I was watching Pierce Morgan tonight on CNN (I am looking for work so don’t have much energy to do any type of real thinking) mainly to see his interview with Rick Santorum. The topic of Whitney Houston’s potential drug over-dose was one hot topic discussed between Pierce and Santorum. Pierce made the comment that many U.S. stars, which are the equivalent of “royalty or the aristocracy”, have problems with overuse or misuse of prescription drugs. I am not so interested in the discussion about drug over-dose as I am about calling Hollywood actors or musical stars “royalty” or the “aristocracy”.
If it is true that U.S. celebrities are the role models, pinnacles, and the royal statues of the American Dream, then I fear I am spot on in my assessment that American culture has declined to abyss-like depths. I always hold out hope that my point of view is skewed or too cynical or one-sided. But, when Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston receive such enormous media coverage (almost as much as the death of JFK or Martin Luther King) upon their deaths — not because they were assassinated for their unique message or powerful revolutionary stance, but because they were drug addicts and the public and family seek out a culprit to blame and hang (in these cases a doctor), I feel like the culture has declined and is hanging on the edge of a precipice. How many Americans die everyday from similar addictions and over-doses but receive no media coverage or high-priced lawyers to enrich the surviving families? These people are merely entertainers, not kings or queens or people of significance. They aren’t philosophers or saints or figures to be respected or emulated. They aren’t scientists or deep thinkers or explorers. They aren’t courageous noble leaders or exceptional human beings. They are actors, singers, and athletes. They are nice to look at, or entertaining to listen to, or enjoyable to watch on TV or the stage.
We have evolved from a youthful, bountiful, beautiful flower with immense potential into a wrinkled up bag of bones addicted to an American Dream gone astray. And our “royalty or aristocracy” certainly doesn’t provide an example of the pathway up to the purple mountain majestic peaks. We need to re-evaluate from sea to shinning to sea and make some radical changes to redefine the American Dream and what we define as noble, courageous, and significant examples of extraordinary human beings. The celebrity is a hollow shell decorated with pearls. And those that view them as kings and queens are impoverished peasants.