July 28, 2014

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In Reality, True Icons Are Disappearing

Remembering people who were there just to entertain or inform us, not show off their (supposed) personal lives.

It seems like no more than a month has gone by without the passing of a legendary figure.

Don Cornelius. Whitney Houston. Donna Summer. Mike Wallace. Dick Clark. Andy Griffith. And just the other day, Andy Williams.

Most (Houston and maybe Clark being exceptions) had something in common.  They-and their careers-existed before what we now know as "Reality TV" became part of pop culture.

If you read my blogs regularly, you know I'm not a fan of that genre. It's mostly about people who are become well-known "for being famous", not because of what they did to earn that fame.

Would we care what Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton does on a regular basis if it weren't for the TV shows that showcase (and, in some cases, exploit) them?  It's interesting that both more or less got those shows, and fame, because of their family's wealth, not because of anything they personally accomplished. And the "occupiers" should note that they're members in good(?) standing of the "one per cent".

Americans as a whole are guilty of "hero worship" involving famous people, while forgetting that, quite often, those heroes are also people who have or seek no public fame whatsoever (such as their own parents or family members. Being exposed in the media, even in a positive way, doesn't guarantee one "hero" or "icon" status.

But whether they're from my generation, or what their personal politics are, I will always admire, or at least respect, people who earned their fame the old-fashioned way: by earning it.

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