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Thursday, December 6, 2007

What’s With America’s Obsession With Celebrities?

Veteran’s Day is one of the “holiest” days on my calendar. During this year’s observance, my family visited the Vietnam, Lincoln and WWII Memorials. This was our small way of expressing gratitude to the men and women who guarantee freedom in America. However, I must point out to those patriots who feel that the media has betrayed the soldiers who have died in the line of duty by giving very limited coverage, while giving more than one week of non-stop coverage to the murder of Sean Taylor; he was a celebrity.

Americans worship the status of famous celebrities. I’m not suggesting that it is noble, and frankly I think our priorities are often misplaced in that regard, but it is what it is – Americans want to know how Paris is doing in jail, why Tom jumped on the sofa and if OJ killed Nicole. It’s an American obsession that has been tattooed onto the fabric of society. Most Americans probably know more about Barry Bonds than they do about Gerhard Ertl, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this past year.

Don’t misread me because I am a sports’ fan myself, but if Barry Bonds never hit a homerun in his storied career (notwithstanding his alleged steroid use), we would still be able to catch an intercontinental flight from New York to Amsterdam. My point is that it is the thinkers that have brought us into the modern age; not the athletes, actors or super models. It demonstrates how skewed our national priorities are anytime we will pay Michael Jordan more than $35 million a year to play a game, but only pay grade-school teachers, who are the custodians of our future intellectual capacity, less than $50,000 per year. It’s as if the American social planners would rather that you “be like Mike” than to be like your 10th grade math teacher or your 12th grade physics teacher or the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives in Iraq.

There is a generation of young, black males who spend more time on America’s playground than they do studying, and they have dreams of being the next Michael Jordan, Donovan McNab, or Muhammad Ali.

Nimrod, who is credited with discovering the physics secret for entering into Heaven, is one of my favorite Biblical characters; however, Western theologians have a less reputable opinion of him. I once thought that the Western Christendom was critical of him because of his ethnicity; being the son of Ham, or from the father of the dark skinned people of the world. However, I have now come to conclude that Nimrod is vilified in the West, not because he was black, but because the men who sit in the “pantheon of the gods,” directing the path of civilization do not want anyone to emulate the most brilliant man who ever lived. Can you imagine the social revolution if the same generation of men wanting to “be like Mike,” began to yearn to be like Nimrod or Einstein or Dr. King?

Therein lies the plan to deify the entertainer – it reduces the possibility that someone from the inner city, or middle America, or the Bible Belt will make the next civilization changing discovery. Imagine the collateral damage if little Johnnie from S.E. Washington discovered a way to burn water in an internal combustion engine: First, you would basically be able to drive for free, but second and more important to the men in the pantheon is that it would do away with the need for gasoline use in most engines, wiping away trillions of dollars in revenue.

Perhaps this is the perfect time to start lobbying for and contributing to a national memorial for a temple dedicated to the tool of survival that God gave to us all – the human mind.

1 comment:

writenowinc2000 said...

Not only America, but the world has been fascinated by celebrity. Some of the highest paid individuals in our societies have been athletes or entertainers. Too many of us live vicariously through their tragedies, travails and success. In the days of the Roman Empire, it was often the chariot racers who were hailed as the epitome of honor, glory and pride.

Regrettably, we haven't learned anything since this time. Combine that with the total refutation of Andy Warhol's "everyone's going to be famous for 15 minutes" comment, and it's a wonder why the average kindergartner doesn't have a magazine dedicated to the one child who colored between the lines this week.