MINOT, N.D. — The term “famous for being famous” originated, more than likely, with British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge.
“In the past if someone was famous or notorious, it was for something — as a writer or an actor or a criminal; for some talent or distinction or abomination,” he wrote in 1967. “Today one is famous for being famous. People who come up to one in the street or in public places to claim recognition nearly always say: ‘I’ve seen you on the telly!’”
The term may have been coined in the 20th century, but it is the 21st century which has the best examples of it.
People like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and others have launched lucrative enterprises based around little more than their fame which, is in turn, based on their proximity to the wealth and/or fame accumulated by others.
As the Bank of North Dakota celebrated its 100th birthday recently, it was this famous-for-being-famous phenomena I was thinking of.