This is definitely one for the "Old News" tag. In February 2011, Ke$ha released the track "Blow" from her Cannibal (2010) album. It's a classic Ke$ha tune, including namedrops for glitter, dirt, and dancing manically till you drop. (A+ would recommend for running playlists the world over.) However much the song conforms to the Ke$ha oeuvre overall, the video is something special. Here, we have:
Unicorn-douchey rich people hybrids
A cameo by D̶a̶w̶s̶o̶n̶ ̶L̶e̶e̶r̶y̶ James van der Beek, heart-throb star of ye olde teen drama Dawson's Creek (RIP 1998-2003)
James van der Beek and Ke$ha (newly crowned President of Uzbekistan, apparently) engaged in an all-out laser gun war for supremacy
Rainbow rays "bleeding" out of wounded unicorn-douchey rich people hybrids
Seriously, what more could you want? At about 2:41, Ke$ha and van der Beek have a beautifully odd face-off:
K: Well, well, well, if it isn't James van der Douche
v d B: I don't appreciate you slanderBeeking my name, Kah-dollarsign-ha.
They then go on to discuss the deliciousness of Munster cheese, termed "edible lactose gold" by van der Beek. Apart from its exigent and awesome surrealism, I love this interchange as it draws attention to the constructed-ness of both stars' public personas. Ke$ha has long been known in my house as "Kay-dollarsign-ha", as we joyously milk the "silent" dollar sign for all its worth. To feature this so prominently in one of Ke$has's own videos reads like unabashed and most likeable self-deprecation on the singer's part. Yup, she inserted the dollar sign. Nope, that's not what her birth certificate says, let's all move along. As for van der Beek, he's not appearing as himself per se - it's another occurrence of a star playing a version of themselves, so here it's James van der Beek acting as "James van der Beek".
Just a year after "Blow"'s release, the actor stars in a similar role (sans lasers / unicorn hybrids, sadly) in the TV comedy "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23". It's rare that Wikipedia get's something so right when it describes Fake James as "arrogant, self-centered, and shamelessly self-promoting as he takes on increasingly bizarre roles to revitalize his career". Frankly, his performance as, well, "James van der Douche" - complete with episodes littered with "Dawson's Creek" references - were the best bit of the show. (For other actors-playing-versions-of-themselves TV, see Matt LeBlanc in the phenomenally good Episodes, also starring Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig.)
By ramping up the surrealism to mammoth proportions, the video to "Blow" reveals, I think, a truth about both van der Beek and Ke$ha's existence in the public eye. As they are playing "themselves" in the video, so too are they playing a role for - or being forced to play a role by - a gossip-hungry audience. It's interesting to note that after the "Blow" singer received treatment for eating disorders this year, she decided to ditch the dollar sign from her name - she now goes by Kesha, her birth name. I have no idea what motivated her decision precisely, nor is it my business to know really. But, from the outside looking in, it appears to be a shift away from an uber-constructed popstar identity to one that more closely resembles her inner life.