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Bob Dylan, Skip Gates, and the New Celebrity Culture: Do You Know Who I Am?

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In my neighborhood in New York there are countless 20- and 30-something celebrities who I don't recognize. I had to be clued in that the girl in the Polish diner was Chloë Sevigny, that the guy jogging on Delancy Street was Justin Long (whoever he is), and that the fellow in the window of the pizza place around the corner was a rock star who my son thinks the world of.

Likewise, the police in Asbury Park had no idea they'd collared Bob Dylan, or, the cop in Cambridge that he'd cuffed Skip Gates.

What if there are no celebrities anymore? That is, nobody who's universally recognizable. No truly iconic figures. No absolute stars.

It was bound to happen. Celebrities are made by media and if more and more people are watching more and more minusculely targeted media, we inevitably get to the point--the tipping point, as it were -- where nobody shares the same famous folk.

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