chapter  3
20 Pages

GIVING/IT ALL

David Giles argues that the proliferation of media, specifically television, in the late twentieth century expanded the opportunities for people to become famous. There were two periods in the twentieth century when social change and technological change converged dramatically, and both have a bearing on our understanding of celebrity culture. Television is like fire: it illuminates, ignites, and affects people in ways people rarely dwell on. Most people could hardly bear thinking about life without television. Viewers could not only see and hear a new array of people: they could almost reach out and touch them. In a way, they could almost swear they knew them. The more they felt they knew them, the more they became entranced. The whole point about celebrities is that there can never be too much information. There might not have been too much interest in Elizabeth Taylor's underwear, or, if there was, it would in the 1960s have been regarded as prurient.