The nation is mourning the deaths of three bona fide stars. It’s a refreshing change from the country’s obsession with reality-TV stars who offer little.
Three people considered major stars – Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson – passed away last week.
Jackson was a global phenomenon. The coverage of his death has been commensurate with what followed the death of Princess Diana.
I often enjoyed the talents of McMahon, Fawcett and Jackson because I believed they had honed their crafts to the point where they deserved the label “celebrity.”
In the weeks prior, the media was obsessed with John and Kate Gosselin and their eight children. The couple, who star in their own reality show, were about to make a “monumental” announcement concerning their relationship.
For weeks, the entertainment shows and People magazine continued to allude to the possibility that the Gosselins were splitting and that Jon had been involved with another woman. The couple received almost as much press coverage as the swine flu.
What I find incredibly absurd is that they, too, are considered “celebrities,” as are the five women whose insipid lives we’re shown in another reality show, “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” The show has landed those women on the cover of major magazines.
The Gosselins and the housewives will get book deals and speaking engagements and make millions.
Why? Is there such a lack of talented people in the world who can entertain and educate us through dance, art, poetry, real acting and music that we have to resort to watching the most mundane human activities to amuse ourselves?
Will we soon have a reality show that shows people going in and out of public restrooms and reports on the outcomes? Has our attention span become so short that the powers think we are no longer able to grasp any content that might challenge our intellects?
I am grateful for PBS, Sundance and other TV channels that continue to give us programming that strives to stimulate and entertain us. But isn’t it time we stopped giving so much attention to individuals who are contributing so little to our lives? I would rather watch the water run out of my bathtub.
Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Mass. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth 02360, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the Web site at www.stressed.com, or call toll-free 800-99-TADAH (82324).