Thursday, September 22, 2005

Whos that with Jeremy?

I'd heard it mentioned before, possibly in one of the FTVMS classes, but i came across quite an interesting website.

Jeremy is a three year old boy living in New York with his parents, and since he was pretty much days old he has been photographed with hundreds of different famous people - from actors and actresses such as Anna Paquin, to sports stars and Politicians such as Al Gore and Bill Clinton. The site was set up by his father kind of like a hobby because his mother was going back to work full time, but i think he's kind of taken it a bit too far. From looking at the site it appears that Jeremy has spent much of his childhood waiting in queues or fighting crowds to meet these famous people, and he's even appeared on numerous tv shows.
Jeremy's 'adventures' have generated so much publicity that theres even a note on the site giving contact details if your from the media and interested in meeting him/having him on your show.
It struck me as being similar to The Truman Show - this little boys life, to a certain extent, is being displayed over the internet and other forms of media for anyone to see - the site has had over half a million visitors. Theres even personal photos such as Jeremys first day at preschool and family photos.
The whole set up made me question whether it was ethical for Jeremy's father to use the internet to publicise his childs life in order to fuel his own desire for fame - and even gain revenue from the media attention Jeremy is recieving. Especially seeing as Jeremy doesnt have the ability to make his own decisions. The large number of childrens products that Jeremy is endorsing is also an example of this - lots of his clothing is simply advertising.
When Jeremy is older he'll be lucky enough to have an entire website filled with details of his life growing up, and thousands of emails from complete strangers telling him how adorable he is. Many people like to display their childrens younger years on the net for people to see, but it is in a much more natural context. Maybe i'm being a bit harsh, but I wonder how many personal memories Jeremy will have that will be similar to those of a normal kid? Despite all this however, when looking at all of his photos Jeremy does appear to be pretty happy.


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