fame is a mask that eats the face

Posh Spice might hope to feel at home in her new life in Los Angeles, but hubris is winding its way into her week as the ratings of her "Welcome to America" pseudo-documentary come in. In the U.K., where I live, this program was billed as a light-hearted, even "spoof" piece about her reputation for excess. But it seems the U.S. audience, or at least its television critics, weren’t quite ready for this. At any rate, whether or not she was joking, Victoria Beckham and her husband have become today’s totems of consumerist overdrive.

At the same time, according to media reports, the well-known environmentalist and anti-war activist, Barbra Streisand, has apparently issued the staff of a London hotel with demands about how they are to treat her while she stays there—including instructing them not to look her in the eye. You have to wonder just why someone who is about to sing to 15,000 people who are paying up to a thousand dollars each might be scared of a little personal interaction with just one of them, but I guess Barbra feels she’s earned the right.

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