Thursday, March 25, 2004

What's to Celebrate?

I was just flipping channels and on VH1 they were doing another one of those 'celebrity' shows - all about how fab all those Hollywood stars are and how much they spend on clothes. The older I get, the less patience I have with what I consider obscene misuses of money. I always say that the only purpose of great wealth is to do great good. It is NOT to spend $1,000 on one "Grungy, I don't care how I look" outfit. (Their numbers, not mine.)

As I was grousing about these 'celebrities' to my sister over the IM it occurred to me to question the word celebrity. I think that the word has gotten co-opted. On I got what I expected. Definitions that included, "the state or condition of being celebrated; fame; renown".

The state of being celebrated. Hmm. That sounds joyous and somehow solemn. It is something best suited, I would think, to heroes. Police officers. Teachers. Soldiers. Nurses. Counselors. People whose mission in this life has been to defend, to enlighten, to aid. The everyday heroes who, ultimately, those 'celebrity' actors portray.

Actors, for all their glamour, are usually on a mission to entertain. It is a worthy mission, and I'm glad that there are so many talented and interesting entertainers around (actors, writers, et al). But for my own peace of mind I think that I will stop thinking of them as 'Celebrities' and start thinking of them as 'Celebrators'. Because any truly great work of art transcends the reality it hopes to portray and becomes a celebration of that reality.

It doesn't excuse the $20,000 shoes, but it makes me feel a little better....

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