11/12/09 — Celebrity culture: Americans are too obsessed with fame and finding it

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Celebrity culture: Americans are too obsessed with fame and finding it

Want incontrovertible proof that Americans are too obsessed with Hollywood, getting rich quick and all the other trappings that seem to go along with fame?

You could look at the recent barrage of reality shows from B-list celebrities looking for a second chance at stardom -- or the fact that all you have to do is claim to have dirt on a politician to be a weekly contributor to "Entertainment Tonight" -- just ask Levi Johnson, Playgirl model turned political analyst.

And then there are the octomom and the disaster that has become "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" to prove that some people will even stoop so low as to use their children for profit.

But the latest installment in this hall of shame is the story of Richard and Mayumi Heene, the Colorado parents who today announced that they would be pleading guilty to making up a story about their child being carried away in a balloon -- just to get television executives interested in a reality show.

Not that anyone did not see this coming. As soon as it was revealed that the child was not in the basket, and after the young man slipped in a comment that just did not make sense during an interview, most people were convinced this one was nothing but a scam.

What is shocking about this particular bad decision was that it not only forced a child to become an accomplice in the lie, but also tied up local rescue workers for hours while they chased a runaway balloon that they thought had a child trapped inside.

Forget the cost -- the moral implications are horrifying.

Who knows what is going to happen to the Heenes or what they really deserve.

But it is a lesson for those who get a little too starstruck by Hollywood and fame that goes along with that life.

Instead of the next get-on-TV-quick scheme, perhaps some people should consider a new concept -- living an honorable life, taking care of their families honestly and teaching their children real values.

And perhaps some of Hollywood's glitterati could benefit from a few of those lessons, too.

Published in Editorials on November 12, 2009 10:55 AM