This will be one of those posts where I pose a question, and have no clue of the answer...but will annoyingly pick at it to find some kind of truth.
I attended a private event last night where a certain celebrity showed up with numerous bodyguard to ward off fans. At first I found it to be a bit unnecessary, considering the party was exclusive to begin with, but I quickly was convinced otherwise when I saw a herd of professionals surround him, each waiting patiently for a meaningless moment, and perhaps a quick picture for a keepsake.
And as I was watching the crowd swarm him like bees, I couldn't help but wonder why. What is the appeal of possessing a picture with someone you barely know, but other people would recognize? Obviously, the keepsake is completely self-serving, as the celebrity in question takes thousands of these, and will not remember the moment in any nostalgic way, so what is the value in the picture, which is clearly taken so that the non-celebrity can show friends?
Does the photograph represent a type of quick ascension of social status? Like if you're in the same place as a well known actor, then you, too, are well known by proxy? Does the picture suggest to friends that you hobnob in exclusive circles, thus an attempt to make said peers jealous? Or is it just cool because you see them on television and want to feel apart of that world each time you look at it? Is it just for an interesting conversation piece? What do people really get out of that moment, and why would some wait in line for inordinate periods of time to get it.
The idea of celebrity in general is strange to me, mostly because we're all human and they don't possess any special powers. I don't think I'll truly understand the appeal of tabloid journalism (though I fully admit sometimes it interests me. Kim Kardashian said what??), though I'm sure many many many people much smarter than me have already broken it down.
Also... on a completely different note...perhaps this was always the case, but listening to Mitt Romney speak about how he can cure America reminds me of a high schooler running for student body president that promises things like televisions and hot tubs in every classroom and cheerleaders in every locker. I hear him waxing poetically about how he can get the economy back on its feet, how he can fix the student loan issue. He throws out statistics about post-graduate unemployment and guarantees that he can create job opporunities with the flick of his magic wand. And I suppose many may take him at his word because of ignorance to the political process and the global economy. We live in a world where we currently have to rely on European and Chinese growth to sustain our own, not to mention commodities like oil are set on the global market, not the domestic. Not to mention, the president's magic wand is generally parsed into thousands of pieces by congress, a governing body that has a habit of creating strange Frankenbills that are so watered down by corporate influence that they don't actually do much. Perhaps I'm jaded, or maybe I'm right, but I'm not sure it even really matters who is president after 2012. I just don't think they'll have the power to make that much of a difference.