“I am utterly bored by celebrity interviews. Most celebrities are devoid of interest.” – Roger EbertThe cult of celebrity as we know it really began in the 19th century. Blame the industrial revolution. People suddenly had time on their hands and the disposable income to go with it. Religion began to lose its stranglehold on morality; its disapproval of entertainment for entertainment’s sake was no longer so influential.Who were the Tom Cruises and Nicole Kidmans of their day? Opera singers. They were followed zealously; their lives fodder for the society pages and gossip columns of newspapers and magazines. Upper class matrons vied for the honor of hosting a famous tenor or soprano at their suppers and dances. Singers had photographs called carte de visites made to hand out to fans (the precursors of today’s trading cards).The devotion lavished on 19th century opera stars gave them a level of freedom and status that had never quite existed before—especially for women. Singers like Adelina Patti and her sister Carlotta, Jenny Lind, Pauline Lucca and Christine Nilsson were forgiven almost anything. Adelina Patti had an affair with a tenor while she was married to someone else, and while women at the highest levels of society condemned her, they still filled the seats whenever she sang at the Academy of Music in New York City, and she remained a much-coveted guest.Opera stars had a huge amount of power; in much the same way a movie star today can green-light a movie, opera singers could make or break an opera or a composer. Often they changed music to suit themselves—Adelina Patti was famously rumored to have so changed an aria that Rossini, its composer, didn’t recognize it.The next time you grab People magazine to read about the latest exploits of Brangelina, you’ll be joining a club that dates back over one hundred years.We now live in an era of the true Cult of Personality, created completely by the television and web media. In other words, we now have celebrities who are celebrities not because they are beautiful or brilliant or incredibly talented, but because they’re celebrities!I want you to write an essay, three pages long (double spaced) on when all this nonsense began in more modern times, why it began, and I’d like you to give examples of it today. A lot of work, but no where near as obnoxious as watching The Bachelor. That I promise you.RubricThe Cult of PersonalityCriteriaRatingsPtsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeHistorical grounding, how this cult of personality all began and why.30.0 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWriting style, including spelling and grammar.20.0 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeExamples and your opinions of the examples and why you think these examples became celebrities.25.0 ptsThis criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization and well informed reasons for your opinions and thoughts.25.0 ptsTotal Points: 100.0
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