Celebrity Veneration

OK people, what I’m about to say isn’t about me, but it needs to be said. And, when I say “people,” make no mistake, I do mean you—not the person looking over your shoulder while you read this at work when you both should be doing something productive; not your sister or brother; not your spiritual or secular adviser; not your friends; not some poor beggar on the street; but you. Well, OK, all of those other people too, but mostly you.

OK people, what I’m about to say isn’t about me, but it needs to be said.

And, when I say “people,” make no mistake, I do mean you—not the person looking over your shoulder while you read this at work when you both should be doing something productive; not your sister or brother; not your spiritual or secular adviser; not your friends; not some poor beggar on the street; but you. Well, OK, all of those other people too, but mostly you.

I don’t understand the hero worship that many people offer up to celebrities. If a film, television or music star with a slim waist and a curved body (or, if it’s a man, a hunky appearance) shows up in a public place, he or she will be mobbed by screaming, adoring fans demanding autographs.

On the other hand, if a good-looking, but modest and publicistless (to coin a word) scientist or diplomat, who just discovered the cure for cancer or AIDS or who finally brought lasting peace to the war torn areas of Darfur or Somalia and beyond, were to show his or her face in public, he or she would have trouble getting the time of day from passers-by, let alone a date. Aren’t our priorities just a little misguided?

What’s more, I’ve never been able to figure out what people get out of an autograph. If I enjoy a Music video, I’m appreciative of the work of the composer, director, producer, singers and anyone else involved in its production.

My enjoyment would be neither increased nor decreased by possessing the autograph of any of those people unless, of course, it’s on a large cheque made out to me and drawn on their bank account. That would immensely enhance my enjoyment.

Furthermore, who gets to decide which autographs are shams and which ones are not? Considering the amount of time the celebrity has to sign autographs, there is an excellent probability that the signature or whatever other writing they inscribe on their adoring fan’s autographs will have the vaguest of looks, which, not to mention, increases the likelihood of the auto being viewed as a sham, of course by those who care to look at them.

I get as much pleasure out of a really great song as I do out of a really good movie, but I don’t go running down the street shrieking at the top of my lungs, “Oh, my God, it’s Tom close; Tom the artist! Tom, you’re the greatest artist ever! You rock! Hey everybody, look, it’s Tom close! I don’t believe it! I don’t believe it! It’s really Tom!

Tom, there’s nobody whose music we enjoy more!  Please Tom, oh please, oh please may I have your autograph! It would mean so much to me and my friends!”

No, I don’t want Tom’s autograph no matter how much I appreciate the great songs he composes. And, by the same token, I don’t want any movie star’s autograph no matter how much I enjoy her films, unless of course she is willing to engage me in a more personal “conversation” (nothing in the quotes should be taken terribly seriously), you know the type I mean!

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