Celebrity Obsession - Where Will it End?
Too Many Rich and Famous Celebrities
It is a sad reflection on our upside-down society that a useless occupation which neither produces anything of any value, nor has any worthwhile purpose has become highly acclaimed, much sought-after, and obscenely well rewarded.
So much so, that an alarming number of teenagers nowadays, instead of wanting to take up established professions such as doctors, nurses, engineers and teachers, want simply to become celebrities. It does not matter what they have to do to get there, they just want to be a celebrity, and as we know they have many role models to choose from; people who are famous just for being famous and who don’t actually do anything of any merit.
Further up the evolutionary scale, there is another gravitational pull towards the world of finance. Some of the most intelligent and creative minds on the planet are drawn to become tax consultants, financial advisors, and hedge fund managers because of the immense monetary rewards available. These talented individuals, instead of doing something useful, choose to spend their time helping already wealthy people and corporations reduce their tax bills and accumulate even more money. In the process they produce absolutely nothing but often become extremely rich themselves.
Now take a look at Google. Google became a multi-billion dollar company within an extremely short time period by producing absolutely nothing. Google provided a means for people to find information quickly, and provided targeted advertising. It did not actually manufacture or produce anything. Who would have thought thirty or even twenty years ago that an entire industry would have sprung up around the efficient indexing and searching of information? The Google founders are billionaires before their thirties.
The world of rap and hip-hop also has many examples of the super-rich who are still in their early twenties. The appeal of rap music is easy to understand. There is no need to learn to play an instrument, no need to understand music, not even any need to be able to sing or have a good voice. It really is the lowest common denominator of all. It is open to anyone and so its mass appeal is not surprising. Nowhere is the maxim “if he can do it, I can do it” more applicable than in rap music.
Now this is all very well, but my question is this. Who will be left in ten years time to build our roads and bridges, teach our children, grow our food, diagnose and help to heal our illnesses, and do necessary research, when the current generation on whom our future depends all want to be celebrities, SEO and Internet experts, or financial whiz-kids?
Famous For Being Famous
Of course, it is not their fault. The problem lies with us. We have taught them that easy money is available and is theirs for the taking; that hard work is for fools. Where is the incentive to consistently work hard and earn an honest, modest living when they have been taught that they can make fast money, that personal greed is good and that more is better?
When they are continually shown images on TV and in the media of rap artists and other celebrities flaunting their new-found, all too easily gained wealth; are constantly bombarded with emails offering ways to make money without working for it. When some of the highest earners on the planet are often empty-headed fools but who have the good fortune to have a perfect body, or the good luck to have been thrust into the spotlight of stardom by winning a celebrity contest, a reality TV show, making a hit record, or simply being an established celebrities’ other half.
Yes, there is a celebrity English footballer whose wife now has her own TV show, a book contract, and is worth millions in her own right, simply because, and only because, she is the glamorous wife of a famous footballer.
Another famous celebrity recently confessed to never having read a book. She proudly proclaimed “I don’t read books, I prefer watching television”.
Yet another famous female entertainer announced to her adoring fans “I have so many friends; I don’t know half of their names”.
Nevertheless, these people are super rich, chased incessantly by paparazzi, are quoted constantly in the media, and are role models for young girls around the globe who hang on their every word; girls who want to be just like them.
The meteoric success of TV shows such as American Idol and the X Factor again bear testament to this obsession with stardom and becoming a celebrity. Thousands upon thousands of hopeless hopefuls present themselves each week in the vain attempt at becoming the next big thing, only to be lambasted by the likes of Simon Cowell, usually rightly so, and sent packing; their unrealistic dreams in left in shards on the audition room floor.
But do these young hopefuls pay any attention to what it is actually like to be a celebrity? Upon closer examination, the lives of many celebrities are often empty and devoid of any real meaning and value. All too often celebrities start to believe the inflated persona that the press has created for them, and become overly concerned with their physical appearance and their media image. They amuse themselves with obscenely extravagant expenditure on homes, cars, jewelry, parties and clothes, not to mention the drugs and alcohol, the promiscuity and, especially, plastic surgery.
How Many Celebrities Can the World Take?
Compared to these lifestyles of vulgar ostentatious excess, the life of an ordinary person seems boring and mundane. But then the reality of life often is, isn’t it? What is real, and with genuine value, is rarely glamorous. Mother Nature is not glamorous. Worthwhile human values such as loyalty, respect, humility and compassion, are not glamorous. Worthwhile, useful occupations such as a teacher, doctor, farmer or being a good mother or father are not glamorous. Helping your child with his homework is not glamorous, nor is helping another person in need. This is not to say that celebrities do not have these qualities, but they are often masked by the pretentious veneer of glamour, image, and showbiz, or are pushed aside and trampled upon in the inexorable stampede to “make it”.
So when all of the young people of today have achieved their dreams and have become famous for being famous, what then? When the proliferation of glossy gossip magazines has completely swamped the newsstands; when our televisions spew out an endless stream of pulp celebrity reality TV shows from morning till night, what then? Just how far can the current obsession with celebrities go; how many celebrities can the world take?
If there is hope for a return to sanity, then perhaps it lies in the fact that as human beings, we know instinctively when enough is enough. Sooner or later, the cup will overflow and society will turn its back on pulp fiction, the legions of untalented but famous celebrities, and the obscene financial rewards paid to the incumbents of these meaningless, useless occupations.
Before long, and soon I hope, there will be a backlash and once again, we will put an appropriate value on the contribution of ordinary people who have real, useful professions, and who produce goods and perform services that we actually need.
When we come to properly appreciate our doctors, nurses, engineers, farmers and teachers, and pay them a proper remuneration according to their usefulness and their contribution to the needs of the world, we will have regained some semblance of a sane society.
At this time, hopefully, the hordes of famous celebrities together with their glitter and glamour will be relegated to the ranks of the insignificant, and rewarded according to what they actually contribute to society, which is, very little.
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