Sunday, August 24, 2003

Benefits and Perils of Stardom

Thanks to Story Supernova reality show, Marin Tironi became Croatia's biggest celebrity, than Croatia's best known media acquisition, Croatia's most popular pothead and, finally, Croatia's best known quiz show host. But this doesn't seem to be enough for Tironi, who is enjoying privileges few of us can imagine. Tironi is going to be Croatia's best known teacher.

"Experta", Zagreb business school owned by Ivica Ropuš (Ivica Ropus), one of Tudjman's former advisors, hired Tironi to work as an assistant teacher for Television Show Hosting course. Tironi is going to be paid 500 HRK (67 €) per hour. He should work together with Helga Vlahović-Brnobić (Helga Vlahovic-Brnobic), legendary Croatian state television anchor whose career spawned for 35 years.

Apart from posing in front of cameras of Nova TV and brief stint as quiz show host on Croatian state television, Tironi lacks television experience. So far the highest level of his education is high school. But that didn't discourage "Experta" from hiring him; quality of the course is less important than the hordes of spoiled Zagreb debutantes whose parents would pay 20,000 HRK (2,700 €) for the opportunity for their daughters and sons to watch their idol first hand.

Of course, in all this brouhaha everyone failed to provide any kind of explanation why Tironi became Croatia's greatest star. The closest thing is usual lamentation of media manipulating the public, especially the young. In that Croatia began to follow world trends. Being a small country in which everybody knows everybody and people are supposed to be more aware of each individual's worth was obviously not enough to protect Croatia from some wicked aspects celebrity culture. Just like we have airhead ex-models as country's top legislative representatives and media personalities created out of thin air, we would soon have stalkers and people ready to commit murder and similar crimes only for a brief touch of stardom.


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