Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

While waiting for a doctor's appointment yesterday I was casually flipping through an entertainment magazine - brain candy, as my sister-in-law calls it - looking at an ugly designer outfit here, a celebrity interview there, when my eyes fell upon this little gem spoken by Spencer Pratt, a "celebrity" of whose existence most of you have probably been mercifully unaware:

“[My wife] Heidi and I... do love fame. We’re honored to be famous. We feel blessed to be famous. We pray every day to stay famous. It’s the most fun. That’s our mentality with fame. That’s why we’re so different than everybody else in these tabloids — because we embrace it.”

Come again? They actually get down on their knees and ask God to help them stay famous? Besides this being the height of arrogance, I'm pretty sure God has better things to do with his time than to make sure these yahoos stay in the tabloids another week.

I've never understood the desire for fame, but it appears that I am in the minority. I think my main distaste for fame (besides its propensity to induce severe bouts of stupidity and selfishness) stems from the fact that, in Hollywood, if you have enough clout to demand an exorbitant salary for a minimal amount of work, you are also well-known enough to have to swat away photographers as you enter a restaurant for dinner. Why would I want to eat a meal while cameras are angling for an unflattering shot of sauce dripping down my chin? I prefer to dump spaghetti on my blouse in peace, thank you very much.

But, there are a lot of people like Spencer Pratt who apparently do want cameras involved in their every intimate detail, selling their souls to the highest bidder in order to land their pearly whites on the cover of a magazine.

It seems the lust for fame is a motivating force for many people, which is why thousands flock to audition for reality shows whose sole purpose is to make fun of the contestants. Last night David and I were watching TV and happened upon a cringe-inducing clip from an ABC reality show called "Here Come the Newlyweds". All it took was one glance at the unbelievably dorky and embarrassing couple (making complete fools of themselves with their proud pronouncements about their hot sex life) to cause David and me to turn to each other and say, in unison, "Those people look like Mormons." But I don't know what happened after that because I was curled up on the floor in the fetal position screaming, "Make it stop!" as they stereotyped their way into the "Proof that all Mormons are nuts" sections of the audiences' brains. David jumped to the computer to confirm our fear that this couple were indeed LDS and found out they were one of two sets of Mormons on the show. Of course that meant that we had pull up ABC's website to watch what our fellow believers were doing. And then we had to poke our eyes out with sticks.

I'm sure these couples must think this kind of reality show is a good opportunity to earn a large cash prize, but really, must they present their religion and newlywed naivete for public scorn and flogging? (Gratefully the other Mormon couple wasn't nearly so twitch-worthy, but still, what are they doing on a show like this? Are they out of their minds?).

As for the rest of the reality television universe, it's pretty much as pathetic as it could possibly get. I won't even discuss the most prevalent reality show drama going on in the tabloids at the moment (for those of you who don't glance at the magazine covers in the supermarket check-out, I'm talking about "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" stars Jon and Kate Gosselin, who have not only dragged themselves and their marriage through the mud, but are taking their eight little innocent children along for the ride).

Great, just great. Why, oh why do people have a desire to make idiots of themselves on national TV? Isn't it enough to make a complete mess of their personal lives without everyone watching? Why would anyone want to give people a front-row seat to their temper tantrums and irrational behavior?

Fifteen minutes of fame hardly seems worth it when you consider the price you would have to pay.


Julia said...

Who's Spencer Pratt?

Bonnie said...

Ah, it seems you are still mercifully unaware of him, Julie. It is best to stay that way.

Stephanie Black said...

I have no idea who Spencer Pratt is either.

This is fascinating from a psychological viewpoint. What drives people to do dorky stuff just to get their names out in public?

fiona said...

Oh my goodness, I DO, unfortunately know who he is. Well, know of him, I never have watched their "show." And the only reason I know of them is because we got a free subscription to US magazine for a few months somehow and I HAD to read it, even though my brain went numb and I would literally cringe as I reached for the magazine whenever Z brought it home. I had no clue who any of the recently famous people were, or the 8,352 new reality shows... We are mercifully shielded from all that in our current TV situation. (Netflix all the way, even for shows.)

Megan B said...

Sadly, I have discovered who he is through some of the lame E! news shows I am ashamed to admit I watch sometimes. He gave an interview where he discussed himself as a
"super-celebrity". I find celebrities in general to be like train wrecks. I DON'T admire them, yet I morbidly watch entertainment news about them.

I burst out laughing at the "And then we had to poke our eyes out with sticks" sentence. You're so witty :)