A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-examined as a Grotesque, Crippling Disease, and Other Cultural Revolutions

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Viking, 2000 - Social Science - 229 pages
3 Reviews
Whether you lust after it, loathe it, or feign apathy towards it, fame is in your face. And it's the humiliating addiction of millions of American media fanatics. According to Cintra Wilson in her scathingly funny series of essays, it's the spiritual disease of the 20th century, making everyone sick and miserable. In her gonzo writing style, Cintra Wilson holds our noses to the Walk of Fame and forces us to see the pox that is celebrity culture. No one is safe from her raw and venomous attacks: From circus-like awards extravaganzas, to the morbid arrogance of those who have achieved fame, to the dog-eyed servants of celebs, autograph-seekers, "True Believers", the self-hating non-famous, and Satan's own hometown of L.A. -- that "big luscious peach of a dream filled with wormholes". And she explores the fascinating pyrotechnics and pretentions of fame in all its guises, including athletics, beauty pageants and porn.

With over the top hilarity and zeal, Wilson skewers every sacred cow imaginable in these dead-on critiques, exploring a world and mind set she knows all too well as a former fame seeker herself. Scathing, iconclastic, irresistible, essays like "Crossing Boundaries Towards a New Hermeneutics of Dumb Pimps Like Bruce Willis" will make you laugh out loud, and will cleanse us all.

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User Review  - JenneB - LibraryThing

I was trying to describe this book to a friend, and the closest I could come up with was "It's like if Tom Robbins and Maureen Dowd had a sordid one-night stand at some trashy producer's party in the ... Read full review

Review: A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Reexamined as Grotesque Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations

User Review  - lissa haffner - Goodreads

I picked this up, because I'm totally down with the sentiments behind it, and thought it would be an intelligent, researched expose. It's not that - it's more like a tirade, a long rant in bloggish ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Wilson is the star columnist for Salon, voted best website by Time Magazine. She also continues to pen her sassy, popular "Cintra Wilson Feels Your Pain" column every week for The San Francisco Examiner. Her articles have appeared in many national magazines. She has been commissioned to create works for HBO and FOX and was one of the first writers commissioned to write for Francis Ford Coppola's magazine, Zoetrope. She is currently working with him on two screenplays. She was the creator and voice of Winter Steele on MTV's Liquid Television. She has earned critical acclaim as a playwright.

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