Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Famous People: Stay Away From Me

I was in a bookstore in Washington, DC's Georgetown neighborhood some time ago. Checking out the new books and bargain shelves and whatnot. I felt someone looking at me so I turned away from the book covers and standing at the end of the book range was a man in a suit with sunglasses, an earpiece, and packing heat. He wasn't in there for the books. Then I looked to the other side of me and I suddenly noticed not five feet away was one of the most famous and powerful men in the entire country.

My immediate reaction was to slowly but surely put physical distance between me and the celebrity. The last thing I want is to be in the crosshairs of a security detail with itchy trigger fingers.

After I had extricated myself from the danger zone, my next thought was, What the hell are you doing in here? This place is for normal people. Famous people like you don't belong here, so go home! I've wondered what prompts such people to temporarily think of themselves as commoners and pretend they can shop and browse like anyone else. And the dude in the bookstore actually seemed uncomfortable that I was so near him! It made me think that power can twist the human mind in a knot, for those who aren't suited to handle it.

It's always a problem when powerful people of the kind who walk around with security details following them decide they are going to mingle with the common folk. Think of President Obama and Joe Biden going out to lunch at a local eatery. The traffic jams. The security. Everyone has to get out of the way. It's hell for everyone but them. And for what? Pretending is what politicians do, along with actors and entertainment folk. They have that in common.

I don't get a thrill from meeting celebrities. I consider them a nuisance. And I don't want them around me because a lot of things can likely happen and none of them are good. But I'm aware that a lot of people love celebrities so much they are willing to pay for the privilege of shaking their hand and snapping a photo. I mean the "Meet & Greet" events that are usually associated with entertainment acts.

I wouldn't know because I've never paid for such a thing, so I went to Google and it seems these Meet & Greets can cost anywhere from below $100 to at least $1,000--for example, a photo op with Miley Cyrus. It all depends on whether the artist is A List, B List, C List, or lower.

I've thought of all the people in the world I admire and can't come up with even one name of anybody I would be willing to pay to see up close and shake their hand and snap a selfie. A hundred bucks? A thousand? Somehow I'm immune to this celebrity virus that causes so many others to go bonkers at the sight of such people.

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