tv Call-in with Justine Bateman Fame CSPAN May 5, 2019 10:30am-11:02am EDT
readers. >> they live at noon eastern is in depth with political communications expert, and former dean of the annenberg school, kathleen hall jamieson. she will answer questions and discuss her many books including her most recent, cyber war. how russian hackers and trolls helped elect a president. also this weekend, on afterwards, stanford university professor jennifer hart offers her thoughts on implicit racial bias. and the cato institute michael tanner provides a blueprint for reducing poverty. check your cable guide for a full schedule. >> we want to introduce you to author, justine bateman. here's her book, it is called "fame" the hijacking of reality. read through the book it seems like it's a relatively painful experience to write, is it a fact? >> i do not know that i will qualify it as painful. it is more of a, it's a
cleaning out your closet. so what i wanted to do for the readers comments about the lifecycle of fame from a sociological angle. what it's like on the inside of the lifecycle. it begins, and levels off and it descends. some people state the leveled off earea and for others like myself, it descends. it also what it is like for theories on why the public reacts the way it does at different points in that lifecycle and also how we as a society get to a point ewhere w put celebrity on such a high pedestal. so a lot of people say you have written a lot of painful or personal things because i use my own experiences as a framework as an investigative reporter would. or empirical sociologist. to me it tois like, is more lik
i see all these experiences, i put in there is items that you put up for sale at a garage sale. they are not personal anymore. i process them, and done with them and the only framework for the book. the book is not about, my experience is not unique, my experience is fame, it is many other people would've gone to this lifecycle that can find a lot of commonality in that. >> is fame addictive? >> i think what is even more addictive than fame is the idea of it. fame is something that a lot of people have an idea about. they not necessarily live through h it or been anywhere near it. the idea is this. it's almost a return to toddlerhood. if you had a happy toddler experience, when your toddler,
other people peer bills, everything you do is applauded. you are taking care of, you never have to worry about getting a ride anywhere or where you will go to school when you start pre-k and you're not thinking about any of these things and you are adored. it's a very low bar of accomplishment and in the same way people have an idea about fame similar to that. you get a lot of money, this is idea, right? you get a lot of money for not too much. everybody loves you, everything you do is going to be awarded. other people schedule your travel, give handlers etc. and it is not what the experience is really like. pieces of that may be true. but like somebody who is single who wants to believe that marriage is really wonderful, they know a few things about
somebody's married life and the rest of it to kick icout becaus it doesn't meet, it doesn't match the picture they have of it. and that is what people think about fame. >> justine bateman, you talk to a lot of people in this book. and you share your experiences. do you think that yours was a typical hollywood story in that sense? is that such a thing? >> yes, my experience with fame is not unique to me. the people that i spoke to, there were a lot of things that they had in common about the experience. and when i was suing the academic version, i abandoned for the style which is more stream of consciousness, i did have them grouped together.
they were a lot of comments they had in common, groups for plenty of that confirmation. >> you have a fame thermometer. >> yes, a fame thermometer, it is most when you are amongst other famous people. because now you are being seen relative to them. were your level of fame is seen relative to theirs. if you are in a room of people that have never done anything in the entertainment business, where the most famous person in the room. so the temperature is not really taken because of the comparison. but when you are among other famous people that temperature is taken and it's one of the most, the sharpest temperature taking that can be done.>> give an example of when your thermometer was at its highest and maybe toast.
you talk about that. >> when one is very famous, there's a lot of attention on that particular person. and it seems to confirm the publics view that all of the, all those attributes they've given to the same experience are true. because they see that person getting a lot of attention. they see that person, they read about the person getting a record deal or getting a lot of money to be in a film or something. and it seems that pursuit of fame which has now been democratized with social media so everyone can get in on it. you know, you can try and generate a large following relatively speaking. and i think it is really
damaging to us as a society for two reasons. one is being constantly, when one is constantly watched, it fundamentally changes how you relate to yourself and how you relate to others. because you're being watched and judged. so you know quantum mechanics, you cannot really measure a particle because once you're observing it it changes the behavior and it is something like that. thour human behavior something like that. it is the same for someone that is watched from 16, heavily from 16 to 39. and i think when people volunteer for that sort of thing with social media, there always monitoring cells taking pictures and selfies and try to maintain whatever particular brand they have decided on. it is very damaging and also the quantification of your value.
it is not whether or not you took a good picture but how many likes did it get? how many likes or how many followers you have or how many subscribers you have. and i recently talked to some psychologists that specialize in peas. this is really a fever pitch right now with the self-esteem being wholly wrapped up in like an entire day of somebody's mood or somebody's feelings about themselves will be wrapped up in whether or not they were enough likes and in particular, how many, the number of likes they have relatively to someone else's likes and that sort of thing. we really got into this quantification of july 4th which is, which is a subset of fame. justine bateman is our guest here on booktv.
the numbers on the screen. the topic, being a celebrity and what it means today. 202-748-8201, will get to in a minute.speaking of accomplishments and melding yourself one of the things you write about yourself is that you did a guest spot on modern family at one point. at about the same time you graduated from ucla, and computer science. and the attention that the two got completely different. >> yeah, it's really interesting. people are very excited to hear that, people very excited to hear that you have done something that has been you know, on t.v. or in a theater
but yeah, it is that quantification of millions of people are watching so they want to get in on that. there's also part of in sociology, the bandwagon effect. if many people were watching it and million people were wanted to be excited they too want to be excited about it and they are not really looking at whether or not they are excited about it. services while i was getting my computer science degree at ucla. and you know, now i am writing and directing and producing and seeing a film that is this august, now i am squarely behind the scenes. it is interesting, the most interesting reflections i've got from readers has been from those who say how much they
related to the book though they are not in the entertainment business at all. there was a blind woman that told me she really related to the chapter r that talked about being treated as not a person. because she said people treat me like i'm not a person because i happen to be blind. and another military, not executive, trevor. >> officer? >> officer, thank you. a military officer recently highly decorated and recently retired. and he really related to having to shift from being in an environment where everyone knows it seems clear what your value is and in all of europe, in the way all the other people relating to you and yet now he is squarely in this civilian space where either none of it is known about or none of it has applied. and how you have to adjust your ego. and i mean that in a good
sense. but also your identity, everything in your, your humility too.how do you relate to other people and how they relate to you. you have to do a complete shift on everything. >> one of the things you pointed out here is the presentation and media world usually like with family ties, 26 million people a week are watching you. 26, not that many people watch network t.v. in a week. do they? >> it is funny, yeah. back in the 80s and into the 90s, yet very concentrated audiences. for film and t.v. and frankly, for music too. you had concentrated hubs of listening for sure. you had to go by record, go to the record store and by record. i mean music, went into the
digital space earlier than the rest of it. but yeah, now that there are so many different ways to consume entertainment, yes, you can find an entire season of a show that cumulatively has reached 26 million people versus on average, you know, a top-rated show back then. >> what did we care is the american public? why did we care who you were? >> back then?>> any time, why do we care? >> that is a good question. i mean -- you know, there are certain theories in any particular performer. i mean i think the most genuine connection is that you have a connection with the work they have done. you know particularly musicians i think. music can really weave into your life. and really it really important points. so then you ascribe a connection with the artist of course.
and so that is the most genuine way. but then most of my book is about this very strange -- excitement, nervous excitement about just being around anybody who is famous. you may not even necessarily like their work. but the way a fan or the public or anybody. i mean, the way the whole system sort of shifts because they are in the presence of somebody the other people find very famous. and who they know is very famous. and that is why i began writing the book. it's about wanting to look at that quality that sort of washes into a room. if brad pitt started walking by here, this interview would stop or pause or and everyone around
here would change as well. everybody would change. and a lot of people divest themselves of their own identities when they are standing in front of them. and not be themselves all. then afterwards ask themselves, what just happened to me? why did i start behaving like that? why was acting like that? so that is what i examine in the book. >> is a disease would -- is it easy to get lost? especially at 16 years old. >> the thing about fame, i talk iabout imposed reality. fame is imposed, your real reality is how you see yourself, how you really see others. where you live, what gender you are. your height and weight, job, family members, all of that is your reality. if any one of those things were
to change, it can be very disruptive in someone's life. really traumatic even. so fame is one of those elements for people where they become very famous it is imposed, other people are saying your famous and you cannot really escape it.so you adjust to it. and you try to hold inside how you really do feel about yourself. sometimes if you can't become inescapable to assess yourself the same way everyone else does. that is how we build d our reality when we are young and we get older and older. we learn what things are acceptable. in this particular society or not. people treat me this way when i act like this and they treat me that way when i act like that. so i will adjust to how i want, my behavior according to how i want to be treated. it doesn't happen in a vacuum. i do not think you can really discover who you are if you are just in a closet your entire
life. so can you become lost in it is more a matter of if this becomes your reality. it's like, can you become lost in the idea that if you live in los angeles that you live in los angeles. and people would say don't know you mean like i just live here. i'm not lost in it, it is just reality. so for fame, is reality try to manage. the more interesting to me is can you let it slip away. so something has been jerked out of your reality in the same way that your house burned down or your spouse died or your parents got divorced. was something that was a big shift in your reality that affects everything. and that is what happens when fame fades from you know, is very small sector of the population. like i was saying that for a military officer, when he retired and no longer had that
reality to live in. it is an adjustment that not that many people are going to sympathize with or understand. but i think when people think of it in that way, there are lots of realities in peoples lives that sometimes shift and change and you have to adjust to it and it affects your self-esteem and your own identity. i think people really, that is why the way i tried to put in the book. so other people can relate to just the shifting of reality and impose reality like people telling you who you are versus who you really are. >> let's hear from our callers. let's begin with dave, calling from irvine california about 40 miles from where were sitting right now. go ahead, dave. >> hi justine, my name is dave. it seems to me is kind of why a celebrity, that would be like carrying a mask, a golden magical mask that the reason
you're a celebrity is that there are other people that carry that mask of you with them. and then when they see a person, they expect you to have that mask on only more powerfully i suppose because they are meeting you. >> dave, we are going to leave it there because justine bateman, you extensively about exactly what he just said. >> yes, dave. it is a great point. in the book, talk about their spring something on you. they sort of an sconce in you or like a -- there putting you in sort of a cocoon and it's all they will look at. and you are inside, the famous person, saying can't they see
me? i am being true to myself, behaving the way i really am it but it's almost a refusal in seeing that. they want to see often times, they want to see the facade. they don't want to be petrue yo are just a real person. in fact, when a famous person does do everyday things, is not just dismissed, it is actually, photos are taken of that and put in -- i don't know if it is people or us magazine. there is an entire section, they are just like us. as if it is a crazy idea that somebody would be you know, eat a snack or go to the restroom or go to the grocery store or something like that. i think it is because in my book i talk about people wanting it to be true. that there is a golden ticket. do something. and if you look for a lot of people, it makes their lives better to imagine that there is a way out of whatever it is
they're currently experiencing. some people it is the idea of heaven. being whatever they want to think of it in their minds. because none of us have actually been there and come back and said this is what it's like. but fame is like that as well. they want to see that mask so it's a very good observation you made. >> two things from your book to relate to dave. you found yourself being very polite, often in society are out in the public. and the elevator story. >> yes. it ties into being spoken of while you're standing in quite close proximity to people. being spoken of as if you are not there. yeah, that happened a lot back then. >> two people having a conversation, your hair looks darker in tv.and you're standing there listening to them.>> is true, because you are not real. i think it is necessary that
the public often see those who are famous is not real. otherwise it shatters this thing we're talking about that dave brought up. it shatters this idea that is another lane of existence while still alive where you get to relive your toddlerhood. bills are paid everyone loves you, etc. so i feel like a lot of people like to believe that is -- it is a sort of lottery ticket thing. >> anthony from covina california. hi anthony. i do not think anthony is with us. to oklahoma. to go this is bob. bob is calling from oklahoma. you are on with author, justine bateman. >> hello justin, good to see you again. to see you still working and writing.
i just want outo touch on you mention humility. i do a lot of writing. and i am noticing that we live in a society today that i would say is full of a yuppie class, we have a president with no humidity. no capacity for humility. my entire life, i'm about to turn 60 and i've seen a lot of things in my life. and i have seen a lot of -- a lack of humility. and this sort of predisposed angst about what you're talking about there about continuing the unreality. you know -- >> let's let justine bateman rip on that little bit. >> that's interesting, thank you bob.
personally, i found that to be greatly true as well. and i think i touch on this in the book. it has a lot to do with reality show mentality. wherein i believe, everyone has skills and talents. it's a matter of whether or not people will develop the skills and talents. and i think for a lot of reality shows, i think the reality show sponsors a large portion of our population has fostered an idea that you should get paid for just being there. you do not need to develop any skills or talents. and in fact, behaving badly like not having integrity, not having humility, being greedy, ndbeing bossy, being rude is going to be rewarded financially. with finance and also attention. and unfortunately, that has
been proved out. it is unfortunate confirmation. you mentioned you know, political offices are maintained by those who are not behaving more with integrity and humility. we have like i said, a lot of reality show contestants behaving with absence of integrity and humility. and it is a shame that has become so widespread and i think is really influenced a whole oyounger generation of i the workforce. with, we've gotten away from valuing of hard work and being a person of integrity and qualities that are, we put in the same category. i think a lot of it has to do with this almost panicky desire for celebrities.
because a lot of times, and i say this in the book, individual baskets filled with talent. not you specifically bob but for anybody, may not be something that would make one famous. and so i think too many of us are pushing aside our own skills and talents in exchange for an opportunity to become famous. for nothing, really. sbecause our society has put it on such a high pedestal. it can only be done on an individual level. to make someone of integrity who works hard in all of this, put on a higher pedestal to value that more. i mean i cannot talk about the entire society but i know that's how i see things and i have a lot more respect for people who are working hard and have integrity then for those who set that aside in order to
get attention. >> let's hear from carolyn in virginia beach, virginia. hi carolyn. >> hi justine, my lamb is carolyn christopher. i am way out here on the east coast. thank you for taking the time to answer my question. there are so many outlets now, cable channels, amazon tv, youtube, etc. are we seeing talents being discovered or too much mediocre talent and are people really just obsessed with becoming a star and wanting that 15 minutes of fame so to speak? >> thank you, carolyn. you were just that a little bit. >> yes, carolyn. that is a great point. i think you'll really like the book because they do go into, there is a great writer, who had a good angle on the idea
that mediocre, those with mediocre talents sometimes rise up because the public can feel like a creator of that fame because they can point to it and say, we did that. that was not because the person was talented or anything. we did that. whereas if someone is truly talented, the public just, what are they going to get credit for just noticing someone was a great actor or great violinist or something? he is one thing you will see in the book. and also, another thing i go into the book is that because there's so many outlets, like we were mentioning earlier, the appetite for a larger quantity of famous people is at its height. there must be enough famous people to fill all of these hours, all of these channels, all of these websites. and so, i mean, do we have more
talented people now than 100 years ago? i don't really think so. i see your point, a lot will just get brought in because you just need to sort of fill the shelf with goods. >> here is the book, it is called "fame" the hijacking of reality paid the author is justine bateman, incorporated you for being a booktv. >> thank you and i want to tell callers, thank you.your questions were really intelligent and i appreciate that. i understand is not a moderated form and you have great questions. >> we operate without a net here on booktv and c-span. ...
federal prosecutor versus southern district of new york. he's interviewed by senator richard blumenthal of connecticut. "after words" is a weekly interview program with relevant guest host interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> host: hello. i'm richard blumenthal, united states senator from connecticut and i'm really pleased and honored to be here with preet bharara, former united states attorney for the southern district of new york and the author of a wonderful book, "doing justice." and i may say in the interest of full disclosure that i found this book to be really remarkable in its inside, it's readability and its profound ideas for not appreciating but also improving our public discourse. i want to ask you right off