If you can't get their attention with talent, shock them instead.
That's the way I see this type of behavior.
People often say "wow" about Madonna and Howard Stern. What geniuses, right?
No. The way I see it is that we were doing the same, immature disgusting things with our friends during middle school (making sexual jokes, walking around in wedgie underwear to make friends laugh, farting in someone's face, etc.). The difference is that some people do it in public when they are adults (again, Howard Stern, Andrew Dice Clay...the list goes on) and crowds eat it up because they miss those immature days during the wild ride of puberty.
Some of us grew up and don't need to shock others to get attention.
I'm not referring to the images here (like I said, I haven't seen them), but I think it's a little bit wrong to completely dismiss the talent of the people that you've mentioned. See, here's the thing: being "shocking" is not hard. It's about the easiest thing a person can do. If it were that easy to become extremely successful just by being shocking, then a hell of a lot more people would be doing it. The ones that people are talking about are the ones who are good at it, and yes that does require talent. Anyone can tell a dirty joke and cuss a lot, but most of them can't hold an audience's attention as well as Andrew Dice Clay.