Most of you can probably remember a bygone age within your own lifetimes when being famous meant you did or at least could, actually do something. Usually it was something that demonstrated some sort of gift or talent or skill that was greater than the ordinary capacities of normal people. Generally these proficiencies set such people apart because the rest of us held their abilities in high esteem, which at least made some sense. That's no longer the case however, as it's now completely normal for people to be famous simply for being famous. That's it, they don't have to have any talent or ability whatsoever, they only have to catch the public's attention via increasingly salacious means and bingo, instant fame and fortune. Some people are very adept at this new phenomenon of 'fame whoring' (patent pending) while others come and go with the breeze. Regardless, we fawn and fret over them as though they were our very own vicarious family, friends and neighbors whose lavish lifestyles and glorified glamor were just within our grasp. Therefore, let's take a look at those who have made vapidity a ticket to ride and a way of life as 10 pseudo-celebrities we obsess about;
10 Paris Hilton
Might as well begin with the one who started the whole deal. One of a seemingly endless volume of young and attractive Hilton fortune heirs and heiresses, it simply wasn't going to happen that poor (a distinctly relative term) little Paris would dare lower herself to share the spotlight with the rest of her jet setting, inheritance laden crowd, oh Hell no. When modeling and acting didn't appear to offer much of a career, Paris did what no other debutante had done before; she made a hardcore sex tape that mysteriously found it's way into the public domain. This led to a series of magazine and television interviews and a successful reality TV show for her and her equally gifted friend, Nichole Richie, the adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie. Whereas the mere mention of such a thing in days gone by would've spelled instant doom, her sex tape made Paris Hilton globally famous and an international 'celebrity.' And all without a shred of discernible talent, apart from a shrewd sense of self-promotion by any means necessary. She also unknowingly ushered in an entire era by which scores of young women have done exactly the same thing by the same method with quite often the same result.
So she's got that going for her.
9 Tila Tequila
As far as can be confirmed to date, this young woman's claim to fame is that she was desperate to be famous in some way. Born in Singapore and raised in Houston, Ms. Tila Ngyuen has been a very successful nude model, most famously posing numerous times for Playboy as early as age 19, as well as appearing naked on dozens of web mags. She has also appeared on television in both reality and cable programs, dabbled in the music and clothing industries and maintains a popular website as well as having been featured in several hardcore sex videos that also inexplicably found their way online. None of which explains how any of this is possible with someone whose personality at first glance could be summed up as 'uninspiring.' She's welcome to the kind of success that results from literally exploiting every artificially enhanced physical characteristic you may possess, but that also comes with thousands of Twitter followers with names like 'hungwiththewind' sending you a plethora of creepy messages that make you hire two full-time bodyguards and probably remain single until retirement.
8 The Duggars
Hooo baby! (full pun intended). For those not in the know, the Duggars are a robust Arkansas family featured on their own highly popular reality television show '19 Children and Counting,' which should give you a pretty good idea of the worldview going on in that household. Jim Bob Duggar is a former state legislator, current real estate agent and 'horndog' extraordinaire, while his pitiable wife Michelle has literally been pregnant for the entirety of her adult life. One can only hope that at some point, ol' Jim Bob realizes that even a brood mare can't foal forever. A miscarriage early in their marriage which they blamed on contraceptives led the Duggars to selflessly abandon birth control and the rest is the Brady Bunch on steroids. Though certainly blandly pleasant enough, the Duggars have revealed absolutely no measurable skills or talents other than a prodigious desire and ability to wear out mattresses statewide. This seems laughably ironic considering that as Independent Baptists, the family practices 'chaperoned courtships' rather than dating, which strictly forbids any physical contact between young couples before marriage. But slap that ring on y'all, and it's no holes barred (not proud of that, but damn it's apt). Can hardly wait for the spin-off series, '190 Grandkids and Bankrupt.'
7 Jenny McCarthy
Another successful Playboy model who has parlayed disrobing into a career as an unremarkable actress, author and bubbly television personality, currently doing her thing on the widely popular television show, 'The View.' Again however, there isn't a whole lot of talent supporting Ms. McCarthy's career, though one has to grant her some credit for maintaining a persistent place in the public sphere for over 20 years, despite being a bad actress and dubious writer. Her controversial views on autism and vaccines have taken their toll on her popularity, which let's face it, has never even risen to Carmen Electra stature. Suffice to say that JM is laughing all the way to the bank however as being blonde, blue eyed and busty in America still beats dark hair, brown eyes and an identifiable talent.
6 Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi
Eyyyyy; watchulookin' at? Uhhh? Fuggedaboudid....
Yes folks, this is what America was hungering for; an honest, down to Earth reality show about real people living rich, full lives and expanding their horizons every Friday and Saturday night at the same clubs in Jersey where they get pissed and argue and fight and sleep around like the palookas they are. No one embodies this more than the Queen of 'Jersey Shore' herself, Snooki, a name you probably never thought you'd ever hear yourself saying out loud. A true American rags to riches story, she was born in Chile, adopted and raised in New Jersey by Italian American parents and is now one of the richest reality stars in the United States, earning $150,000 per episode of her current program, 'Snooki and Jwow.' Yet for all her success, she is undeniably among the most untalented individuals currently surfing the giant wave of empty fame that only a superficial and stupid society like ours can create. So you go girl!
5 Coco Austin
Ever since the idea of getting totally naked to jump start your career (copyrighted around the year 12,000 BC), men have been looking to improve on that theme, culminating in a fairly recent resurgence of interest, attention and adulation given to the female backside. Now there is both the opportunity and apparent nonchalance of jump starting your career with only your naked backside, and no one does it better than Nicole Natalie 'Coco' Marrow (nee Austin), wife of rapper and actor Ice-T and owner of some of the most obvious examples of plastic surgery on the planet. Model, dancer, actress and entrepreneur notwithstanding, her true place in history will undoubtedly be as the first human being whose ass was visible from the ISS. Coco was most recently featured with her husband on the show 'Ice Loves Coco,' but the program was canceled in February 2014, leaving the reality world derriere-less, though the couple are said to be working on a deal for a new series. Still, it begs the question; was her success worth the sacrifice of those countless, brave Shetland ponies whose supple haunches now under Coco's taut skin will forever haunt the dreams of pre-pubescent boys and girls everywhere?
4 Honey Boo Boo
Originally featured on TLC's 'Toddlers and Tiaras,' 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' is an American reality program about child beauty pageant contestant Alana 'Honey Boo Boo' Thompson and her eccentric family. The show is filmed in rural McIntyre, Georgia and hosts some of the most authentic Southern stereotypes of any scripted reality program on the air. It's also insanely popular for some reason. It's certainly not the abundance of talent from the Rubenesque Thompson clan, whose skills include all manner of timely incontinence as well as a spirited refusal to either learn or employ the English language. Honey Boo Boo herself however is a dynamo; whether throwing tantrums, taunting her elders or simply showing her disdain for all the peons around her, she couldn't be more darling, in an Exorcist kind of way. Prior to this show and its forerunner, most people were blissfully unaware of the enormity of the child pageant universe, while most now wish they still were, as it seems to many as little more than sanctioned servitude for children as young as 2 years of age. All odds are on little HBB to be a finalist on 'America's Got Issues' when she grows up.
3 David and Victoria Beckham
2 Sharon and Kelly Osbourne
While Sharon Osbourne has successfully managed her husband Ozzy's career as a rock legend and Bridge Troll model for decades, she has also unleashed herself and her offspring on an unsuspecting world via their wildly successful reality show 'The Osbournes.' The fact she and her daughter Kelly have parlayed that masterpiece of contrived nonsense into equally successful work as television personalities belies the fact that neither of these women have any actual talent as entertainers, unless spouting opinions on important matters such as who wore it better on the red carpet or why cheating spouses should be castrated, somehow qualifies.
1 The Kardashians
It's hard to know which actually ranks lower; becoming famous for nothing more than having a big ass on a sex tape, or simply being famous for being related to that person and nothing more. Either way, this family is the pinnacle of what it is to be successful without any justification whatsoever for wealth and notoriety. Kim Kardashian is famous for smuggling Chinese migrants in her back pockets and for the most popular sex tape in history, her sisters Khloe and Kourtney became famous for simply sharing her DNA while their brother Rob increasingly introduces himself as 'John Smith' and has recently gained about 200 pounds. Their mother Kris is married to former athlete and current Elf Lord, Bruce Jenner and they have two younger daughters, Kendall and Kylie. They are all featured on the incredibly popular reality show 'Keeping up with the Kardashians,' which literally shows them all spending millions of dollars shopping or planning weddings or divorces and television ratings spectaculars or just goofin' with the Sultan of Brunei whenever they get bored. You know, Main Street USA kind of stuff. The entire family combined doesn't have enough talent to shine Mickey Rooney's shoes.
This era may end folks, but until it does, get ready for even more famous people who haven't got any more talent than to get themselves on the news by doing something outrageous. They're pretty much exactly like that old Bugs Bunny cartoon where a construction worker finds a singing frog in the foundations of a building he's demolishing, and he instantly dreams of fame and fortune. The frog will only sing for him however, and all his dreams end up as destitute nightmares. In case you didn't catch the moral of the tale, don't long for fame and riches if you don't have anything of your own that could make you rich and famous.
Leave it to a 60-year-old Merri Melodies cartoon to make more sense than most stuff going on right now