When Strangers Meet was one of my favorite classes this semester. We got to observe and interact with strangers, read really fascinating things, and do a research paper of our choosing at the end. I chose to do conduct my research on fame: who has it, how they got it, and what implications it has on those who observe them. There is no one formula for fame, but there seems to be a process of capturing the attention of an audience, nurturing and growing that audience, and retaining their interest. I peppered my final presentation with music from David Bowie and Lady Gaga, because they both have a style that is out of this world, and some of their best music is about the facets of fame that are only seen backstage. Lady Gaga, in particular, sings about the ups, downs, and many sides of fame. You know, the drugs, the sex, etc. However, some of her lyrics belittle these aspects of stardom, and others imply that the show can take over ones life. I really love her song paprazzi, and I analyzed it a bit when breaking down the dynamic between the famous and the paparazzi that stalk them. I found that dynamic interesting, because in essence, they need each other to make money. Think about it this way, if Lindsay Lohan did not have the paps after her, she probably wouldn’t be in the headlines, or in films and TV molding the minds of young girls all over. The implications of fame and the effects a famous person exerts on the masses are incalculable, but entertainment companies work their celebs to promote things and maximize their incomes. The higher a celeb is on the totem pole, the more influence they exert, and the more they “stimulate” the economy with their followers. All this is nothing you haven’t heard before, but it was definitely something interesting to look into at the end of the year for this project. You can read my paper called Fame/Scopophilia here. My slides for my presentation are below.