Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Celebrity-ism and Crocodiles

I have experienced the weirdest sensation over the past few days.

Before I go any further, let me clarify a little fact about myself for any of you who may not know this: I really have a problem with Celebrity worship. Now, this is just me, but I think that the whole thing is wrong. We don't know them. We'll never meet them. So why do we treat them like they are more important than anyone else? Why do we care?

Now, I love movies and music, and I even love television. I respect film as an art form. I even realize that the Celebrity Culture fuels the entertainment industry and provides the budgets for the Hollywood productions that I enjoy. I may even enjoy reading an article about a certain so-and-so who's doing something I find interesting. But seriously, folks. We need a major wake-up call. They're just human, the stories probably aren't true, and why should we care either way? Celebrity birthday lists? Who's gained 3 lbs this summer? Who cares!

Hollywood Magazines are the worst. Normal magazines that devote entire front pages to Who's doing What to Who in Tinsel Town are right down there.

Celebrity-ism is like Social Porn. People wish their lives were more interesting than they are so they live vicariously through people they've never met. I think it's just sad, and as you no doubt can tell it really ticks me off.

And yet here's the rub. Steve Irwin, also known as the Crocodile Hunter, past away this week. And man, it's hit me like a ton of bricks.

Now, do I know this guy? Have I ever met him? Do I know anything about him other than his TV show? No. He is merely a celebrity. I certainly should not care more for his death than for the 5 Canadian soldiers killed in the last 48 hours. Surely their deaths deserve my morning. But I really liked the Crocodile Hunter. I did a project around him in grade 12. I laughed and cringed and laughed again during his show. And now his death, while not on par with the passing of a friend or relative, is affecting me on a much deeper level than I would have expected it to.

He was just so full of life. He lived a dream that I never dared persue. I related to him, bragged about his adventures to my friends. I looked up to him. He was fearless, yet so kind.

At least he was on TV.

And that's the problem. You see, I actually know almost nothing about him, except what the camera and accompanying voice-over has told me to know.

So are my feeling justified? Can you get to know someone through a one-way relationship via your TV? Am I just as guilty of celebrity worship as the next guy?

Either way, I'll miss that crazy Australian. And in a very real sense, he should be missed. If nothing else, he had a wife and two children. He was someones boss, someone's son, and someone's friend. Just not mine.



Sue said...

i feel for his kids, the youngest is only like...2! what a terrible loss for his young family. i am glad you didn't follow his wildness D, because you have more important things to live for.

i'm so glad none of us are celebrities. life is so rich in the real world, away from camera's and make up and costume designers.

Although, your life may be great content for the next Canadian sitcom.....


Stefanie said...

Hi there, I'd just like to say that I totally agree with your thoughts, esp. social porn. I have to watch myself with certain celebrities and admiring them too much. I love watching TV but really don't care to know much about their personal lives or whether they were 'hot or not' on the red carpet. I wonder if people would feel better about their own lives if they weren't constantly engaged in celebrity lives.

Anonymous said...

I remember that project. we got a pretty good mark if I remember correctly.... I wonder where that video is now. It is quite a phenomenon how as a society we can place so much importance on such few.

Dave N.