What I find even more bizarre is the fascination with another evolving trend. That is, celebrities. I don't mean people who have earned that status by virtue of successfully plying the acting trade in film, stage or television; or highly paid athletes who have parlayed their skills into a magnet of attraction for star struck fans in stadiums filled to capacity. I am referring to empty celebrities who have no discernible skill or talent. They are somehow famous for being famous. Other than the
Anyway - what does this trend convey to our children? I have noticed a disturbing pattern during my daily lunch experiences with children involving their responses to the dialogue starter - "What do you want to be when you grow up?" In the past, and clearly present still, elementary age children often reply to the question by stating their desire to be a pro athlete, a rock star, doctor, veterinarian, marine biologist,... Lately however, the simple answer - "a celebrity" is gaining in frequency.
Perhaps the old Horatio Alger "rags to riches" story of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and improving your life through hard work and determination is somewhat exaggerated in its reach and maybe mythical, but how would you describe the desire to become a hollow, "famous for being famous" individual absent any marketable skill or trade or purpose other than manipulating the media and effortlessly enthralling devoted fans? This is what many children aspire to be? This reminds me of the discussion on nutrition involving good calories that offer something positive to your diet and health versus empty calories that fill you up without contributing anything productive to your system.
Maybe I'm just becoming an old grouch. Maybe I should pitch the idea for a reality show on old grouches who have lost touch with the pulse of a changing world.