Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Who Wants to be a Celebrity?

“It's all fleeting. As fame is fleeting, so are all the trappings of fame fleeting. The money, the clothes, the furniture.”
Johnny Cash

Is anybody bothered by the fact that Tom Delay is going to be on Dancing With The Stars? I keep returning to the battle cry of red states a few elections ago— “Give a president I can have a beer with.” This seems ludicrous. Presidents are supposed to be presidential whatever that means, but I certainly am not thinking of a barstool buddy.

Now nobody thinks Tom “The Hammer” Delay has any higher political aspirations. But, maybe he can have a reality show career. After all, isn’t that what reality shows are for to give the washed up second winds? Look, what it did for Scott Baio, Christopher Knight, Flava Flav, Brigit Nielson, and let’s not forget Donald Trump. He sort have became the poster boy for this never-ending craze.

Here’s my point. Celebrity is a relative word nowadays. Nebulous too. Going back to politics for a moment, John McCain accused Barack Obama of being a celebrity, but wasn’t McCain’s running mate, the Tina Fey lookalike, the classic celebrity— the rags to riches kind. Nonetheless, it’s par for the course nowadays. No press is bad press right? But, who’s judging?

What would the founding fathers think of elected officials and former politicos jockeying to get on SNL or Survivor? Ben Franklin might very well have been on board, but come on now— Adams, Lincoln, Madison, Polk, Ulysses S. Grant. I tried very hard to keep my blog from going political because that’s the stuff that seems to drive these things. Wasn’t it Dr. Howard Dean who put blogs on the map, way back before his famous Dean Scream?

Honestly, it doesn’t really bug me that Tom Delay is going to be on Dancing with the Stars. It’s not something I will watch. I’m more of a Project Runway man myself, I‘m just quibbling about the minutia that’s posing as news. If Chris Matthews on Hardball has an opinion on it well then, divvy up. It’s news my friend.

Walter Cronkite must be shaking his cherubic head now. But, he’d seen what was going on, all the outrageous hoopla. Today news is all about soundbites, a quick buzz. Our elected officials want to be more and more like us. They want to be more like celebrities, and we want to be more like celebrities (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter).
It’s all so confusing. The boundaries are blurring.

Celebrity’s root comes from the Middle English celebrite, fame. In Latin, celeber means famous.

If it used be fifteen minutes of fame that everybody was entitled to. Are we all going to get a half hour before long? Or is it likely to shrink because of our lack of attention span? Our overzealous egos pushing aside other megalomaniac egos so everybody gets the smaller share.

Whatever it may bode for us, for our future I will leave you this quote from Spinoza. “Fame has also this great drawback, that if we pursue it, we must direct our lives so as to please the fancy of men.”

1 comment:

  1. I sense your feistyness tonight! You're reminding me of one of my favorite authors, King Solomon: "Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 2:11). Poor Solomon...a little prozac may have done him some good. I love him though because he poured it all out there for the world to commiserate with him. And how many concubines did he have? Like over a thousand? Look out Bubba Carlson!