Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Power of Hype
In an age obsessed with pop culture and instant gratification and with everyone attached to some social medium like the internet,Facebook,Twitter, and Youtube with instant access to information, hype is replacing substance.
How else can you explain the "fame" of someone like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton both who rose to prominence after making a porno. Hype was the momentum that fed the machine that propelled them to stardom.
This brings me to Charlie Sheen. Now, I'm not putting him in the same league as those bimbos. I do think he's a decent actor and an entertaining guy who single handedly carried 2 1/2 men (The show. Hes'not that strong). But his recent drug use and antics have moved him into the American conscioussness.
The glutonous,American culture is waiting with wide eyes for the next train wreck to happen. We watch the tight rope act as it happens in real time wondering, hoping that he falls from sanity to psychosis. With each trembling step our mouths get wider and they salivate. We don't know why, but we keep watching.
This phenomena was made clear in a subtle but powerful way. As most of us know, Sheen has been acting nutty after snorting who knows what. He bad mouths his producer and gets fired. But the circus didn't end there. He hit the interview circuit and in the middle of his madness, he coined the most memorable line of 2011: "WINNING" He did a radio show and he bad mouthed his guests. The hype around his antics kept getting bigger until everyone was talking about him.
As a result of the hype, he decided to do a live show in Detroit. Tickets sold out in minutes. "WINNING".
THE EPIPHANY CONCERNING HYPE
They interviewed several of the people that waited in line for hours to get ticket to his live show. One middle aged man said, "WINNING" (not kidding) and added that he wanted to see the train wreck but, "I don't want to see him hurt himself." HUH?
Another middle aged woman said, "I'm not even a Charlie Sheen fan. I just want to be able to say that I saw Charlie Sheen. In a nutshell, that is the power of hype.