The Steep Inclines, and Ultimate Decline, in Most Celebrity Journeys: Links You Need to See

This was a weird year. In a way, every year is weird — taking 365 days, grouping them all together, and analyzing them collectively will always result in weird, outlier-ridden statistics. And yet, the fact of the matter is that public figures as fundamentally different as Scott Stapp, Kim Kardashian, and Meghan Trainor all had some cultural weight this year.

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Kim Kardashian is an obvious one — she’s Kim Kardashian. As this excellent piece about her points out: she and Kanye got married, she released the most liked selfie in the world, and she released a video game. Yeah, that’s right, we’re talking about Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The premise of the game: “You are a D-list nobody in a candy-colored, cartoon version of our world. You want to be on the A-list.” It’s a journey familiar to most everybody in the entertainment business.

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The journey is not always so clean-cut as Kim K’s app makes it out to be, though. Sometimes, it seems like somebody’s making the journey, but they were really starting as maybe a B-list somebody rather than the aforementioned D-list nobody. Take Meghan “All About that Bass” Trainor, who seems to have come from nowhere but has, in reality, come from somewhere: inside the music industry. As this piece details, she is one of many of 2014’s “breakouts” who was actually already well established in the music world. It’s an interesting read, and it really makes you wonder: who is the next songwriter that’ll seemingly come from nowhere with a chart-topping, summer-stealing hit?

On the flip side of the D-to-A journey, we’ve got the A-to-D journey: the fall from grace. The story of someone like Scott Stapp, say. It would be incredibly easy to poke fun at Stapp, because Creed was awful, and at a time he was super successful. But, alcoholism and drugs and an apparent temper all reared their heads, and he ruined his life. It’s a sad, absurd story (T.I. saved Stapp’s life at one point), detailed in full at UPROXX, and it’s almost enough to forgive him for having made “With Arms Wide Open.” Just barely.

Sometimes greatness is not meant to be achieved. Or, rather, whether or not it’s meant to be achieved makes no difference: sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Such is the case with Richard Williams’ film, The Thief and the Cobbler. This history of the film, which is really too complex for a brief summation, is fascinating in its intricacy, and also for including a tidbit about “completion bonds,” which said that if a film were not completed on time, the studio had the option of taking a lump sum payout from the insurance company and forfeiting the rights to that company. This happened with The Thief and the Cobbler, a film that took thirty years to be released, which, even then, was in despicable condition.

And now, as we say goodbye to 2014, let’s say goodbye to The Colbert Report, by taking a memorial tour of Colbert’s old studio, thanks to Google Maps. Gone but not forgotten, Colbert. Especially because we’ll be seeing you again in a few months’ time.