There aren’t too many people I wanna meet.
Of course when I say “people” I mean “famous people”. There are NO regular people I wanna meet. Except my Mailman. I’d LOVE to meet him.
But when it comes to famous people I’d like to meet the list is very short. I think part of the reason is because what MAKES a famous person famous these days, isn’t what it used to be.
It used to be you got famous for actually DOING things. You know, AMAZING things that no one else had ever done before. Things like: inventin’ a flyin’ machine, liberatin’ a county, discovering a continent, curing a deadly disease.
You could also become famous for possessing a thing called TALENT. You would sing in a way, or write in a way, or create something in a way that hit people straight between the eyes and left them in a puddle of realization and inspiration so deep and profound that their lives were forever changed just by brushing up against what you did.
In either case, there was usually always a huge amount of sacrifice, and hard work, and life-long dedication involved in the pursuit of that goal. And the goal was not necessarily to “become famous” but rather to “invent a flying machine” or “uncover a great truth” or “make ‘em laugh at themselves 'til they couldn’t breathe”.
Once those lofty goals were accomplished - THEN the people who had accomplished them often found themselves “famous”. A “hero”. But it was never the main goal. It was residual. Secondary. A side dish.
Now days, you can pretty much shove a peanut up your nose and score your own TV show. To go from “face in the crowd” to “international star” takes about 9 seconds. By the weekend you could be hosting the Grammys whether you have the ability to host the Grammys or not. What you CAN do is shove a peanut up your nose. How exciting.
I don’t know about you, but for me a peanut up the nose is less impressive than “writing the Constitution”.
It’s a strange time to be a hero; to be out there doing great things, producing awesome stuff, exploring new worlds. It’s strange because THOSE types of people don’t get the press they used to. But I don’t think that’s the hero’s fault. I think it’s ours.
It’s as if we’ve forgotten the criteria for what it is to BE “famous”, a “hero”. We’ve gotten confused as to what and who we should be inspired by, and what we should aspire to be like.
We’ve rewarded each other for “pretend accomplishment” so long we’re beginning to forget what real accomplishment looks like. We’ve called cute puppy videos “awesome” so many times, that we don’t have a word that describes the truly awesome anymore.
Well, forgive me for saying’ this but I just don’t think I’ll need to add the “peanut up the nose” guy’s autograph to my collection anytime soon. For one, I have shoved countless peanuts up my own nose, and frankly, I’m just not that impressed with a guy who does it with only one.
Plus, I’d rather save some space in my book for when the real thing comes along.
As together we stand and sing.