The reason we love our celebrities (Oprah, Salma Hayek, Tina Turner, Chris Rock, Margaret Cho, Susan Sarandon) is because when they speak, people listen.
Many years ago, celebrity and those that had acquired it, had to be earned and there was a definite reason that we paid attention to certain individuals.
When I was a young boy in the seventies, I fondly remember the adults around me going to the movies to watch Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Cicely Tyson and others work their cinematic and theatrical magic.
In the same manner, they loved watching Columbo and a host of shows that dealt with adults having adult issues and solving them or not. There were definite reasons we all knew certain individuals and what they did.
It was the seventies.
When the eighties appeared along came an obsession with celebrities and the worship of fame.
Suddenly, what mattered was being hot ie., famous no matter how you achieved it.
With a shift in values and a sense of entitlement, everybody could become famous.
Ninety million people vote for American Idol contestants while high school seniors in Texas can’t locate Mexico on an Atlas or know it is a country that borders ours and lays immediately South of their state.
While I enjoy knowing the latest gossip if for no other reason than to be provided a hardy chuckle every now and again, the cult of fame and fortune provides several interesting and insightful views.
As a nation, our collective self esteem is in the toilet.
As a nation, we require so little and demand even less of ourselves and others.
In our new world order, since everyone is demanding to be heard no one is doing any serious listening.
All any of us wants is to be heard by someone.
When we feel we aren’t , we cling to those that are listened to.
Nothing says “I matter” better than being listened to and ultimately having our thoughts and opinions validated by watching masses of people take our advice, buy or books , consume our products (movies , style of dress, etc.).
So how do we not eliminate the voices of those with nothing to say and usher in voices whose focus is offering brilliant, self evaluating and socially uplifting commentary on the human condition ?
I would love a conversation with Ms. Kardashian that begins with : How do you get folks to care about what you’re doing ?
Is it possible to spread that magic to elected officials who eliminate arts programs or share some insight with folks who think people are not working because they’re lazy?
Immediately following our brief chat (which would be covered via social media), my focus would be on my fellow Americans.
My questions for us would dare us to explain and share our need for hijinks that make stars out of people who: create and leak sex tapes on the net, flash crotches via the paparazzi, publicize and make public every detail of marriages that are kaput before the ink dries on the certificate.
In addition, why is notoriety being bestowed via humiliating ongoing camera-time and the belief that if you are willing to subject yourself to any and all shameless grabs at fame, you will be rewarded instantaneously possibly for a lifetime ?
Ms. Kim has much explaining to do and much to share regarding how she gets her message out. Perhaps she should start the Kardashian school of fame and how to wield its immeasurable power.
I would sign up. Would you ?