7 August 2017

Sideshow

In this mad world, we put certain people on pedestals. Mostly, these people, these stars, are engaged in activities that shouldn't really matter. They are separate from real life. Real life is the channel that the rest of us swim along - farmers, engineers, nurses, teachers, factory workers,  shop assistants, dockers, lorry drivers, soldiers and all the rest.

Without these people doing the real work, living the real life, there would be no pedestals for the famous.

I am thinking about film stars, actors, pop artists, best-selling novelists, TV people, sports stars. They are only there to distract us, an embellishment - like the travelling circuses of yore that were set up on village greens to entertain the local populace. With a few spare pennies jangling in one's pocket one could afford admission to the big top. But it didn't really matter. It was not the real life. When the acrobats and the clowns were gone, normal life resumed.

You might say that we have all been signed up - willingly or otherwise to join the cult of celebrity. They have become modern day gods from Lionel Messi to Meryl Streep and from Stephen King to Little Mix. We are meant to bow down before them, follow their stories, compare the glorious light of their exciting  lives with the anonymous shadows of our own drudgery.

When quizzed about their ambitions, many kids are magnetised by the sideshow. They want to be famous footballers, reality TV stars, actors.  But those people - the ones we see in magazines and tabloid newspapers - they represent such a minuscule proportion of humanity that it ought to make them irrelevant.

Adulation, admiration and aspiration should really be reserved for the everyday people we see around us. They are the real heroes - our fellow citizens including family members. It is far more heroic to swim in the river of reality than to dance like a moth  in the deceptive limelight of fame.

27 comments:

  1. Quite right, YP. These days I feel more like a female version of Victor Meldrew every day and completely out of touch and sympathy with these so-called superstars. Time, maybe, to go and live on a desert island!

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  2. That is one thing that I like about living in Ireland that by and large we don't take much notice of the so called "Stars" when they are off stage going about their business and generally we even speak to our politicians by their first names too.

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    1. I met both Maeve Binchy and Christy Moore in Ireland. I agree with what you say about The Irish. They are often better at dismissing inflated egos and cherishing ordinary life.

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  3. Interestingly enough, when asked about who their role models are, many young people name a person they know in real life - a parent, grandparent, older sibling or even a teacher. I have not only read this "somewhere" but have personally spoken to such youngsters. I think many of them are well aware of "celebrities" being as far from real life as much of what they read in books or see in films - stories, not reality.

    I couldn't care less about what celebrities are up to. My grandmother was blind for the last 11 years of her life, and she loved it when I read her articles from women's magazines about royals, actors and so on. I had my fair share of such stories.

    Artists and other people who really stick out from the rest for an achievement have my respect. But definitely not those "it-girls" etc. who are famous simply for being famous, or because they have been someone's girlfriend.

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    1. Increasingly, people are drawn to our attention when they haven't achieved anything at all. They are just famous for being famous - often spawned by reality TV programmes.

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  4. How we loved going to the circus when we were kids. Three circuses would come to town every year...as well as a vaudeville show and a pantomime. We never missed a Saturday matinee and often Mum or Nana, or both, took my brother and me to the pictures - as we called movies back then - during the week, too.

    How I loved getting lost in the books that I read; still do; and I still enjoy good movies and television series of my own choosing.

    I would hate to live in a world without an escape route from reality; if that makes me a shallow person, so be it.

    There are many people I admire greatly...in various walks of life...well-known and unknown.

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    1. We all need escapism - films or books or music - but I don't think we need to put the providers of these embellishments/sideshows on pedestals or worship them like gods and goddesses.

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  5. Time, maybe, to go and live on a desert island!


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    1. Time for you to do that Roth and take all your spamming chums with you. Nobody likes you.

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  6. Well said, YP. I can understand the appeal of celebrities to a point - at least the ones that have a unique set of skills that they can perform flawlessly in front of raucous crowds. However, I must be too old and uncool to see why reality stars and internet celebrities are worth anyone's time. It baffles me how certain people can attract millions of followers while providing nothing of substance. The Kardashians are the most well-known examples of this, but there are so many people who simply document their everyday life and make millions. For what? Do they serve or protect or educate or contribute to society in any way? Debatable.

    I mean..what the heck is a "content creator" anyway? And why should I be so enamored with one?

    Also, who is Little Mix? And does he/she have a YouTube channel?

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    1. Christ - Don't search for the girl group Little Mix Chris! They may open up a whole new chapter of fantasies in your mind.

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  7. I suppose most celebs have a talent for something be it acting, singing or kicking a ball, but the ones I have trouble with the celebs who are famous simply because they are celebs.

    However, I console myself that celebrity is inevitably followed by obscurity. The tale of Simon Dee is instructive.

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    1. Thanks for that link Ian. Simon Dee - such a blast from the past. I always remember Judy Collins appearing on it singing Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now". It blew me away and the next week I bought that single. I often wondered what happened to the guy. - Simon Dee I mean.

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  8. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/06/grouse-moors-actually-protect-rare-birds-study-shows/

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    1. Okay Derek. The key thing to note here is who exactly commissioned the study? Why did they commission it? Had they worked out their desired conclusions before the sponsored "study" was undertaken? I take it all with a huge pinch of salt. I would rather listen to Chris Packham and the RSPB.

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  9. Ooh, you are so right. Our world has been turned upside down by money that can be made from these people. There's glitter which attracts people. There's a huge selling job which catches people.

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    1. Mind you, "Hiawatha House" has probably made you Red Deer's mot famous resident. Do people stop you in the street for your autograph?

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  10. Which is exactly why this whole scenario is at a stalemate. Both sides thinks the other is lying and giving biased information and stick rigidly to their point of view. While I've been an RSPB member for 40 odd years, I know that they don't always get things right and have in the past been guilty of being economical with the truth. Me, I sit somewhere in the middle.

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    1. I hope the fence you are sitting on is not a razor wire one Derek.

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  11. I can't find even the tiniest hole in your thinking, YP - I am in full agreement. Sorry to be boring!

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    1. Well, you are a Canadian Jenny! Zzzzzzzzzz!

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  12. It has ever been thus, YP. Our grandparents idolized film stars, too. Even back before media, people wanted to be kings and knights, didn't they? Everyone years for the glamorous life, conveniently ignoring the aspects of that life that are actually incredibly unpleasant.

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    1. "Yearns," not "years." But you know what I mean. :)

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  13. I sit somewhere in the middle.


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