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A rant about celebrities.(21 posts)

A rant about celebrities.empacher6seat
Sep 24, 2002 9:16 PM
First off I would like to apologize for the lack of grammer and correct spelling. I just handed in a huge paper and I feel the need for some sloppy, spur of the moment writing. Here goes:

I was doing some channel surfing tonight, and I came across a program called "celebrity dare devil challenge" and nearly lost my post-ride snack. I don't get the whole infatuation with celebrities. Why are they so important? Most of them aren't even very educated, they're just actors or songwriters and some aren't even that, they just sing stuff other song writers wrote! *cough* american idol *cough*. Lance Bass getting a free ride into space? Someone is forking over $20 million bucks to send this guy who can barely do his own job into space when anyone with a 3rd grade education can think of hundreds of ways to put that money to better use? It makes me sick.

TV specials about how many thousands of dollars someones dress cost? How they got married? How many times they've been married? How many hours did the marrige last? Who's been seen in public with who? Was it a date? Are they friends? Celebrity Millionaire specials! Celebrity sand castle building contest! Celebrity scandals! Whoopdie f@#%ing do!

People throwing parties to watch the grammy awards? HUGE hype about what people will wear, if they're good enough actors to fake tears at their acceptance speech... all I see are has-beens in tuxedos handing awards to soon-to-be has-beens in tuxedos.

What's the deal? Why do we feel we need to make these people larger then life? Why the obsession? The throngs of screaming fans? Every time I see another P-Diddy or Britney Spears I feel like I lose not only a bit of my mind, but faith in the entertainment industry and even general values of our way of life.

Comments? Agreements? Disagreements?
Thanks for letting me rant... I need to get out and ride!
re: A rant about celebrities.Bill B
Sep 25, 2002 2:14 AM
Yes, you do need to get out and ride.
Some advice...Wayne
Sep 25, 2002 5:48 AM
don't watch, go ride your bike. And don't worry about how other people decide to throw their money away, it's their money not yours. You wouldn't want someone telling you how to spend your money and time would you? Well, I can assure you no-one else wants to hear your opinion on how they should spend their time or money.
The Emperor has no clothes.Sintesi
Sep 25, 2002 6:09 AM
Well most of them don't. These guys irritate you. I can sympathize. There's a phenomena called "herd mentality" and it will surround you till the day you die. But the good thing is you don't have to pay attention to it at all. F'em, be a maverick and think for yourself. When you know longer know who Lance Bass is or know his equivalent reference point in society, it will be time for you to leave the temple.

Get some sleep, bury your TV, radio, computer, whatever, and always, always KILL YOUR POP IDOLS!! In your mind that is. That's my advice to you.
elitism, arrogance, disconnectDougSloan
Sep 25, 2002 6:09 AM
This stuff is tough for me to stomach, too. Many celebrities, either by chance or from some talent, make a lot of money and people seem to have a desire to know everything about them. Maybe it allows some people to escape from their boring lives and live vicariously a little bit. I don't get it.

Many, not all, of these celebrities, particularly the Hollywood types, are so elitist, arrogant, and disconnected from "real life" that it's almost comical. For some odd reason, then seem to believe that staring in a movie makes them an expert on politics, and that we should listen to them. They take themselves far too seriously, publicly obsessing about their performances, "who" they wear, what talk shows they are on, etc. What disturbs me the most is all of the "mutual admiration" crap they do, giving one another awards and assuming any of us give a darn about them.

What is particularly amusing is watching these people expressing their opinions about how bad poverty or hunger is, and then get driven to their $10 million homes in big limos. ????????????

But, I must say that I wish them well and would not change a thing about a system that allows this to happen. It's an example of an extreme that freedom and capitalism allows, which I fully support, no doubt. However, that same freedom certainly permits us to express our contempt for them, doesn't it? (Pssst -- many of them drive SUV's!)

What it boils down to for me is that I despise elitism in all forms, someone thinking that they are better than others for whatever reason, but particularly money or fame. That's just ugly.

Doug
Helping charitable causesTypeOne
Sep 25, 2002 11:56 AM
Because the public is infatuated with these celebs, the stars can lend their name to a cause or make an appearance at an event, or start their own foundation. So there are benefits to this celebrity fascination.
Sounds good, but then the cynical side of me realizes that these folks probably get some huge tax benefit for it by donating their time. How do they put a monetary value on that? What sickened me was the telethon after September 11th last year. Which celebrities chipped in any cash? Thousands of people donated blood and money to the Red Cross and didn't need Jewel warbling on tv to do it.
Helping charitable causesmr_spin
Sep 25, 2002 12:28 PM
No celebrity ever gets any tax benefit for donating their time.

I personally don't care what celebrities do with their time or money. But I find it fascinating that you were sickened by stuff you don't even know! You have no idea if celebrities donated any money, and that sickens you? Very strange. I'll bet you would be even more sickened if they had issued press releases specifying what they gave. Then they would be publicity seeking bastards. They can't win.

Just for the record, Julia Roberts alone donated $2 million.
Celebrities follow the same rules as the rest of useKristin
Sep 25, 2002 1:37 PM
You can itemize dedcutions for travel expenses where the sole purpose of the trip was charatable (and the organization meets the IRS definition of charitable). And you can deduct the cost of supplies you purchased for full OR partial use of your time doing charitable service. But you are correct...no one can itemize time spent or expertise. That you can only give.

By the way, I hope everyone here knows that you can write off your gas milage expenses for charitble service. Two years ago, I received a $400 break for driving to and from church (only for serving, meetings, training, ect--not for social and worship events.) Its a nice tax perk.
half-way cynically correctDougSloan
Sep 25, 2002 12:42 PM
No -- you never get a tax deduction for your time. Just a tax code thing.

But, they probably do get a fair amount of free publicity from some of these things. That's worth something, but is not taxable (as far as I know).

Of course, to be fair, for some people the most valuable thing they have is time. Helping charities is good.

Doug
Oh please...mr_spin
Sep 25, 2002 7:01 AM
This isn't anything new. You can go back to the American Revolution, the Renaissance, and even ancient Greece to find celebrities. Back in the old wild west, gunfighters like Billy the Kid were celebrities. At least Lance Bass isn't famous for killing 21 men.

Frankly, I think you are pretending to be a huge elitist to cover up your insane jealousy. Look at what you wrote: Most of them aren't even very educated, they're just actors or songwriters? How the hell would you know? Why does it matter? Actors and songwriters can bring joy and a whole range of emotions to people's lives through their craft, even if it doesn't affect you. Why would it matter if they were educated anyway? Good songwriters and actors bring their backgrounds into their work, and if they were all educated the same, it would be pretty boring. After all, in real life, not everyone is very (well) educated.

I love the rest of that quote: some...just sing stuff other song writers wrote!. As if that's important. Seems to me, Whitney Houston singing the Star Spangled Banner (which she didn't write, by the way) at the Super Bowl back in 1991 brought a lot of people to tears. On that Sep 11 telethon, two standouts for me were Wyclef Jean doing "Redemption Song" (he didn't write it) and Faith Hill doing "There Will Come a Day" (she didn't write it).

You need to separate celebrites from their work. You definitely need to come down from your ivory tower. If awards shows piss you off, don't watch them. Don't watch "ET" and "Access Hollywood" and "Celebrity Plumbing and Heating" and all the other PR-driven crap. I don't. I can't stand that stuff. But I don't look down on anyone deemed a celebrity. I don't look up to them either.

Growing up in L.A., I ran into a few celebrites. It was never a big deal. If I said anything to them, it was "hi" and that was it. They're just people like you and I.
Well, you did watch it. I know better. nmMB1
Sep 25, 2002 7:02 AM
Celebrities=American RoyaltyColnagoFE
Sep 25, 2002 7:51 AM
Just like England has the Queen Mum. It ain't fair, but we are to blame for perpetuating it. If we stopped renting and going to the [mostly] awful Hollywood movies that allow these "stars" to get paid what they do they would be waiting tables soon.
What about RBR poster-boy Lance Armstrong?TJeanloz
Sep 26, 2002 10:00 AM
How can we sit here and bash celebrities and those who admire them and not acknowledge the hero worship that goes on here for cycling's biggest celebrity?

How is Lance, or Eddy Merckx, or Greg LeMond worship any different than P.Diddy or Brittney Spears worship? We are impressed by what our heros have done, other people are impressed by what their heros have done- but we shouldn't belittle them because we don't think their aspirations matter as much as ours. Cycling, and sport, after all, is nothing more than entertainment.
a few differencesDougSloan
Sep 26, 2002 12:20 PM
First, who said anyone "worships" Lance? We follow what he does; we're interested; we might emulate, maybe even admire, yes. But, no, I don't think he's any different than anyone else, other than having survived cancer and being really good at what he does.

Plus, at least since the cancer, Lance is a fairly reserved, modest sort of guy. I don't see him exaggerating the importance of what he does as a cyclist. It appears to be both a job and a passion for him, but not a grant of royalty.

I think bike racing is vastly different than obvious forms of entertainment, like acting and singing. It involves, first, superior physical abilities, but more importantly, courage, discipline, and ability and will to endure pain and hardship. There is a vast difference between singing on stage for 2 hours and a 120 mile bike race stage that ends with a 3,000 foot climb. So, I disagree that cyling is "nothing more than entertainment."

Doug
I'd like to agree, but I don't think I can,TJeanloz
Sep 26, 2002 12:41 PM
Emotionally, I want to think that cycling is much harder than acting or singing; but realistically, I don't think it is. Acting and singing also require superior physical, and mental, abilities; it's what we call 'talent', and actors have it just as much as athletes. The ability to sing well, or act well is the result of years of training and hard work- just as the ability to win a bike race is.

In terms of worship, I hesitate to say that people here know any less about Lance than any fan knows of any celebrity. Weren't people celebrating his birthday a couple of weeks ago? People know, down to the bolt, what components he uses, and buy them in droves. Even though we know it's not about the bike- that doesn't stop people from buying things that He has endorsed, signed, or touched.

So, while I know what Lance does isn't easy, I also respect that performing on stage or screen is also not easy. It isn't saving the world, but then, niether is bike racing.
huuugeeee differences my friend.empacher6seat
Sep 26, 2002 5:07 PM
There's a few difference between Lance and Britney.
1) Lance doesn't charge $90 to see him ride.
2) When you see lance racing, he's putting in the work, and showing the training he's done. Britney is lip-syncing to a song she didn't write. Don't tell me they're equally talented.
3)Lance is pretty humble.
4)Lance understands that his actions usually speak more then his words (Britney: "I dress, act, and perform like a skank... but don't call me one, and don't blame me if your 10 year old daughters do the same.")

I really didn't make myself clear in my original post. I don't have a beef against all celebs. There are many who are very respectable (Lance, Wayne Gretzky, John Cleese, the list goes on). I'm against the sort of self promoting, glitzy, glamoury, plastic surgery hollywood self-proclaimed "stars". Someone else wrote that it doesn't effect our lives. It DOES. A week before the Oscars, that's the first thing the news will talk about "Tonight: The Oscars, who's going, what they're wearing, etc... And in other news a 12 year old boy killed his family with a steak knife, more on that later". Remember the Robert Blake trial? Come on! Did that REALLY need to take up so much of the public eye? How did this differ from any other murder trial?

I think Doug is the only one who derived the basic messages I was trying to get across out of my ramblings. He hit the nail on the head when he said "some actors think because they're in a movie, they're experts on politics and we should believe them". I saw a commercial once with Tom Cruise speaking out against deforestation. Great for him for helping out with the cause... but come on, there's got to be SOMEONE who knows more then he does about the subject.
We'll take your example...TJeanloz
Sep 27, 2002 4:29 AM
Britney Spears, for example, how hard has it been for her to get where she is? From what little I know about her, I do know that she was on the Mickey Mouse Club as a Mouskateer at a pretty young age, and worked through the hollywood machine to the point she's at now. Was it easy? I doubt it. In fact, probably tougher than it was for Lance, who was in the Olympics and then had a professional contract before he even realized what being a Euro-pro meant. Yes he's more humble- he's also been in the business for 10 years. You're comparing a 30 year old man to an 18 year old girl. At that age, was Lance humble? Or was he widely disliked in the pro peleton for his brash arrogance? I'm not saying that he and Britney are of equal talent- because I don't see how you could compare singing and cycling. But your rant was against celebrity- and Lance is every bit the celebrity that Britney is.

Is Lance a self-proclaimed 'star'. I don't know; how many of you have written your autobiography and gone on the book tour? How many of you have appeared on Letterman and Leno? Lance has built himself as the superstar cancer survivor- which I'm not saying is wrong, and I think he's a great role model- but he has promoted himself and his bout with cancer. His self promotion is the reason that his star shines so much brighter than Greg LeMond's ever did.

Like it or not, when people like Tom Cruise talk, people listen. So, I'd rather have Tom Cruise talk about deforestation, and have people listen, than have Dr. Ilovetrees talk and nobody listen.
OK, Lance is a "celebrity"DougSloan
Sep 27, 2002 6:27 AM
I agree. No doubt Lance is a celebrity. I just think athlete celebrities are generally less contemptible than the movie star/singer/performer types, and what they (particularly endurance athletes) do is significantly different than most performing celebrities, with competing and suffering being the key differences.

Doug
woohoo! Go Lance!DougSloan
Sep 27, 2002 6:42 AM
I see he has a sticker now. Gee, what a let down.
huuugeeee differences my friend.mr_spin
Sep 27, 2002 6:31 AM
What kind of bizarro world do you live in? You're watching TV and Tom Cruise comes on talking about whatever, I guarantee most people will pay attention or at least do a double take and try to figure out what he's talking about. If some nobody does the same thing, even if he is the world's foremost expert on whatever, very few people will pay attention. You know this. Everyone knows this.

Your point about affecting our lives is hilarious when your example is the nightly news. News on TV is just another ratings driven show, and they know what sells. And anyway, people kill each other every day, but the Oscars only occur once a year. Maybe you should write in to the news organizations and tell them that killings should always come first, especially killings by 12-year old boys with steak knives.
I'd like to agree, but I don't think I can,mickey-mac
Sep 26, 2002 9:04 PM
I'm with you on this one. I don't see a big difference between having a signed Lance Armstrong poster or a signed Jennifer Lopez poster framed on the bedroom wall. Admiring the abilities of an actor, comedian, singer, baseball player, or cyclit is one thing; becoming obsessed with every detail of that person's life is quite another thing.