The Real American Idols are Going to Mess It Up for the Fake Ones

02/22/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

With the inauguration on Tuesday of Barack as rockstar-in-chief, America has seen the merciful end of the vapid celebrity. Let me rephrase that as a question. Is it really possible that the Jennifer Anistons of the world will at least temporarily take a back seat to famous people who -- gasp -- have something more to say than what the cue card tells them to?

We can hope, and we can do something about it, too.

In his speech, President Obama informed us all that we have now entered "a new era of responsibility," where we must realize "that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but, rather, seize gladly."

Part of this new responsibility is a need to focus on what is important. If the generational shift we voted for is going to occur, our country needs to take a deep breath and realize that the exploits of the celebrity du jour are literally with no meaning. Perez Hilton, at the time of the inauguration, had as the lead on his site a story about the status of Shia LeBouf's driver's license. Seriously?

The verdict is in: traditional notions of celebrity are passé. This week, the President called on us to start using our own individual gifts to make this country (the world?) better. This responsibility includes the duty to stop caring about stupid shit and find some idols who matter.

He won't say it, he is far too humble a guy, but here's a look at who personifies the new celebrity:

American Idols.

It's 2009. Yes, it's the first year of the Millennium.

Can we stop providing valuable mental and physical import to movie stars and singers and use brains to imitate and follow those who add a little bit of value to society. Let's try it for the next eight years, and see where it gets us. Laermer -- out.


I am Richard Laermer, author of 2011: Trendspotting and the blog