Chk Chk [Fizzle Out?]

May 25, 2009

OK, so time to weigh into the debate.

You may have seen this girl in the news lately. Did she rob a bank? No. Have any real journalistic content to talk about? Hardly. Does she posses any kind of discernible talent? Well, her ability to mimic an accent is questionable at best. Clare Werbeloff, better known as the Chk Chk Boom girl, has recently become another celebrity in the long line of internet sensations without any kind of special knowledge or talent.

In other words, they’re famous for being famous.

Now I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Without the Internet, most of us would probably spend our time sitting in awkward silence wondering what to do (or, god forbid, actually doing something productive). But the rise of the Internet age has led to this new type of celebrity- the Internet sensation. And quite frankly, I’ve had enough.

Celebrities without any form of real ability are not necessarily new. Socialites as far back as the 19th Century made names for themselves simply through constant participation in social activities. More recently, Paris Hilton has become ridiculously famous for….well, can anyone actually pinpoint exactly what it is she does? (Note: Sex tapes or bad singing does not count). Each year the entire cast of Big Brother become celebrities for varying lengths of time, for doing nothing but sitting around bitching in a house for 3 months.

Corey Worthington is another prime example. Advertising his house party on myspace (which is stupidity in itself), he became famous when the party was trashed and made news, including that interview. Not only was Corey famous for doing nothing, but he was actually rewarded for being a rude, obnoxious teenager (Granted the ACA interviewer was particularly hostile towards him, but ACA journalistic integrity is another debate entirely). Then, all of a sudden he was an overnight sensation. Next thing we knew he was the first minor to ever enter the Big Brother house. No wonder these people are striving for their 15 minutes: according to his agent, Max Markson, Worthington made a six figure sum in 2008. That’s a hell of a lot for a 17 year old, especially one who did nothing but interviews and TV appearances.

While it would be naive to place all the blame on one person, there is one figure who I have particular beef with. Max Markson. Markson manages ‘stars’, and is a self professed ‘Media Man Australia’ (his words not mine). He has managed celebrities including Bob Hawke, Ita Buttrose, but more notably Worthington, and now Werbeloff as well. As his website states, Markson can ‘make anyone a star’. Another line explains; “Granted, some [clients] were public names before contact with Markson, but “Maxy baby” helped kept them there.” If you can, take a look at the site, it’s a riot.

Markson (left) with client Greg Tingle

Markson (left) with client Greg Tingle

Jokes aside, this man is the reason so many of these so-called ‘celebrities’ are so prominent, at least in Australia. He is riding on the YouTube phenomenon, and unfortunately is showing no signs of slowing down. And i am sure for any country with access to YouTube, there are a dozen Marksons lurking in the wings.

Another thing i can’t seem to fathom is that these internet sensations always seem to end up with some kind of recording contract. Corey Worthington was in deals to record song (thank god he didn’t). Paris hilton released that single.  Someone has already remixed Clare Werbeloff into a dance track. Why? Why must they all become pop stars? Because they can’t do anything else? Yes, but we have hard evidence that they can’t exactly sing either.

The oxymoron of all this is, that the more people whine and complain and get up on their soap boxes about it (me included), the more publicity and money they get. Can anybody win?

For the word ‘celebrity’ to be given back to its rightful owners- those with actual talent- things need to change. News especially is part of the problem, but it can also be part of the solution. A simple search on news.com.au for ‘chk chk boom’ finds 4 pages of results. I understand that they are just reporting what people want to hear, but is it really necessary? Surely there are more pressing issues to focus on?

Only when people realise they are only fueling the fire by talking about these types of celebrity can this vicious cycle be broken. However, i can’t see this happening anytime in the near future. Popular culture always, and probably always will, appeal to the lowest common denominator.

So I’m going to do my bit by never giving these ‘celebrities’ the time they [don’t] deserve…after i press the Publish button. If i see them on TV, I’ll switch it off. If they comes up in conversation, I’ll (attempt) to change the subject. Maybe if we all do simple things like that these people can go back to where they belong: obscurity.

There, i’ll get off my soap box now.

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2 Responses to “Chk Chk [Fizzle Out?]”

  1. ... said

    its no big deal.

    people like stupid funny people.

    no reason to stress.

  2. fireatwill90 said

    I don’t think stressing is the right word. All i was doing was voicing my views on a topic that, regardless of whether or not it is a ‘big deal’, has triggered a lot of debate in the media.

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