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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael, Farrah, The Governor

Well, it has been a big news day. We're reeling in amazement that another governor goes public with the fact that he's trashed his marriage with undisciplined, unbridled expressions of his sexuality. What a day of mystery and mystique.

We seem so amazed. We wonder how such public figures, such esteemed leaders, can fall so far. I wonder how their wives feel. I would be very angry if my husband drug me through the mud like that. I find it ironic that we don't see women leaders doing such things to their husbands. What's up with that?

Then this morning it was Farrah Fawcett. Dying. Can you imagine? The pin-up girl that half of the men in America idolized - dead. I imagine that men all over the world are in mourning tonight. She was an enigma. Her life was an enigma. It seemed she was far more exciting and interesting when she was young and hungry. When she got older, not so much. We're still talking today about the 1997 appearance on the David Letterman show where she appeared to be under the influence of something. I wonder which will be her legacy. Which is a greater aspect of her celebrity?

We expected Farrah to die soon. Michael Jackson was a complete surprise though. I didn't see that one coming. (It's a bit like the governor coming back from his Argentinian affair!) He was a talented pop icon, someone that we all enjoyed and were attracted to. It seemed like he was far more exciting and interesting when he was young and hungry. When he got older, not so much. We're still talking today his alleged infatuation with little boys, stranger marriages and dangling his baby over the balcony of a hotel in Germany. I wonder which will be his legacy. Which is a greater aspect of his celebrity?

I had my own brush with celebrity this week. George W. Bush came to my office. He was doing some business with my employer. I got to meet him, have my picture taken with him, speak to him and shake his hand. He seemed nice enough. What impressed me most though was the reaction of my co-workers. The other folks in my building all seemed to go "gaga" over Mr. Bush. I browsed through more than 150 photos that were taken (three with me in them) during his visit. All the faces were so exuberant. I wondered why? What is his legacy? What is the greater aspect of his legacy?

There is something about celebrities. They can do good. They can do bad. And yet they remain celebrities. We are drawn to them relentlessly. Most of us won't admit it. But someone buys those magazines. Someone buys those posters. Someone joins those fan clubs. What is it about celebrity that sucks us in? How is it that even a dead celebrity, like Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley, can still suck us in? Why do we still buy their stuff? Why do we still read their gossip?

I don't know about you, but I'm convinced that there is something seriously flawed about the human psyche. We are drawn to celebrities for any good reason --- or for absolutely no reason. And I find myself pondering that tonight. I'd like to understand why.

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