Tag Archives: Celebrity

How Do You Get To The Super Bowl?

The elaborate sensation that is the superbowl is touted as the culmination of America’s dream, if you listen to the NFL-sponsored, celebrity-voiced spots that introduce the game. Only the best teams get to the championship (just ignore the season stats for those other teams with better records)and the NFL spends tons of money hyping the event. Cities spend millions trying to win the honor of hosting the game with the hopes of generating even more in tourist revenue from fans that come to watch it. The Networks spend millions on broadcasting rights and technology to bring it into everyone’s home and then charge millions in airtime for the commercials. Everyone invests huge amounts of time and energy—except, it seems, the artists who sing the national anthem. In case you didn’t hear it, Christina Aguilera messed up the anthem.

In the midst of near record breaking winter storms across the nation and government changes in the middle east, America focuses its collective attention on something much more important and socially relevant: the superbowl (if you believe the hype). Now celebrating its 45th anniversary, the NFL championship game continues to garner more and more of the nation’s otherwise short attention span each year. Where once we just watched the game and it was over in just over two hours (this was before commercial timeouts), Sunday’s exhibition took the better part of the day with programming starting at noon and continuing until almost 9 pm from the pregame show through the game and the postgame festivities. There is also the halftime show which is another matter entirely, and the commercials which have become events all their own.

With all this attention, it seems that the artist given the honor of kick-starting the event by singing the National Anthem—our nation’s song, that song that represents all that our country can be—would want to turn in a performance worthy of the honor. Most people who are called upon to speak or sing or perform or whatever would do something to make certain their performance was as good as it could be like, oh I don’t know, perhaps practice? Or how about actually learning the lyrics of the song? The National Anthem has become something of a joke at sporting events it seems because of how often it is messed up by celebrity performers.

The tradition of singing the anthem is an old one and it happens at every professional and most semi-pro sporting events, where it is sung by local singers from high schools or churches or even locals artists. Even a three-year-old turned in a spectacular performance. These renditions are almost always done right, whereas the professional singers don’t seem to get it. Perhaps they think that, because they are celebrities, they don’t need to rehearse. Christina, perhaps you should have actually rehearsed. Maybe the instead of asking some big name celeb to sing the anthem, the NFL should actually hold auditions for the job. Artists should be lining up and vying for the chance to perform this significant song.



Filed under Media, Society

Just Sign The *@^#! Check

Thousands of human beings have died and more have had their lives irrevocably altered by horrific events in Haiti. That this is a tragedy of global proportions is undeniable. No caring human being can deny the suffering or stare unflinching at the devastation. The survivors of Haiti have a decade of recovery and rebuilding ahead of them and most of them are so impoverished that recovery may be beyond their reach without some kind of help. An article on Yahoo pointed out that many celebrities are calling on the administration and the American people to help out.

Fortunately there are international humanitarian organizations in place to offer that aid. The American Red Cross has already mobilized a relief effort and has calculated that more than 1 million people will be affected by the quake. Various Christian missions will render aid as well as the inevitable federal aid that will be offered by the administration and other countries. These efforts always are provided in times of catastrophe where human suffering affects so many and can be counted upon when needed. And you know what? They don’t need the likes of Brad Pitt, Opera Winfrey or Paris Hilton to tell them to do it.

Celebrities have developed a habit of championing causes in recent years to help their image in the media. This is not a bad thing since they do accomplish many good things in many areas of human endeavor. Image consultants started making the celebs do this to offset the media coverage of their indulgences in partying and living to excess with extravagant spending that distanced them from their public. Now the first thing many new, young celebs do is jump on a social issue as a cause to make them seem more socially conscious and less self-centered.

But in reality, it is entirely self-centered. They don’t do it for the altruistic feeling of giving, but for the self-aggrandizement of publicity. They stand on the soap box and call attention to the issue by saying “look at me! I’m important and I think you need to help with this effort.” Now, these celebrities are urging everyone to help with Haiti, as if no one would have thought to do it without their insistence.

These people are artists. They are entertainers. They are performers. They are not officials. They are not politicians. They are not social workers. They have a job they do that gives them the ability to earn more money than the average person could ever spend. But does that qualify them to tell governments and agencies how to do their jobs? How does the act of recording a song, starring in a TV show or movie or getting drunk and partying without panties qualify anyone to issue directives to society as a whole?

Some celebrities even take it upon themselves to approach foreign heads of state as if they had diplomatic status and they actually make demands of these leaders. Being a celebrity is not a title that equates to that of senior statesmen. These celebrities should leave the running of governments and agencies to those who hold those jobs and concentrate on creating their art.

If they want to help in Haiti or support any other social issue by writing a check or giving out meals, then more power to them. They should, however, do so without getting on a soapbox in a spotlight saying “look at what I’m doing. I’m a compassionate millionaire. You should do this too.”

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Filed under Media, Society

Setting the Example or Casting the First Stone

Why do people do the things they do? If you ask any number of people on the street that question, you’re likely to get any number of answers. Sociologists and psychologists will babble about the id or the ego or the social construct that is society, but it all really boils down to human nature. We are wired with certain impulses that drive our behavior. These drives have been mapped out long ago by several experts, and while they are theories, they have been corroborated many times over with empirical data. Hunger, fear, thirst, and anxiety are among many conditions that prompt human beings to do certain things. Our society creates many other conditions that trigger similar responses. The trick of the matter is not that we do things, or really not even why we do them. It is why we act surprised when others do them.

Mankind has long held aloft those who are in leadership roles or those who are set apart from the rest of society for intellect, ability or even celebrity. We expect better of them than we do of ourselves. If a neighbor cheats on his taxes, we don’t really care. Oh, we may look down on them for not living up to their responsibilities, but that is about the worst that would happen. But if someone who has been elevated in society does the same, that person is subjected to intense scrutiny and ridicule.

Think about what it means to be famous and be human. Scandal! Joe the plumber would simply enjoy a beer at the bar while regaling his buddies about how he was caught cheating on his wife. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods is placed under the microscope and every aspect of his life is dissected in the media while society adopts a “holier-than-thou” attitude about how bad of a person he is. Bill Clinton suffered the same experience with his adultery scandal, and society even called for his resignation for it. We cannot abide our leaders acting the same way that we do. They’re our leaders. They have to be better than us.

I’m not saying everybody cheats. I’m not saying everyone is an adulterer. Everyone does, however, experience the same temptations and since we are not perfect beings, we sometimes give into our weaker nature and submit to our impulses. It is not always right, or good, but it is human. Can we expect anyone, be it a politician, a sports figure, a celebrity or even a next-door neighbor to behave better than we do at our worst?

We all make bad decisions. We all suffer from them when we do. We need to remember that and stop casting stones when those we admire do the same. Remember, they are human too, and while it is easy to sit back in the comfort of our homes and feel superior that we have not been caught cheating in something, that the shoe could just as easily fit the other foot. One day, one bad decision later, and we are the ones getting caught with our hands in the proverbial cookie jar. If we were famous, we would—just as Tiger said last week—as for our privacy to be respected while we deal with the issue. And—if we were famous—it wouldn’t happen.

A role model is someone who has characteristics that we aspire to achieve. If we play football, then Tony Romo or Vince Young may seem a likely role model. If we play golf, then Tiger Woods seems the perfect role model. If we want to be president, then the President would seem to be a logical choice for role model (although I don’t think he is). But these people are also human, and while they have achieved great success in their fields, they still have lives outside of that area where mistakes can be made. If you can separate the person from the activity—pattern only Tiger’s golf game but not his personal life—then you may have something. Only one role model has ever existed that no one can cast aspersions on, and for some reason few young people would pick him for a role model today. Of course, somebody somewhere offered the biggest help in this with the WWJD campaign. If more people asked that question, there would be fewer scandals.

All we can hope for is the strength of character to do the right thing in all things, pray for guidance from God and follow the examples of our role models—as long as those role models are not Tiger Woods or Bill Clinton or Dave Letterman or Britney Spears or any other celebrity. If you are going to pick a contemporary role model, make sure your role models are people of good character, but remember that they are human.

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