"The worship of celebrity is the religion we have conjured out of the hollowness of our deepest selves." From Louis XIV and the Aztec feast of Toxcatl to Byron's and Britney Spears' hair, Stephen Marche muses on the meaning and origins of celebrity culture in Consumer Products:
"Celebrities are not appendages of our society anymore; they are the basis of our communal lives. Literature and architecture, art and politics, are at most sidelights—small, ancient alleyways down which fewer and fewer minds wander. Pop culture has long since left the word culture behind to become the primary way we understand the world. Just before she died, the film critic Pauline Kael told a friend, “When we championed trash culture, we had no idea it would become the only culture,” and she was right."