So is Henry “Hank” Paulson a celebrity now? He’s on the cover of Newsweek, and his recent Google Trends seem to indicate as much.
Well those are certainly numbers any up and coming influential would envy! And he’s even sort of a New York City figure, having been the CEO of Goldman for a couple of years. And yet, I find myself hesitating to celebrate him.
What rich, thick insights can be drawn from my intuitive resistance to Paulson-mania? As I wrote recently, “celebrity” now carries with it a sense of shallowness, of inauthenticity, and of–how to put this delicately?–dumbness. Perhaps I resist thinking of Paulson as a celebrity because my subconscious framing is all wrong.
I find it interesting to meditate on these sorts of liminal cases. Are politicians celebrites? What about Arnold Schwarzenegger? Once you become a “celebrity,” are you one for all time? (Before you answer, think a moment on Corey Haim.)