Sunday, February 25, 2007

Follow Up

Last year, I wrote about this. This weekend, the LA Times has more about Cory Kennedy.
Put it this way: By the time Cory Kennedy's mother realized that her child had become, in the words of Gawker.com, an "Internet It Girl," the Web was riddled with photos of Cory posing, eating, dancing, shopping, romping at the beach, looking pensive and French-kissing one of the (adult) members of the rock band the Kings of Leon. She had European fan sites. She had thousands of people signing on to her MySpace pages. She had fashion bloggers dissecting her wardrobe ("a cross between the Little Match Girl and the quintessence of heroin chic," one wag called her taste in fashion). She had people watchers from the Netherlands to Japan speculating about her life story. (Was she a junkie? A refugee from Hyannis Port?) She had designers begging her to wear their clothes and deejays offering her money to show up at their nightclubs. She had invitations to party with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

She was living, in short, a teenager's dream and a parent's version of "Fear Factor." And the obvious questions—at least for her mother—were, "What happened? And how?"

[snip]

"I didn't connect the dots," she says, sighing. "But I'm real connected now."

It's hard to overstate the speed with which the Internet can now make someone a cultural icon. A YouTube video, a flub on "American Idol," a stupid pet trick—virtually anything can become a fast track to celebrity. What that means is still working itself out; all that's clear is that it's become unbelievably easy to get and leverage attention. A nobody can become a somebody at a moment's notice, just because everybody is always watching everything.