By R. Penfold-Mounce
Within the twenty first century celebrities and big name tradition prospers. This book explores the much famous yet little analyzed dating among big name and crime. Criminals who turn into celebrities and celebrities who turn into criminals are tested, drawing on Foucault's idea of governance.
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Extra resources for Celebrity Culture and Crime: The Joy of Transgression (Cultural Criminology)
Instead, spectacle in celebrity culture praises and promotes commodities, contributing to celebrities who pass into spectacle as a model for identity. As a result, no one today can reasonably doubt the existence, power or control of the spectacle (Debord, 1988: 5) despite its often artificial nature in celebrity culture. The power of spectacle is demonstrated through public fascination almost possessing ‘a life of its own’ (Baudrillard, 1981: 90). Public enjoyment of spectacle particularly of a transgressive nature is reflected in Margaret Atwood’s historical novel Alias Grace (1996), whose protagonist Celebrity, Fame and Culture 29 is based upon the mid-nineteenth-century Canadian murderess Grace Marks.
Interestingly, the spectacle of Jack the Ripper was not present in the Chamber of Horrors until 1980, when Tussaud’s bowed to popular demand for more gore, leading to the accommodation of sound, lighting and smell to produce a realistic setting (Walkowitz, 1994: 1). : 1–2). : 230). The Yorkshire Ripper murders became a mediated spectacle watched by the public, who resonated with the fear and danger while waiting anxiously for the next instalment of the drama. The spectacle of the Ripper was ‘not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images’ (Debord, 1983: Paragraph 4).
In a society dominated by the projection of false need, individuals are an object of calculation and control in which ‘the customer is not king, as [the culture industry] would have us believe, not its subject but its object’ (Adorno, 1991: 85). : 91) albeit via pleasure seeking. The social control of the culture industry is rooted in a false consciousness that stimulates the creation of an overwhelming need for production and consumption of waste; need for stupefying work where there is no longer any necessity; need for modes of relaxation which soothes and prolongs stupefaction; and need for maintaining deceptive liberties such as free competition at administered prices, free press which censors itself and free choice between brands and gadgets (Marcuse, 2002: 10–11).