Escape from the Cult of Personality

Well, I hadn't planned on posting today, but after I read jnccarol's comments to the last post, I felt the need to defend myself. To wit:

jnccarol said...
You know,
you've gone on long enough without comment in this vein. Who made you arbiter of
morality? The sanctimonious tone of your ranting is disappointing. After all
you've been through, you still don't get it. It's not up to you to decide who's
'good' and who's not.You've maligned people unfairly here. I remember a recent
rant about Brad Pitt the day after I had read he was in Africa. I'm certainly not
gonna argue that Paris Hilton deserves regard or respect, but your tone is just

First, jnccarol, thanks for reading and commenting. Rest assured, however, that Paris isn't my usual target; just the one that I happened to read about after meeting with all those dedicated, hard-working people at Joseph's House. A target of convenience, if you will.

No, I'm not an arbiter of morality. It's not up to me who's good or bad -- the position of God is already filled by a very qualified individual. In point of fact, I ain't a saint. I'm not a Good Person. I've done and seen things that would make your hair fall out. In clumps. Things that you'll never read about here. I'm definitely not qualified to say who's Naughty or Nice. But I know self-absorbed, overindulgent, churlish behavior when I see it; the kind of behavior that always makes the headlines. The kind of behavior that makes you wonder if the perpetrators have had any positive adult influence at all. And it's a damned shame that no one will speak out against such behavior more. Or more loudly.

I just think it's sad and not a little stupid that we have millions more teachers, cops, firefighters, soldiers, clergy, builders, charitable volunteers and others of good will and clear vision that we never hear about, but a minority of vain, spoiled brats that we can't get away from.

And lest you think I'm down on all celebrities, take note: there are many that actually use their exalted status to help make the world a better place. Paul McCartney and Al Gore stump for the environment. Bruce Springsteen traditionally gives large donations to charities of the towns he plays. Johnny Carson was known as a very generous donor. There was an NBA player recently (I wish I could remember his name off the top of my head) that made the news for giving a very large sum for homelessness efforts*. Trouble is, he was only mentioned once, for doing something good. But Paris' press rolls on and on.

Meanwhile, there are teachers in Ness' school that never get any thanks of recognition for helping make my daughter so smart, unless Mama and I as parents thank them personally. Sad, that.

In a perfect world, the cult of personality would pit its power against society's ills and makes people's lives a little better, instead of sucking their adulation so dry there's nothing left for the true role models of society.

That, too, is sad.

*I wanted to blog about this guy, but I got tied up and couldn't get to a Web-capable computer.

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