The appeal of celebrity

9 08 2010

I’ve always been fascinated by celebrity. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a stadium-full of people, or a standing room only crowd in a theater cheering wildly for me. But that is all predicated on my being able to do something. If I’m a nice person, that’s all the better. Or so I used to think. If I could produce in the sports or music or acting world, then how I am perceived would be very important; enough to become a person I might not be. Think Kirby Puckett, OJ Simpson, Alex Rodriquez, Lindsay Lohann. Or, the public could “like me, really really like me” and then get bored with that and would want to bring “back down to earth.” So many celebrities go through that – Oprah, Dr. Phil and countless others. And yet . . . Fame is cheap, I think. I watch “reality shows” of the rich and famous. I’m hooked on Tori Spelling’s show, I’m embarrassed to say, as well as “Real Housewives of Orange County” (but only because a former student is a regular on it.) As I’ve grown older and seen the pitfalls of celebrity, sometimes its still not enough to be glad that I’m just one of a gazillion other “no-names.” I’ve come to realize it’s at those moments of wanting celebrity that I’m really wanting recognition, to be seen – and I realize the fire behind the wishful thinking is loneliness.

There is a difference between greatness and celebrity. There are a lot of celebrities who are not of admirable character, and a lot of “ordinary” people who are. Kudos to the celebrities who are able to be of great character as well as talented. And may I be a person of great character even though I’ll never be known to the world.