May 22, 2012
Barack Obama's 15 Minutes of FameBy Greg Lewis
In 1970, George Winne, Jr., achieved his Warholian 15 minutes of fame by setting himself on fire on the campus of the University of California, San Diego, to protest the war in Vietnam. These days you can achieve the same notoriety if you've done nothing more than bronze yourself to a deep pre-cancerous glow like tanning addict Patricia Krentcil.
Or, you can take things several steps further by doing your best to destroy the U.S. economy, fraternize with the Islamic enemy, and cripple the American energy industry. Add in advancing the cause of bringing our country under the rule of a big-government, crony-capitalist elite by dividing America into warring minority demographic groups in the most blatant manner imaginable, and you've got Barack Obama's claim to his 15 minutes of fame.
The president's 15 minutes has lasted longer than Warhol predicted, but I tend to think that at the time Warhol uttered the words, they reflected his understanding that our culture was changing so rapidly and dramatically, that everyone had the potential to spend time in the celebrity spotlight. In other words, some people's "15 minutes" last longer than others'.
The point is that in the increasingly democratic world of the electronic celebrity, having "what it takes" has taken on a new meaning. It has nothing to do with what we used to think of as being the sort of substantial person that might at least have had a shot at achieving celebrity status.
The key is the word "celebrity." Thanks to Barack Obama, the U.S. presidency now has less and less to do with competence and leadership and more and more to do with that elusive word whose definition changes with each degrading instance of its redefinition downward in the media.
We have a cool president who hobnobs with the ladies of The View and slow jams the news with comedian Jimmy Fallon. The key to these appearances? The people hosting them have risen to stardom despite having done nothing of substance in their lives. They're all products of a culture that's living down to the values Warhol must have had in mind when he began the redefinition of "fame."
Shortly after Obama raised his celebrity status another notch by reluctantly coming out in favor of gay marriage, he shared the spotlight with that most vacuous of celebs, George Clooney, who hosted a fundraiser attended by the Hollywood equivalent of Las Vegas whales and boosted Obama's campaign coffers by some $15 mil. The fundraiser hosted by gay singer Ricky Martin mustered only a comparatively measly $1 million for the "first gay president."
In keeping with the image of a celebrity president, it doesn't hurt that First Lady Michelle has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on 16 vacations, on several of which she has been accompanied by an entourage of a size that would put many a successful hip-hop artist to shame. When it comes to making the most of one's 15 minutes of fame, Michelle knows whereof she speaks.
In order to earn your 15 minutes of fame today, you need to do something that goes against the grain of the American spirit. The events that lead to their perpetrators' 15 minutes of fame need to have at least one of the following qualities: 1) be morally reprehensible (see Kardashian sisters) or downright illegal (see Eric Holder Fast and Furious); 2) contribute nothing to the benefit of society (see Bill Maher); 3) be based on lies or misrepresentations or done solely for personal aggrandizement or political gain (see Barack Obama).
It doesn't hurt that the press continues to drink the Obama "Cool-Aid" and ignores the turpitude at the heart of this administration.
The Obama re-election campaign is attempting to hold together a fragile coalition of minorities almost solely on the strength of Obama's now endangered celebrity status. The list of groups comprising that coalition includes many who have risen to prominence on the strength of their exemplifying at least one of the "values" listed above.
They include the following: radical environmentalists; those heavily dependent on the federal government for their subsistence; illegal immigrants who favor continuing the administration's policies of providing sanctuary and funding for those here illegally; women bent on convincing other women that being a woman consists precisely of not doing those things that women have traditionally done to maintain and define their families; the rapidly shrinking number of union members; and gender-based minorities.
This coalition is rapidly falling into disarray at the expense of the president's compulsion to be in the pop culture spotlight.
Obama's 15 minutes of fame is about to come to a crashing end at the hands of a rival candidate who aspires to nothing more than restoring American values that have been so distorted and displaced by those who, like Barack Obama, must have their 15 minutes in the bleak sun of narcissistic degeneracy and moral relativism that lights the world of the celebrity, and damn the consequences.