Our fascination with celebrities

Just like our fascination with watching an ant (or the entire anthill) squirm when we tilt the magnifying glass toward the sun, so does our fascination with celebrity. As the latest installment of American Idol shows, the average guy just wants to be recognized and what better way than to become a ‘star’. Many of us dream of it, very few of us achieve it, and for those lucky (or unlucky depending on your perspective) to come under the celebrity spotlight, the rewards seem great.

Never having been a celebrity, though I am something of a “big cheese” in my hometown (smugly polishes his nails on his shirt), I have to say that being a celebrity doesn’t seem all bad. I would take the money and the gift bags and the free stuff and umm did I say money? … Yes, I would very much enjoy the perks of being a ‘celebrity’ (or is she a celebrity?) any day. aim How many of us could live up to that scrutiny?

That all your movements are recorded, that your relationships are analyzed, that millions of people discuss your slightest slip or defect (those of us who have large families already have a taste of this… Thank you, mom!). Now, I know some of you are thinking that money and perks would balance this out, but think about the freedom of anonymity you have now, you can pick your nose in public if you want, you can get a few stars, but ‘the event’ won’t be recorded or selected (pun ha!) for time immemorial.

But why are we so fascinated? Does our fascination help us feel better about ourselves? Or is it caused by envy? For whatever reasons, celebrity news and gossip is big business and with the latest news available at your fingertips, everyone and their grandmothers have a blog about one celebrity or another. Many of us easily denounce gossip in our daily lives and yet feed our guilty pleasure by checking out the latest ‘most hated celebrity’ blogs to see the latest snarky comments about this or that person.

Our celebrities have become like that poor fried ant. We feel superior when we sit at our desks and look with pity or disdain at the latest young celebrity who ends up in jail or forgets her panties or falls flat on her drunken face. But unfortunately, fame and celebrity are synonymous, and as Newton said, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so money and advantages cause curiosity and paparazzi too. Now… since it’s been over an hour since I checked that blog, now I’m off to see what Britney is up to.

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