Last year was all about death. Be it physical (R.I.P Bettie Page, Eartha Kitt, and Radar) or metaphorical (Joaquin Phoenix’s acting career), America’s social conscience resembled the cratered ruins of ancient Rome. But a few celebrities — Barack Obama, say — inspired hope through revival. This leaves the better part of 2009 for us to learn how to cope with the state of things from their examples, making this year all about Darwinism. Survival tips after the jump!
Overshare. As Tori Spelling and Courtney Love both demonstrated, anyone with a diary, MySpace, Livejournal, or Xanga possesses the stuff that makes a modern memoir. Everyone loves a proper memoir, and it’s always a failsafe way to stretch fame. As John Mayer demonstrated, anyone who’s a toolbelt should have their Internet service disconnected.
Consider a career change. While the jury’s still out on Phoenix’s leap into music, a career change in an era which demands that i-bankers learn to fend for themselves may be an excellent way to explore fallback talents. For example, Jason Schwartzman’s endeavors give him a solid backup plan should Wes Anderson weary of him. But by all means, don’t ever consider swapping the silver screen for the small one — even if it means landing your own starring vehicle. Film darlings Parker Posey and Julianna Margulies both learned that lesson the hard way.
Stage a comeback. It doesn’t matter if it’s your third one in two years or your first since your group disbanded. Nothing spells “$ucce$$” like a nostalgia-fueled media assault. Bonus points if you can get the former Mr. Jessica Simpson to record a cover version of your song. But avoid seeking assistance from a hot hip-hop producer who’s already been around the block. It hasn’t helped Madonna tremendously.
Pretend to be stupid. As Sarah Palin handily proved, well, everywhere, if you feign (or sincerely exhibit) ignorance and make sure every public misstep is more dire than the last, people will lower their expectations of you. This way, you’ll be rewarded when you finally do something right.
Attempt self-improvement. Your friends at US Weekly have slapped together an index of celebrities’ resolutions for this year. Take heart knowing that when you inevitably fall off the wagon and burn through a pack of Pall Malls on an unfortunate afternoon sometime before Valentine’s Day, you won’t be alone.