Reflections on attitudes to celebrity

Reflections on attitudes to celebrity

Way, way back in the long-ago ages, entertainers were the lowest rung on the status ladder. Dancing girls, musicians, and jesters were slaves or servants of their more powerful masters.  For generations entertainers, from circus performers and carnival curiosities to early acting troupes, were considered persons of suspicion and not-quite respectable. Especially well-known members of these professions were spoken of as "infamous" or "notorious", disapproving words which have fallen out fashion today.

Somehow, we have gone full circle and now consider celebrities, whether renowned for their talent or for their outrageous behavior, to be our betters. We've moved beyond the idea of the pop idol and screaming teenage fans to an era where our leaders, including our President, kowtow to these people and fawn upon them. We have elevated mere entertainers to the level of guru; allowing their opinions to influence our thinking and actions as we try to emulate them. 

Our young people aspire to become the next foul-mouthed gangsta rapper or, at the very least, to become outrageous enough to get their own reality television show. Celebrity for its own sake is the acme of achievement rather than productivity or service. The anti-hero has effectively replaced the hero in the heart of our culture.

How did we lose our way?

Published by J.B.Hawker

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