In 2006, some liminal filter still remains between celebrities and the rest of us. But the American public's insatiable demand for the famous is always blurring the boundaries, producing an unnerving expansion of the ranks of celebrities, celebutantes and even scilebrities (they're famous among scientists). The latest warning signal appears on the April issue of Stuff from Dennis Publishing: She is Tila Tequila, and she has "the world's most popular MySpace page." Ms. Tequila's eight-page spread inside reports that she has 800,000 "friends" on MySpace and has become the top-ranked unsigned musician in page views-"more than 245 million the last time we checked."
Now, our very own Simon Dumenco argued in last week's column that celebrity was dead, or at least dying fast as consumers realize that the B-listers and worse being passed off as famous are really just people with cameras in front of them.
But Americans aren't about to develop a preoccupation to replace celebrity, and Ms. Tequila won't be the last one to benefit. Don't be surprised if the celebrity-media complex increasingly adopts community sites like MySpace as farm leagues for fame.