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A messianic figure?|
Currently, Stern more than fulfills the fourth requirement on the King's List; to his millions of fans, he is a messianic figure. His show orders their day, it provides them with a sense of community and purpose. Indeed, many of his fans are as loyal as B-movie zombies--ready to do his bidding at a moment's notice. They harass celebrities he's feuding with, they wait in lines for hours for the chance to have him autograph their breasts and butts, they transcribe every word of his marathon radio shows.
But their devotion, extreme as it is, rests on an illusion that is growing ever more transparent. Stern's fans worship him because they believe that he is one of them. Yes, he moves in a world of celebrity and privilege, a world the typical Stern fan is not allowed to enter, but he does so as their proxy. Stern is the Outsider, a plain-talking regular guy crashing the exclusive domain of American Celebrityhood.
As long as he can maintain this masquerade, his fans will support him...
But Stern isn't a regular guy, content to bullshit with the fellas at the local bar. If he were, that's where he'd be. Instead, Stern is a successful celebrity--more ambitious than a regular guy, more talented, and harder-working. He is a successful celebrity, and as he spends more time with other successful celebrities, and grows more comfortable in that milieu of privilege and exclusion, he seems to be finding it increasingly difficult to maintain his non-celebrity drag. But he's trying, indeed, he's trying. First he was Fartman at the MTV Awards, now he's a big, gawky cross-dresser: anything to remain the Outsider, the Rebel...