Wednesday, September 20, 2006

So Your Favorite Celeb/TV Personality/Rock Star's A Dick? Boo Hoo For You, Puss Nuts

Oh for Christ's sakes! I often read on various message boards about some person's encounter with someone famous and how said person was a total asshole. These posts almost always go on and on about how disapointed they are and how so & so was their favorite person and boo-hoo snivel-snivel. First off, I could see if you were a fucking four-year old how you could justify your childish rant, I mean after all your testicles haven't dropped and your skull isn't completely fused. If you're an adult, however, you've got no excuse. First off , all celebrities are narcisists, it's all about them, they're special and they're needy. Normal people are few and far between in the Entertainment industry and those who are on the stage, in front of the cameras or behind the microphone are the least normal. It's a historical fact. Not every one of them is a nice person or even demonstrates behavior consistent with being a human for that matter. Not every one of them is a jerk/asshole/bitch either although on the day you met them they might have well been so.

First off, imagine that everywhere you go people know your name and want to talk to you. Maybe they want a picture or an autograph or a couple of minutes of your time, hey it's no big deal right? Try multiplying that by a couple hundred times each day. Then imagine being watched by strangers as you try to go about your day, say shopping or picking up stuff from the cleaners. I know it's the price you pay for being a celebrity and most of them know it too. However, it's got to wear on a person and even Ghandi told people to fuck off once in a while and the Dhali Llama has body gaurds to keep the faithful at a distance. So it's possible that that asshole celeb you met was just having a bad day. It's also possible that the asshole is YOU.

See, starting somewhere in the mid-90s, people's expectations and boundries changed. It wasn't enough for a quick handshake or autograph, today it's become an ordeal where celebs are asked to sign an inventory of junk, pose for a picture and leave a message on an answering machine. Often the people who call a celeb a jerk was completely out of line all the way. I had to listen to some redneck go on and on about some action hero who was a total asshole because he didn't wait around while said redneck went back to his car to get more stuff to sign. People would interrupt me at work to ask me if I knew where Clint Eastwood's house is located. I did but I wasn't going to tell them where it was. It was none of their business and I told them so, often they'd tell me I was being rude and then I'd ask them if Clint was expecting them to drop by and when they said no I'd ask them why I should tell them? Being a huge Eastwood fan does not give you the right to drop by his house. So often I read where people feel that a star "Owes" them so much more than a reasonable person should ever expect.

What do I mean? Let me explain...

When you buy an artist's new album, you pay your money and you get the CD with the music. Transaction is finished you cannot expect any more from the artist any more than they can call you up and ask you for more money. When this artist goes on tour you can buy a ticket to their show and then you can go see them perform. Again, you paid for your ticket and they came and played a show for you, transaction is completed. When you buy a ticket for a movie, rent a DVD or buy one you have gotten what you have paid for and the artist doesn't owe you anything more. Most celebrities are greatful to their fans and most do not mind the attention that they have to endure, the few that have a problem tend to stay away from places that "Regular People" go anyway. The problem is that today people are unreasonable in the things that they expect from celebs. They are the ones with the problems, not the star. Eddie Van Halen is a prime example of this. Here's a simple guy who happened to be a talented guitarist in a great band who's sort of vanished from the face of the Earth. He fought cancer, divorced his wife and lost his mother last year, this is a lot to go through in the last six years. Being old-school, Eddie's not the kind of celeb who bloggs daily drivel on his website and this drives a vocal minority of his fans crazy for some reason. Most of these fans are under thirty years of age and rage on and on about what a dick Eddie is because he doesn't talk to his fans online and "Share" his feelings or clue them in. They'll demand all kinds of stuff from him because they say he owes them. Then last week Eddie popped up on Howard Stern and filled everyone in on what he's been up to and his plans for the future. Did this satusfy the negatoids? No. They went on and on about Eddie has betrayed them and so on. Eddie hasn't betrayed anyone. Van Halen has been over since 1997 and it's exisited only in the mind of wishful thinkers ever since. That's not the point though.

The issue is that Eddie Van Halen , and every other celebrity for that matter, isn't a real person to these people. He's a puppet, a manequin, raif or a will O' the wisp. The anthrapramorphisize him, Eddie isn't Eddie, Eddie is whoever the fan wants him to be. They fantasize about being Eddie to the point where a part of them believes that they are Eddie or that they understand him because they feel close to him. It's worse for TV stars because they come into our living rooms every week (or if in re-runs, two or three times a day). Jennifer Aniston is a prime example of someone that we think we all know. Guess what? We don't know shit about her. First off, we only know her charactor, Rachel Green, whom Aniston brought to life every week for 10 years. We loved Rachel but would we really love Aniston if we saw the real person each week? Maybe, maybe not, real people a re much more complex than TV charactors. Real people fart, have bad breath and have bad moods, would Aniston be as loved if she ripped a tomato fart and cleared out a room? Here's a woman who's had to live in a walled compound for the last decade and will have to continue living in bejewel fortress for some time to come. All because everyone thinks they think know her and worse, feel that she owes them something.

I met Eddie Van Halen about 20 years ago, he was nice, polite and funny. I didn't get his autograph, I got to joke with him instead and that meant more to me anyway. I have a memory and it's something that nobody else has. I've never met Ms. Aniston and while I hope that she's a nice person if she turns out to be some kind of monster I won't take it personally. See, I don't know her and for all I know she's always been a monster and since I don't know her I also can't tell if she's just having an off day either. And that's the key, we really don't know those celebrities any more than they know us. They've worked hard and gotten lucky to get where they are and we like them because they've entertained us. They've made us laugh, cry and shout. They've song/written songs that we loved enough to play at our weddings. However most of us don't understand that the talent behind that often pollutes other aspects their personality.

If you live your own life, instead of living though other people's, then you won't care about celebrities anyway. You'll watch TV, go to the movies and listen to the Top 40 and enjoy yourself. You won't obsess about the private lives of people you've never met or fret over the lack of personal information on "Official Webpages". It's a kind of freedom that people should strive for in today's world. Who want's to be a slave to a fantasy world anyway?

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