Child Labor Travesty or Pap Smear? You Decide!
October 8, 2007 9:34 PM   Subscribe

While other children their age spend their days in school, forming friendships and worrying over their grades, these two young ragamuffins spend long nights camped out in front of hot night spots they won't be able to legally enter themselves for at least half a decade. Please open your hearts, ladies and gentlemen, to the littlest paparazzi.

Galleries here and here.
posted by maryh (29 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
F'ed up.
posted by k8t at 9:38 PM on October 8, 2007

They will wendell.
posted by Poolio at 9:41 PM on October 8, 2007

Seriously, I thought I'd reached my despair limit today after looking at Citizen Premier's zombie snail link a few posts down, but this just capped it.
posted by maryh at 9:49 PM on October 8, 2007

Wannabe wannabes. Cute.
posted by pompomtom at 10:03 PM on October 8, 2007

Child labor travesty? Is it illegal to be self-employed at 15?
posted by tehloki at 10:25 PM on October 8, 2007


Mike Tyson; Sports icon; it was a pleasure to photograph him and what a great guy
posted by M Edward at 11:04 PM on October 8, 2007

Is it illegal to be self-employed at 15?

That's what she said.
posted by Poolio at 11:10 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Holy crap. I don't even know what my reaction to it is. Something along the lines of stunned disbelief.
posted by Phire at 11:11 PM on October 8, 2007

I was just reading about these little pint-sized celebrity stalkers today on defamer. Wish I was more surprised.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:17 PM on October 8, 2007

Charming scamps.

I think the problem with what they want - that is, to be friends with the celebrities - is trust. No celebrity can trust that they aren't just going to sell the photos they take, ostensibly just party snapshots to be seen by no one else, except their inner circle.

Added to that, neither boy is really attractive enough to become a celebrity in their own right, though the younger one has cute potential.

Time is really against these boys, the way it is against models or baseball players. They have to milk this now because in three or four years they will no longer have the charm of youth. They will merely be part of the crowd that Killed Diana.

By then of course, they will probably be great paparazzi, but hardly the novelty they are today.
posted by Sully at 11:20 PM on October 8, 2007

“I’m going to let this go as far as it takes me,” said Blaine, fidgeting with his V800. “I want to be friends with the celebrities more than take photos of them. I kind of wish I was going to the parties with them.”

*returns to reading latest Adbusters magazine*
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:49 PM on October 8, 2007

The firstest Paparazzo.
posted by pracowity at 12:08 AM on October 9, 2007

Thanks for that link, pracowity. I love the Fellini drawing of Paparazzo- he's like a human wasp, stinging and dancing at the same time, without a hint of emotion on his face.
posted by maryh at 12:20 AM on October 9, 2007

Poor kids.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:43 AM on October 9, 2007

Uhm... yeah.

These two are bargaining that due to their young age, the celebrities might cut them a break. They're also trying to act out their fantasies. They can't be friends with all the celebrities that they want, so they'll do the next best thing: they'll take pics of them.

"A few months ago, Austin said, the singer Erykah Badu ripped his camera out of his hands and deleted his photos..."

Good for you Ms. Badu. I don't care if they're seven and nine. Papparazzi are legally robbing these celebrities of their inalienable rights.

And yeah. We could argue this point until doomsday. When they became famous they gave up their rights. I've heard the argument before. The fair and just thing would be to insist that any photograph taken and then used for profit must first get permission from the one taken. People should be able to take pictures of anyone they want, but if you wanna make money off someone else's face, that person's face should get to say something about that.

I agree that a celebrity's life loses the level of privacy that most people take for granted, but only cuz more people are looking in their direction. They don't stop being human. They don't lose their inalienable rights.

The problem is, society can't police the fair and just thing. We can't afford it. And the papparazzi business is making a lot of money for a lot of people, at the expense of others, but those others are in no condition to complain.

Aw, we got to see Jennifer Anniston without her clothes on again. She just loves walking around beaches topless doesn't she? She's got enough money. You'd think she could buy a tank top.

We have no sympathy for the celebrity. They're just losing their privacy, and in today's society, privacy has become an illusion.

The only reason I haven't lost my privacy is cuz no one cares to look my way. If I ever won the lottery, or ended up on the news for some reason I can't fathom, or took a pill of courage and auditioned for a good role and actually got it? I'd have zero privacy if people cared to look my way.

When I was Blaine's age, I didn't wanna rub elbows with the celeb elite. I wanted to BE the celeb elite. Thank God that God knew better than I did what was good for me. In hindsight, I really wouldn't wanna live my life on display like that.

Then again, we all do, it's just no one's looking at you or me. Count our blessings, I suppose.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:01 AM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

ZachsMind - I think that most people want to be successful at what they love, it's just that certain jobs (like acting or singing) come with all this extra shit like fame.

No matter how I look at it, fame sucks. Did you read Fry's thoughts on the subject?
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:37 AM on October 9, 2007

When your living depends on your mere celebrity (being in the news, in the rags, talked about by people who care about such stuff, being famous for being famous, living the Zsa Zsa life), being chased by photographers seems a much better situation than not being chased by photographers.

Obviously, no one should be endangered by photographers, but a celebrity like pretty much any of these complaining about photographers clustering around is like a tube worm complaining about the microbes living in its trophosome.
posted by pracowity at 2:44 AM on October 9, 2007 [2 favorites]

When I was Blaine's age, I didn't wanna rub elbows with the celeb elite. I wanted to BE the celeb elite.

When I was Blaine's age I wanted to play music, play sports and meet girls. Not that these kids are indicative of an entire generation (thank you Style section). But I think this is still some pretty fucked up shit.
posted by psmealey at 2:48 AM on October 9, 2007

What happened to cutting lawns as a teenage source of income?
posted by notsnot at 3:13 AM on October 9, 2007

Where the hell do self employed 15 year old photogs get the cash for a high end SLR and lenses?
posted by public at 4:04 AM on October 9, 2007

Where the hell do self employed 15 year old photogs get the cash for a high end SLR and lenses?

Apparently, from Dad. $8000 worth, for one of them.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:50 AM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Is it me or are these kids pretty lame?
posted by oddman at 6:15 AM on October 9, 2007

Well I certainly don't have much sympathy for rich kids who are A) celebrity star-fuckers, and B) Given expensive gift from their parents ($8k cameras? guh)
posted by delmoi at 6:18 AM on October 9, 2007

“You do have the Hollywood access, you have the unusual after-school-job sort of thing, but to me that’s all backdrop,” said Jeffrey Wank

Jeff Wank? Damn.
posted by Pecinpah at 6:24 AM on October 9, 2007

When I young, I wished that my parents had pushed me to be a star, like all the kids I saw on TV. Now, I kiss them for NOT doing so.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:22 AM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

LA is a weird microcosm. Things that aren't normal anywhere else appear normal when you're in the city too long. And some people, the celebrity culture brings out a particularly weird side of them.

When I was a waitress I used to work with this guy... I'll call him Chris. He was one of those people who is very gay but he's the only one that doesn't know. He would absolutely squeal over the celebrities he's "gotten to know." He once buzzed around Liza Minnelli's trailer so much she invited him inside to chat. He would actually find out where stars lived and try to ring their doorbells to introduce himself and take their photo. I was pretty horrified by it, and the few times I was with him when he saw a celebrity I would always excuse myself and get out of the vicinity. I just couldn't bear to watch or be part of what he might do. I used to ask him, "Wouldn't you rather respect them as people?" and he looked at me like I was on crack. To him, they were put on this earth basically just for him. And he put SO much energy into it... he was a 30 something year old professional waiter and I used to tell him, "You know, if you put this much effort into finding a career besides waiting tables you would probably be running a company by now."

After I quit the job I went back to visit the restaurant once to visit and it appeared that Chris had actually gotten quite organized about his celebrity hobby. He said, "Wanna see something cool?" and took me outside to his car. Popped the trunk. Inside were alphabetized boxes of celebrity photos. Some were photos he'd taken of himself with celebrities, others were just signable stuff. He said that he had worked out a system so if he found out a celebrity was in the vicinity he could just grab their file and get them to sign everything in it.

What struck me about this was that he was using the same technique that professional autograph hounds do, but with one big difference. Autographs are worth less if they're personalized really -- nobody really wants to buy a photo of Chris with a celebrity autograph saying, "To Chris." So this was purely for his ego, purely about Chris, and nothing else. Any money he could make on his collection is probably far less because of that.

Anyhow, I'm pretty sure that's the last time I saw him, but I will always have this image of him as a 60 year old waiter coming home to be surrounded by his photos, talking to them and calling them his best friends.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:07 AM on October 9, 2007

Submitted for your approval: overpopulation.
posted by poweredbybeard at 8:26 AM on October 9, 2007

At first, I was like, "These kids are dicks."

Then I was tempted to cut them some slack, 'cause they're young, and they're following what they want to do, and they've got plenty of time to grow up and be better human beings.

Then I remembered what it was like to be fourteen, and what my take on them would have been when I was that age.

These kids are total fucking dicks.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:39 AM on October 9, 2007

That they are doing this at 14 and 15, with thousands of dollars of equipment, is seriously f**ked up, I agree. I was staunchly on the side of DO NOT WANT.

But I checked out the galleries. Blaine's is just what I figured it would be, a show-off site with little design appeal, too loud audio and slow-loading, low-quality pics.

But Austin's, the second gallery? That kid shows real promise. He does have an artist's eye. Hopefully, as he ages, his choice of topics will mature, too.
posted by misha at 9:27 AM on October 9, 2007

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