Guilty pleasure: I read People Magazine

Hello, my name is Katherine, and I'm a stargazer. I love the celebrities. I watch the red carpet ceremonies, and the special features on DVDs.

The previous post got me to thinking about celebrities, and if there are expectations that "everybody" knows who so-and-so is. Time tells me that these 100 people were the most influential in 2007. Is Time's list descriptive or prescriptive? Does it describe who people know the most, or is it a checklist to make sure you do know them? Time's readers tell me these are the 100 that should be on the list. I only know 4 of the top 10, but think it is cool that blogger PerezHilton was #16 on the list, while Paris Hilton was #100.

Obviously, a lot of which celebrities we know is generational. I had seen this kid's image plastered on every single teen magazine in the library, but, until I asked one of my teen volunteers, had no idea what his name was or why he was famous. I suspect that my knowing his name and filmography ups my cred with the teenage demographic. Ha! At the other end of the spectrum, a coworker was astounded when I had no idea who The Andrews Sisters were. Oh well. More of it has to do with our interests, and where our experiences and conversations take us. And that's fine.

I visited the Gallup site and found that they conduct favorability polls. I am not a statistician or economist or any other kind of number person - but I found these numbers interesting.
  • Hilary's numbers are 50/50 from 1994-present, except for a brief period in 1998 when her numbers were 60/40.
  • In 2007, 59% had not heard of Dennis Kucinich, and 1% had not heard of Oprah Winfrey. In the same year 19% had not heard of Jennifer Hudson, and 50% had not heard of Mike Huckabee.
  • The candidacy of now-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (former First Lady of Argentina) during her race was basically unopposed. Gallup polled Argentines, and found that 2/3 are satisfied with their standard of living, and 47% believe the economy is getting better. However, 60% do not trust elections, and more than half believe Argentina is not a safe place to express political views. In my limited experience with Argentines, this is true.
There's another side to this, of course. Do we know more about celebrities than we do about current history? For some, yes. That's another post.

No comments: