On Monday, Oct. 21 the first stop of the awards season began with the “Hollywood Film Awards”, an award show so early in the season that many of the films haven’t even debuted yet. There are approximately 60 televised award shows for cinema, television, and music that will be broadcast on TV this year. This is good…BUT WE NEED MORE. We need to constantly honor those whose lives are already 100X better than the average working stiff. We need to praise those who wear a new designer gown for each show. It used to be the Oscars was the one big night we could see our heroes , but now we have so many more…People’s Choice, Kid’s Choice, MTV, VH1, BET, Foreign Press, Latin, Billboard and dozens more which give us a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous. The amount of award shows has grown tenfold to the point where we can weekly see how drone our lives are compared to the beautiful people. We can see what gown Anne Hathaway has chosen for one show and what Taylor Swift is wearing for another. Then in the following weeks we can re-see it on TV entertainment shows and grocery store magazines…still not enough. We must keep in mind what is important…actors and musicians are just like us – only better. Having the latest designer gown, Tiffany necklaces, skinny bodies is what we all aspire to and only a precious few actually achieve it. Plus we get to hear their Nobel prize worthy acceptance speeches which must be written by second graders. The second the actors are on their own and don’t have a script to read, they sound like babbling idiots, ” Oh God, I never thought I would win. I want to thank my agent, my parents, my plastic surgeon, my spouse and I want to thank God.” Why have I never heard that in church, that God loves actors and musicians more? I always hear about people who are on missions to help others, feeding starving children, building churches and schools…why aren’t the pastors telling us to take up acting classes?
I particularly like to hear how physically demanding making a movie is on an actor. It could take up to 3-weeks vacationing in the Caribbean to get over it. If it gets too demanding their is always the stunt double to take over. I thought laying tar on a rooftop during summer was hard work, no, being on a remote location shooting a film is far worse. We continue to honor the rich and famous especially those who don’t want to be seen in public. We know who they are dating, what outfit they wore to shop for more outfits, where they are vacationing, and even attempt to look like them. What fascinates us so much much about celebrities? …actually I have my theory. There are two basic reasons, 1) $$$ – The television award shows make money. The networks make a good profit on a show that is fairly easy to produce…one location, low talent costs, minimal writing all add up to low production costs. Set design is your major concern. Advertisers line up to be associated with the rich and famous because they sell products. Ratings are good as people clammer to see their idols even camping out at the actual event to see the stars walk in. The second reason is more subjective but since it’s my blog here it goes, 2) People idolize the rich and famous [ idolize – to love or admire to excess]. Call it escapism from their daily lives and a reflection of our society. People like people who are good looking , skinny, rich and famous. That is my best observation. There are award shows for humane causes such as teachers, NAACP,UNICEF, philanthropists, but they all fail in the ratings. These people are not attractive and uninteresting with no sense of style. There is even one and only one show for radio…as the expression goes ” She has a radio face” which is not a compliment but a way of saying she could never be in TV or film because of her looks. Unattractive people do not sell products. Overweight people do not sell products. Nobody will come out and say it but how can one ignore it. You just need to look at the people on commercials, newscasters (particularly female weather casters), and models. We try to derail the notion that thinness is more attractive, particularly to young girls who just aren’t built that way, and we all agree that more needs to be done…it just makes good sense. But it doesn’t change and I don’t think it will any time soon. I went to a Dodger game with a friend, Dean Darr, and we sat one section above the owners box. It was a play-off game and the premium seating area was full of celebrities and very successful businessmen sprinkled in with some superstars from other sports. Many brought their wives and their was a definite pattern. The women were considerably younger, had some work done (lips are the worst, can spot it in a milli-second) and dressed to be seen. I mentioned the likeness of all the women to Dean and he replied ” It’s their job”.
Why are people so enamored with the rich & famous…we just are and always have been. It’s not right or wrong, it just is. We aren’t alone in the US. English tabloids put ours to shame, Kobe is mobbed by fans in China, Justin Bieber is mobbed everywhere, and Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are known worldwide for having done nothing. The Academy Awards were first broadcast in 1953. Before that the newspaper and radio gave us our information on celebs like Mary Pickford(20’s), Greta Garbo(30’s), Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis(40’s). Television quickly became the mainstay during the latter half of century until the internet took us to hyper-speed in getting our info. Game Over. Celebrity watching became our jobs. I leave you with one chicken-and-egg question. Are we watching them because the rich and famous are always in front of us? or are they followed because the public demands information about them?