In many ways, celebrities are the ultimate manifestation of the American dream: the idea that you can start out an ordinary person and become a Star. Fittingly, then, a burgeoning obsession with celebrity was perhaps the defining feature of 20th-century American culture. The very idea of “celebrity” didn’t really exist in 1900; by 2000, you could visit a remote Himalayan village or go and hang with the bushmen of the Kalahari and you’d still find someone who loved Michael Jordan or told you how much you looked like Brad Pitt. And today, those same villagers and bushmen are probably marveling over how Solange attacked Jay Z in an elevator.
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