Recently, when an author unknown to me referred to himself as a "B" level celebrity, I wondered: Who does the grading? How many times have you heard someone famous called an "A" level celebrity aka a "household name"? It quickly occurred to me that my blog - purposefully developed by someone with no fame or notoriety - is an ideal place to reflect on this inane matter. And who is more qualified to join this frivolous conversation than my readers, residents on the bell curve who, like me, are neither famous nor justifiably incarcerated? Let's get started, shall we?
In your view, which living celebrity deserves an "A" grade, i.e. is a household name? I'll abstain from nominating anyone until at least one reader comments. But let's continue using the school model as we move forward, OK? Who gets a "B"? And what does "B" stand for? This grader, your favorite blogger, proposes anyone living who can't venture out into public without some kind of disguise or bodyguard, or both, but is not an "A", is a "B". Though the author mentioned in my first sentence above may fancy himself a "B", I think he may be a self-inflicted victim of grade inflation, at least here in Bartonstan.
For "C" level celebrity how about the Children of those from the "A" category who decide to follow in their famous parents' footsteps? Some of these folks have talent; some do not; Some decide to use the famous name; some do not. You know the drill either way. Those who keep the name - talent or not - claim they're making it on their own. Those who don't - talent or not - hire a sharp publicist who somehow gets the critical info on the parentage to the right people in whatever industry the offspring happens to be working in. Either way, the "C" level celebrity applies.
"D" level celebrity can be a stand in for Drug or Drink Impaired (sometimes leading to Diva behavior or Dead), or Dropped out (either because fame appears to have a high cost some are not willing to pay or because of some shameful sexual shenanigans, politicians aside), or Degrees of separation (like those famous sidekicks without any discernible talent, aside from their nauseating obsequiousness).
"F" level celebrity is easy: Famous simply for being Famous. In this group, any individual who has ever appeared on a reality TV show and later gone on to capitalize on that dubious notoriety - can you say Kardashian? - gets an "F".
My final grade is not school related. Give the "Stepped in Shit" celebrities an "SS". This small group of people were smart enough to partner with others with vastly superior talent. But, instead of having the good sense to not draw attention to the disparity in talent with the partner(s) who catapulted them into fame, this SS group spends energy trying to convince their fickle public that they still deserve that "A" or "B". In the few unfortunate instances when I've been exposed to Art Garfunkel's post Paul Simon whining - especially when compared to Ringo Starr's wise modesty - I'm reminded that being a never was - call me a "Z" level celebrity - has at least one upside.