I'm not much for celebrities and following their antics, whether for a good cause or just for attention, so when it comes to talking about them I tend to leave the conversation to other people. I do like talking about sports though, or at least pretending like I know what I'm talking about when talking about sports, so I can't say I'm immune to the phenomenon that the author talks about where people spend most of the time talking about someone else in conversation. Even though I don't typically follow celebrity news, outside of reading magazine titles in line at the store, one thing that I found extremely interesting from hearing about this book was this idea of a democratic celebrity.
A democratic celebrity is a celebrity that is created basically by general consensus by society. Whether that means people voted for them in a national election or they had a bunch of views/hits on some internet video or social networking site on the internet, these are celebrities who weren't created by some traditional celebrity making machine, but by the will of the people. That's not hard to imagine, of course, but the piece of information I thought really telling about the fleeting nature of celebrity is how the majority of democratic celebrities never maintain or regain their celebrity status after the initial celebrity creating experience has passed. American Idol winners haven't had nearly the celebrity status that one would think considering the maintained success of Kelly Clarkson and internet celebrity status hasn't exactly landed most people an invitation onto the red carpet. I guess it's certainly more of a flash in the pan mentality where everyone feels they can get lucky with that One Hit Wonder, but afterwards will never find the magic again.
One reason reason that democratic celebrities might lack the same sustained success possibilities as other celebrities might be just the fickleness of crowds. A crowd will flock to something and then just as quickly abandon that something for the newest something that catches the eyes/ears/hearts of the crowd. Self-promotion is also difficult and I would assume most people think of it as a plain grab for attention and tend to tune it out. Compare this to "real" or "classic" celebrities who have full teams of people to manage their careers and provide the publicity and advertisement. Strangely it feels more rational and less like someone trying to shove him or herself into our collective faces.