There’s a Jeremy Renner app? Why?

I am mystified. There’s an app you can download that will keep you up to date on all your Jeremy Renner news, which is a thing, I guess. Not a very interesting thing, I’ll admit, but apparently there’s all this drama on it, with users getting upset at censorship, which is the only unsurprising detail about it.

It made me wonder, though: is there any celebrity in the world for whom I would find an app interesting and worth downloading? You know, something where I could check in on a whim and see what they had for lunch, what they were watching on TV, how work was going, that sort of thing? And I realized…no, no one. Not the Queen of the UK, not Donald Trump, not even (or especially) people I actually like and respect. I seem to lack the hero worship “gene”.

Apparently, though, this is the core of the Instagram “influencers” phenomena — people who become celebrities by carefully grooming their appearance in photographs and cultivating mobs of people who regularly check in to see what a Kardashian is doing. It’s fine if that’s your deal, but I just find it weird and unrelatable, and I suspect there are a lot of people out there who similarly find it bizarre. But the difference is that we therefore do not aggregate and push up the popularity of certain individuals beyond reason, so all you see when you get a peek at the media landscape is the few who have been elevated by a minority of follower-types.

So, who would you follow obsessively? Anyone? No one? I do follow my grandchildren on Facebook Messenger and Instagram, because their parents post lots of photos of growing babies, but I can’t imagine caring what party some superstar model went to last night, or what they wore. Am I really missing out?

And Jeremy Renner? How strange and trivial is that? This tendency of humans to develop cults of personality is worrying.

Breaking news! The Jeremy Renner app has been shut down! Follow every detail of the tragedy by googling “Jeremy Renner” at least once an hour.


  1. says

    “The app has jumped the shark. Literally,” Renner said in a statement, literally.

    Ironically, the article on the end of Renner’s ill-fated app included a quote from Renner demonstrating that his fascinating life could have been worthy of constant monitoring. Imagine having a life in which actual shark spontaneously occur!

  2. Jazzlet says

    I could see following say a lab that was doing work I am interested in, but not an individual telling me what they are doing every hour.

  3. PaulBC says

    Jeremy Renner aside, I find it annoying that we went from the concept of consolidating applications under a single browser interface (circa 1994) to “there’s an app for that” 25 years later. Talk about backwards. If just wanted to order a pizza, your web site should suffice. I shouldn’t need a whole new piece of bloatware to send me hourly alerts about your fucking pizzas.

    (Hint: it’s not to make things better for you. It’s to make things better for advertisers. Silicon Valley sociopath Antonio García Martínez explains this briefly in Chaos Monkeys.)

  4. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Sorry, but it needs to be said: “Who the fuck is Jeremy Renner?”

    I don’t really care enough to even Google the guy.

  5. Bruce says

    It has to be said. I read the Pharyngula blog because there is not yet a PZ Myers app to keep me updated on the latest thoughts, etc.

  6. Sastra says

    Sometimes I obsessively follow the weather people, but more for their opinions than what they had for lunch.

  7. stroppy says

    “Social” media, everything idiotic about junior high amplified on an industrial scale and spewed out 24/7.

    (BTW, even here at ftb, I notice that opening a page dumps facebutt cache files (among others) into my cookie jar.)

  8. microraptor says

    PaulBC @4: No kidding. I hate the fact that everyone and their mum is pushing new apps for everything all the time.

  9. hemidactylus says

    I drive 13 hours through the boondocks of Alabama and Florida’s panhandle and this happens! Renner has been in some movies I have seen. The sequel about rabid undead eating Brits, the Bourne replacement, the one where Gabby Union’s character thinks she’s Hitler (umm yeah). But an app?

  10. magistramarla says

    Jeremy Renner plays my favorite avenger! He’s Hawkeye, the super-archer. Remember, I was never even aware of comic books when I was a kid. My husband introduced me to science fiction, fantasy, and the universes of DC Comics and Marvel.
    When Hawkeye first appeared in a movie, I connected with him. He didn’t have bulging muscles like Thor, or the braininess of Iron Man. He was Everyman with a special skill, and kind of cute, too.
    Then, when it was made clear that Hawkeye was also a family man, I was in love.
    I think I may have seen him in other films, but I’m a Jeremy Renner fan because he plays Hawkeye.
    I’m a fan, but would I waste time with his app? No, I’ll just wait for the next time that he shows up as Hawkeye.

  11. PaulBC says


    He portrayed the vampire Penn in the first season of Angel. I only mention this, because my son (then 14) picked up on it immediately when we were watching Angel on a library DVD. I would not have noticed.

  12. anbheal says

    I never understood People Magazine. In the 70s, it was okay, one week Paul Newman, another Robert Redford, another Barbara Walters, another Mary Tyler Moore. But by the 1990s and 2000s, they started coalescing around only 5 or 6 people….Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Paris Hilton….like, a weekly update on people whose agents pimped them relentlessly to the national press, where they’d whine about not having any privacy.

    But at age 17, I’d have “followed” Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, maybe Clint Eastwood, maybe Led Zep or The Who. Farrah Fawcett, for sure.

  13. blf says

    So, who would you follow obsessively?

    The asteroid aimed at hair furor. The mildly deranged penguin claims one’s been hired, but they are currently balking at trying to hit such an easy target. “Like shooting dinosaurs on a planet”, and “The only way to miss is to be a Democrat.” It’s currently in a sulk somewhere near Pluto.

  14. hemidactylus says

    I watched ^Neo Ned* a while back. It stars Renner and Union. It was something of a cinematic trainwreck where racist affecting skinhead who isn’t quite all there meets a young black woman who thinks she is Hitler reborn in a mental institution. What could go wrong? They grow fond of each other. Ned kinda redeems his racist beginnings in a brutal and self-sacrificing denouement. A sorta romcom where Deliver Us From Eva collides tragically with American History X Both Renner and Union are great performers, but this movie is really a mess. It has a cuteness about it, but a difficult to digest unfolding. Can we forgive Ned his bigotry and racist language? Rachael her incongruous channeling of the Fuhrer? Did the app deal with such matters before its untimely demise? I watched the movie several times and still don’t know whether to be angry with myself for watching it the first time.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    I had a cult of personality for the late polymath and SF author Stanislaw Lem.
    I am currently “culting” Freeman Dyson and James Lovelock, but they do not have a presence on social media, one being 96, the other 100.