In his weeklong diary for Slate, Brit writer Toby Young takes the overdone observation that "fame is like a drug" and extrapolates it into a city-wide epidemic:
In the same way that other cities have been ravaged by certain drugs, L.A. is in the grip of a fame epidemic. Like cocaine, it used to be the drug of choice for a privileged few, but now it's gone mainstream, often in a very adulterated form. The kind of notoriety that comes from appearing on a reality show, for instance, is the equivalent of crack.
This is terribly unfair to the many fine celebrities that the reality TV genre has produced: Evan Marriott, Jerri Manthey, and that midget that FOX just married off. Who's to say that they're not snorting the same stuff as Tara Reid?