When I logged onto AOL to check my email (yea, I'm an oldie, I still use that address and I like AOL's software better than checking it via the web...)two "news" stories flashed in front of my face. One was about the balloon boy; the other about Jon Gosselin. Now, for the record, my favorite pastime is reading, not television, so absent all the on-line chatter that has flashed in front of my face I wouldn't know or care who Gosselin is. I've never seen his show. The article about the balloon boy (the one they were searching all over Denver for after a balloon his brother said he was in took off) it said his family had been on the "reality" show, "Wife Swap". All I can say is that I feel sorry for all the kids involved and think that these shows are indicative of our country's new religion--Celebrity worship.
If adults want to make fools of themselves on reality TV; if they want to have cameras following them around, if they want producers staging or encouraging embarrassing moments, playing up conflicts or otherwise trying to make the shows "interesting", that's their business, but when kids become involved because adults seek stardom, then the real cost of fame becomes apparent. The Gosselin's family situation, with that many children that close together, would be stressful enough under any situation (which is why God doesn't generally give human mothers that many babies at one time)but to put TV cameras in the home recording family spats and making them household names and faces just adds more stress to an already overflowing pot. Is it any surprise that new celebrity mom and new celebrity dad aren't getting along? Divorce is always hard on the kids; how much worse must it be to see it play out on nationwide TV (and forever on YuTube reruns).
Maybe it is just coincidence, but I have a hard time believing that someone didn't orchestrate that production in Denver yesterday--and I doubt it was the six year old. It cost the city a lot of money, but put the family on TV--and now they are doing the talk show circuit. They are famous and Americans are watching them.
I'm strange, I know, but I don't really care about the personal life of actors (and frankly believe they'd be much better behaved if the rest of the world didn't either). I don't care who is dating whom, and wouldn't recognize most "household names" if they walked into the room, but as I said, I'm not normal. All too many people today worship these celebrities like they are gods. They watch them on TV, they read about them in the paper; they buy merchandise endorsed by them. They act like it is important in their lives who these actors know, like, see, or do things with. They espouse political stands because actors do. Is it any wonder that so many of these celebrities end up trying more and more stunts to stay in the limelight; sometimes even losing sight of the difference between make-believe and reality (think Michael Jackson).
If Americans quit idol-worshiping celebrities, we'd all be better off, especially the children of celebrities and celebrity wanna be's.