Merriam Webster believes ‘crotchety’ to be an old person’s affliction and I couldn’t disagree more. I can rock my crotchety without possessing more years than I know what to do with. After all, forty seven is the new “What the fuck are you looking at?”
Take these “Dress like a Celebrity” Days- the Spirit Week activity many schools take part in. I mean . . why bother? On a normal day, the student population is thick with corporate branded minions whose impersonations of Bieber, Perry, Cyrus and the like could fool paparazzi.
If idolatry was a job skill, this generation would be overqualified.
The phenomenon was inevitable I guess, the result of a 100 year creep from Post Industrial society to a devil’s playpen otherwise known as free time. Witness the supplementation to our pastimes over the last century: Baseball to Fantasy League . . photo albums to Facebook . .antique hunting to app hoarding. The paradoxical effect is that we have more and more of less and less.
Celebrity worship is a cottage industry, thanks to myriad reality shows and an internet reach that chimes with payload. In 2014, everybody wants to be famous but nobody wants to end up on TMZ. And therein lies the rub, because what these celebrity worshipers fail to take into account is the price tag known as fame. Being a celebrity, is cool. Being famous? Not so much.
Take, for example, the meteorologist in San Diego. This person- aside from stealing money- is a local celebrity who’s loving life. Their agreeable forecasts get them more free meals than a Food Network cameraman. That’s called celebrity. George Clooney’s got the other 99 problems, because he understands full well the unforgiving nature of a camera phone should his gratuity fall short of a waiter’s expectations. That’s called fame.
Imitation has been flattering celebrities since Judy Garland belted notes into fire and James Dean’s hair became a customizable recreation, I get that. Hell, I even dabbled in it. My Don Johnson Experiment lasted all of one weekend and cost me a white tuxedo style jacket that I bought from Chess King. I went fashion pimp to gain a girl’s favor, but when it proved futile, I gave up my Vice.
My point is simpler than me. Whereas girls used to dream big on the shoulders of Grace Kelly in hopes of finding Mr. Right and boys swiveled their hips like Elvis to entertain their jukebox date, today’s kids aren’t renting celebrity worship. They want to buy. And they’re not dissuaded in the least by the abundance of cautionary tales available to them; from Real World alums to Kate Gosselin.
Gosselin was a local celebrity in my home town not so long ago. She was a likable girl from Philly until her designs changed and her looks followed and her persona morphed into that of an indefatigable vamp. She had celebrity but she wanted fame. Most people believe Kate to be a ruthless bitch, but I’m not most people. I just think her want of the wrong thing blinded her to all the right things.
It all comes down to one simple truth. Dressing like a celebrity is a cheap date experience. But that whole fame thing is a royal pain in the ass.