist or song but the entire genre?

It's the musical equivalent of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Scott M said...

and to a lesser extent I don't think you'll ever see actors reach the ridiculous megastar status of guys like Arnold any more.

I agree completely about the music side of entertainment. P2P eviscerated the music industry model and the MP3 markets have only buried an already lowered coffin. Movies, on the other hand...I'm not sure the same thing is going to happen to movie stars unless the location-based cinema model is likewise diffused. Despite the constant advances in home theater, I just don't see that happening any time soon.

There are simply some movies it's more fun to see with a large group of people, on a HUUUUGE screen, with thumping sound.

Erik said...

Democrats seem to think that Bon Jovi might be some sort of political force to be reckoned with in New Jersey. But every time he opens his mouth about politics he sounds like a complete idiot. Honestly, I don't know what they're thinking.

As for business acumen in the music biz, perhaps he's smart. Who knows. But Bon Jovi can't make or break anyone in the business, and as such I can't imagine he has any sort of power or influence at all.

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

Debatable, but what's not is that far, far fewer rock acts shoot other rock acts.

You are obviously ignorant of the history of Rock. That's like saying America's "crimes" compare to Europe's when Europe had a 5,000 year start. Rap hasn't been around long enough to compare with all the deaths - in various ways - with Rock. You can call me when a Rapper does a Momma Cass on us and dies choking on a ham sandwich.

I also noticed you capitalized "Rappers".

I do - it's a title - and one I respect. I also capitalized Rock, which I see you didn't mention. What's wrong with you guys? Can't you see what you're doing?

AllenS,

I'd rather listen to yodeling than rap.

The cool thing about Rap is that you don't have to choose.

Scott M said...

Please, Crack. Show me another genre with as many violent deaths at the hands of other people, not by ham sandwiches and overdoses, as rap. The point you're trying to make is almost comical. I have a lot of respect for your knowledge in this area, but you've got to admit, you're reaching.

gerry said...

Says the man or woman claiming it's "somewhat redeeming" to celebrate a musical artist best known for her outfits.

What I said: "We baby boomers had/have the most petty and superficial celebrities. That Gaga is now a powerful celebrity is somewhat redeeming in that regard.

EPITOMIZE THE DECLINE!"

I think that's pretty clear that, in my opinion, lady GaGa, when compared to Boomer celebs, helps to redeem Boomer tastes (in case you don't know, GaGa is NOT a boomer celeb. She is a celeb of them thar young 'uns). I think EPITOMIZE THE DECLINE! makes my point even more obvious.

RAP, like GaGa, epitomizes the decline.

AllenS said...

Headline you'll never see:

Yodeler arrested for drive-by shooting.

rdkraus said...

Rap may sound like crap, but it has other redeeming values. Like, think of the special way they treat women. Well, there ya go.

Lot of us boomers talk about all rap as crap cause we think it all sounds like crap. Kinda like disco, but worse.

rocketeer67 said...

It's the musical equivalent of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

You got that right, Crack. It's true of rap, and it's true of country.

I may be the only man in America that likes De La Soul and Buck Owens. You couldn't pay me to listen to 50 Cent or Lady Antebellum, though.

Trooper York said...

Henry spoken like a true douchenozzle Red Sox fan. Jeter will have 3000 hits in a Hall of Fame career where he lead his team to numerous championships through his example and leadership. He may be on the downside of his career but the Yankees honor and keep those players even though their production might have lessened.

Plus he has banged most of the beautiful women around here the best few years.

I swear the Red Sox should change their colors to green.

Trooper York said...

Oh and I like Disco.

Great music to dance to and meet chicks and get laid. Just sayn'

Oligonicella said...

Scott M --

"LOL...you've obviously never been one."

Seen all three, talked with all three (OK, it was just a law prof with a few degrees). Even Hilton is working her image.

Just a job. If you see them that way, you're much less enamored. Enamoring is what is required for the continuance of celebrity.

Trooper York said...

And 2Live Crew is the official band of the Trooper York blog.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

@The Crack Emcee: Boomers think nothing happened before, or should happen after, them. That's a cultural death sentence. No wonder they're bored.

Too, too true.

Scott M said...

Just a job. If you see them that way, you're much less enamored.

Granted. But there are other ways to become a celebrity than being the target of enamoration. Being impressed with someone's skill or accomplishments, for instance. Audie Murphy was, technically, just doing his job however superbly when he become highly decorated. It was this impressiveness that initially made him a celeb.

When I implied that being a celebrity is not "just a job", what I was going for was that street sweepers don't have people throwing free things and services at them all time for no real good reason. Other than music celebs I interviewed, the closest I personally came to celebrity was being a top-rated rock dj in a couple of medium markets. Nearly the lowest rung on the entertainment ladder, only higher than mime and magician, to be sure, but it wasn't "just a job".

Scott M said...

Too, too true.

Second. But, let's be fair. Nobody's every accused the boomers of being self-centered have they? Have they???

Trooper York said...

WAIT A FREAKING MINUTE HERE!!!!

Scott M....a disc jockey....IS THAT YOU SCOTT MUNI???????


I thought you were dead Scottzo?

E.M. Davis said...

Please, Crack. Show me another genre with as many violent deaths at the hands of other people, not by ham sandwiches and overdoses, as rap. The point you're trying to make is almost comical. I have a lot of respect for your knowledge in this area, but you've got to admit, you're reaching.

Correlation without causation.

Trooper York said...

I remember when I was a kid you hosted the King Biscuit Flower Hour on WNEW and brought over all these new cool bands like Mott the Hoople and what not.

Jeeez you gotz to be about ninety Scottzo. Even older than hdhouse and I don't think that is technically possible unless you are a tortoise or something.

Scott M said...

lol, nope. I never used my first name on the air. The very first gig in tiny little Paducah, KY (Last about four months before moving way up), the PD told me he wanted me to be The Evening Animal. Animal stuck until I joined a morning show a couple year later. You just can't build a career on Animal unless you're a drummer.

windbag said...

Elton John was a hero and inspiration up until Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. Nothing since then, except the tribute written for John Lennon. But Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi??!! Please!!

Trooper York said...

Bon Jovi is the Snookie of Rock and Roll. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

He is a big Giants fan I will say that for him.

But then so is Snookie. Well I mean she likes big one. It needs to be to touch the sides. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

Snookie and the gang are in Florence Italy right now working in a pizza shop. How would you like to go to get a piece of pizza that this boutana touched. Yeech.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...(Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do...cuz they're fast)..."

And they dart. It's crazy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Crack som folks hate rap as a genre like some hate country or disco. I for one never heard a rap song I ever liked. Its a distinctive sound and beat that is like nails on a chalkboard. On the other hand I'm a metalhead and the wife hates it.

windbag said...

@crack
...name one artist/band Elton, Bon, or GaGa has introduced

Elton introduced us to Al Stewart.

Trooper York said...

And that's not besamel sauce in her hair either.

Penny said...

There was a great little article in "Lifehacker" about the brain and time. The gist of it was that as we get older, and our experiences mount, the brain processes faster, because, for the most part, we are processing things that are familiar. Their very enlightened suggestion was to LEARN SOMETHING NEW! It will appear to us older folks that time is slowing down instead of racing past.

Why New Experiences Are Important, and How They Positively Affect Your Perception of Time

Penny said...

Anyone here tried a new hobby lately? I have. Let me tell you, learning a new skill nearly stops time in its tracks. ha ha

Titus said...

Elton John and his "wife" were meeting David Cameron this week.

WTF?

windbag said...

Quote from my son: "Music is like candy...you gotta throw away the wrappers." My parenting responsibilities are fulfilled.

Titus said...

I can not stand P Diddy. When I see those Vodka commercials I want to puke. He is so gross.

I really dislike rap as well. Hugs, Allens.

Trooper York said...

P Diddy is ok in my book. He was banging JLo when she was fresh and sweet. And he got his boy to take the rap when he got caught with the gat in his car. The man has moves.

Titus said...

I read somewhere that Luther, is that his name, is running for mayor in some city in Florida.

tits

Trooper York said...

Actually Luther Campbell is only his stage name. He is running for President under his real name of Herman Cain.

Titus said...

Do you guys really like J Lo's big ass or is that a black thing?

windbag said...

yodeling rapping hotel clerk

Titus said...

Straighties, if you had a choice between a woman with a big ass or a big set of tits which would it be?

Althouse, can you be a dove and run that up a poll?

Thanks doll.

Trooper York said...

Titus, as I was crossing Flatbush Avenue there was a girl with really,really tight jeans this morning. She had a primo J-Lo donkey booty. Every straight guy stopped what he was doing to stare. The Jamaican guy directing traffic. The office workers going to the LIRR. The arab guy in the coffee cart stuck his head out the window to get a better look.

You got to love a sexy booty.

Of course most of the guys were working class ethnics or minority type dudes.

Scott M said...

@Titus

Big chest, without even thinking about it.

Penny said...

Jon Bon Jovi isn't on this list because of his music, but because of what he is doing with the money he made from it. The man is knee deep in community outreach programs that are helping the poor and the homeless. Just last month he opened a pay-if-you-can restaurant near his home in NJ. He's also heavily involved with Habitat for Humanity and a host of other non-profits through his own group, The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

Never liked the man's music, but that doesn't get in the way of appreciating how committed he is to "giving back".

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

Please, Crack. Show me another genre with as many violent deaths at the hands of other people, not by ham sandwiches and overdoses, as rap. The point you're trying to make is almost comical. I have a lot of respect for your knowledge in this area, but you've got to admit, you're reaching.

No I'm not, I'm just not out to slam this music (Rap) based on it's culture (Hip-Hop) any more than I'm going condemn Rockabilly for whatever got Elvis to start shooting televisions while high. "Genres" don't kill people, Scott.

Where'd Elvis get those drugs, BTW? And should the music he played forever be known to represent stupid white boys from the South who can't maintain their high? Or marry their 13 year old cousins?

My point is, if you take the long view - and Sam Cooke's weirdo exit comes immediately to mind here - it's all the same shit.

I know what you're getting at - the "gangsta" subculture - but the entire music culture is quasi-illegal and always has been. (Louis Armstrong started in whore houses and where would Sinatra have been without gangsters?) If you see it more in Rap, it's because the culture and the apparatus by which music functions are more obvious ("Keeping it Real") but - from top to bottom - violent crime's as much a part of the music industry as the drugs that magically appear. All of the music industry. It's just covered better, marginalized, and/or excused for some and not for others. Listening to some people, you'd never know there's such a thing as Christian or Gay Rap. It's just niggas shooting each other. And Country's just a collection of guys with a propensity for losing their trucks and dogs.

"I shot a man just to watch him die."

Me, I'm just glad they get the shit committed to tape (digital or otherwise) before croaking - no matter how they check out.

Trooper York said...

The reason why you gotz to love a nice donkey booty is cause it goes with your basic "child bearing hips."

It's a primal thing.

Tom Quiller said...

The list demonstrates that celebrities are not very powerful. That is, at least, reassuring.

Titus said...

When they see that ass is there something that they want to do to it?

If the ass is so appealing what is done to it when it is bare naked and ready for action?

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

My reply got caught in the filter. Short answer:

I will no more blame or judge this genre of music (Rap) for it's culture (Hip-Hop) than I'll blame Rockabilly for whatever got Elvis to shoot televisions while high.

It seems to be news to many here, but musical genres don't kill people.

Trooper York said...

You need to get a good grip buddy. Plus a solid base is conducive to spinning. Just sayn'

Scott M said...

It seems to be news to many here, but musical genres don't kill people.

Who said rap caused the murders? I'm just suggesting that there is some statistical clustering around rappers dying by blunt lead trauma as apposed to other genres. Blame the player, not the game.

The Crack Emcee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

"I shot a man just to watch him die."

A famous Rapper.

Trooper York said...

But that was in Reno....and what happens in Reno stays in Reno.

Phil 3:14 said...

"Oprah doesn't fall far though."

Phewwww! That could have been catastrophic!

Phil 3:14 said...

Elton John was a hero and inspiration up until Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. Nothing since then, except the tribute written for John Lennon. But Lady Gaga

Well she did get to advise the American Idol contestants along side Jimmy.

Now THAT'S POWER!

I want to know what political party she's a member of and would she be interested in being drafted as a presidential candidate. I mean look at Haiti!

E.M. Davis said...

Elton John plays Israel when other artists won't.

He's got balls ... of power.

ken in sc said...

If you want time to slow down, take a class that meets on Friday afternoon.