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Harmless fun

September 11th proves that celebrity culture hasn't corrupted society

By Cosmo Landesman   December 2001

Once we lived in a world tyrannised by trivia. It was a world in which the ascendancy of celebrity culture had corrupted public discourse, destroyed values and trashed aesthetic standards.

Or so many commentators once claimed. They saw a world “obsessed” by Big Brother contestants and a stream of talentless Hurleys and Halliwells. Like passive smokers, the educated elite inhaled the fumes of the fame fixation-and felt dizzy and disgusted.

Then came the terrorist attacks of 11th September and within days the news came from the US that celebrity culture was dead. Graydon Carter (editor of Vanity Fair) said that…

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