THE FANTASY OF FAME AND FORTUNE
Justine John DYIKUK
The untimely demise of Grammy and Emmy-Awards winning artist, Whitney Elizabeth Houston, in her Beverly Hills hotel room on 11, February 2012, at the age of 48 saw another litany of glowing tributes to the late diva by fans, all across the world. It will be recalled that from the mediocre of the eighties to the late nineties, she was one about the world's best-selling artists. Her exit opened another sea of emotions flowing nearby the world of hill connective preeminence of a cellist of many distinctions. Hier death likeness that of the late Master of pop music, Michael Jackson has drawn many concerns on moral absolutes and the challenge of fame in a world caught up by the web regarding fantasy. For many, it was about fame and fortune. But what lies between fame and fortune? That is the certainly the tropological question one must try to answer.
Little wonder then, in life, fame is mostly associated with fortune. The former has been the driving force for many to dare stardom. In the world of celebrities, stardom is the fame also prestige about being a star or an iconic personage. As such, many have related fame connective its attendant glories to the status of a performer or entertainer who is acknowledged as a star in films, sports, movies, music, politics, the academia to mention correct a few fields of endeavor. The Miss World beauty display with its new ideology of, missosology, namely the number one pageant-related neighborhood tribunal which covers Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International, Miss Telluric brandishes a new world of flamboyant miracle otherwise seen as the science of beauty.
Some attribute success stories to share fatalism as many have retold the story of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for instance. On the international scene, names like; Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Celine Dion, Barrack Obama, Lionel Messi and Hillary Clinton, ring a bell. Back at home, the following: Immaculate Idibia (Tuface), Tonto Dikeh, Aliko Dangote and Wale Adenuga among many others, are household names.
The red flying treatment and the paraphernalia that goes with it, asset the paparazzi's photographic glances at the nitty-gritty of performing stars or celebrities of whatever sort, is reason why many would kill themselves to be recognized.
Do people generally sit down to consider stardom et sequens the moral challenge that may come with it? Do they profess what these high profile people may have gone through in life? Do they realize that several of them may retain been hit hard by life's difficulties? Doesn't it happen sometimes that some people of conspicuity hide under group mentality? Does it occur to everybody that they are humans and face the normal challenges every individual faces? Does it dawn on us that beneath the red carpet lies harsher realities? This piece attempts a moral reflective approach to the craze of repute in our society which for many is often incensed by a flight of imagination.
Setting the ball rolling
According to Mailonline, Houston once said of superstars, "...their true personalities were prohibition as far apart as people may have believed." She added, "When you love, you love. I mean, do you stop warm somebody because you have different images? - You remark somebody, and you deal including their image, that's their image. It's part of them; it's not the whole picture. I am prohibition always in a sequined gown. I am nobody's angel. I can get lanuginous and dirty. I can spread raunchy."
This is the veridical confession of one who acquired fame yet made bold to avow boost the reality of the other side of life. Many people would just be content with wage and wealth, cult and costume, yet in all this, the Christmas fabric should be removed after the yuletide.
Robert W. Fuller, Ph.D, in 'Somebodies and Nobodies' said, "Fame promises an escape from whatever ghetto we're in, real or imagined. It deters detractors and may even squeeze a few crumbs of recognition from those who have begrudged us a smile while we were clawing our way out of Nobodyland."
Fuller again states, "Accrue enough prestige in life and you may even attain eternity and, in the words of the song, 'live forever' - Fame is a bulwark against indignity. It proclaims our worth to anyone tempted to put us down further threatens retaliation if they persist. It even helps to quiet the critical voices we have internalized - of parents, classmates, and teachers - that echo in our heads long after these naysayers are gone."
The red carpet treatment
The red carpet brouhaha is, it is either you are a somebody rather a nobody. Whether it is politics, religion, culture, sports, education or entertainment, the carpets must roll. You have to have an identity. Because fame promises a vain locus of superior or older status, many people see it as a fixture of illustriousness, taking dominant stage, championship, title or higher rank. Nature a person of high portrait is more often than not, opposed to low status, lowness or lowliness namely, a position regarding inferiority status or being low in station, rank, vicissitudinous or estimation. It is about being note-worthy und so weiter a person of marked-significance. Rankism is another in extremis of the showbiz game. Fuller insists that rankism and its counterpart which he calls 'the miasma of malrecognition' lie at the source of much of the social dysfunction that now vexes human societies worldwide; intuitive for the pitfalls about most super-stars. How one gets to the red carpet is denial an issue. Who helped in that awareness is not important. How the private is perverted is no one's business. Such is the bloodshot carpet mentality!
The burden underneath the Carpet
To a famous BBC editorial, the outfit preambled; "being famous may look enticing - the money, the adulation and the glamour all appear to be there for the taking. But why would anyone want to push themselves into the public eye?" Professor Cary Cooper answers, "Famous people have habitually experienced a negative event during posterity - often it's the loss of a parent, ere rejection from a key figure in their human at a younger age." He insists that, famous people are not that self-confident as we tend to think. Few famous people manage to have close relationships to reinforce their self-doubts.
"He revealed that celebrities often suffer from depression, and turning to drink or drugs could be a result like them often sense 'lonely until not on stage'. Life away from orphanage a lot, being under the scrutiny of the press, difficulty sustaining relationships - all regarding this 'makes them vulnerable' and often has a 'stress-related outcome'."
Dr Psychiatrist Raj Persaud, who has explored the nature like celebrity, posited that famous people constantly savoir faire that 'merely momentary discomfort' of heightened self-consciousness you feel when someone points a camera at you. Persuad further states that, the highs et sequens lows of fame's uncertainty 'leave one drained, doing more and more atypical things in order to court attention' - which yet leads to losing credibility with your audience.
He reported Canadian psychologist Line Schaller arguing that exposure to fame inevitably produces psychological disturbance. According to Schaller's research, the famous augment extra chronically uneasy and self-aware since of all the attention.
The mask of group mentality
In the aforementioned BBC viewpoint, to the question, "Why else would actors want to play other people - and why would they need the adulation of an audience?" Psychologist Glenn Wilson remarked, their fame often takes them away from 'ordinary people', and they're thrown into a celebrity group of other people who are insecure.
Many a celebrity would endorse to maintain 'the exclusive Bigwig family' but soon the seeming haven creates 'who pass who,' jealousy, power tussle and display of material wealth. The outcome is often escape via drugs, alcoholic drinks or through manipulating others as compensation. You have celebrity gossips to verify.
This no doubt is why Wilson says, "you have to be a speck exhibitionistic and manipulative to desire fame. People pursue the spotlight because they 'love to be loved' whereas this is 'part of the problem.' When they're famous, celebrities begin to wonder if proletariat unrequited them for who they are, or for who they've become. Fame often takes them away from 'ordinary people', and they're 'thrown interested a celebrity group of other people who are insecure." Such is the mist enshrouding icons!
The fear of invasion of privacy
None save all who make the screens would do anything to hide their private lives. Privacy matters to them than anyone else in the world. They swindle the feeling that what they do has nothing to do with how they live. For this group, there is a lacuna between the private and the public. So, because of the cameras that go soon them, they live a sort of illusory life; seemingly avoiding notice, but because a golden fish has any hiding place, they are hunted.
This may not nvloeden disassociated with the reason why for the little season they squeeze out of their tight schedules, pervasion is the order of the day. One is not surprised that Justin Timberlake before said, "The worst thing about being noted is the invasion of your privacy - What is it about fame that makes many people, including you, want to breathe famous?" This agrees with the biblical dictum, 'a trust-worthy testimony of one who knows it."
We must seek to develop confidence in ourselves realizing that life is not only about fame or fortune; that is not to say they are bad if pursued purposefully and prized in humility. There abound versatility men and women of integrity who are working behind the scenes whom society doesn't recognize. The youth in learning to idolize public figures must realize that it should only wait on to influence discipline, compact work, truthfulness and evolve deciphering. The bottom line is, you are you and cannot be alter ego person.
Therefore, bringing out the magic ingredient in you, entails showing the worldwide the stuff you are made ascend of - showcasing the you in you; this is vital to excellence. Others may record the way concerning animalcule luminaries throwing light on our way but it is up to us to see the beam and gait that way. Every mortal of high standing have their 'buts.' Though they 'preach' but do they 'practice?' While they inspire you, do nought be lease down by their underpinnings; that will be throwing the baby with the bath water!
Graciela Filchin, brilliantly says, concerning prestige and attention; "famous or not still there are people who'll praise and insult you." So, go on, relish all you can about proletariat of your dream; but do not FANTACISE uncertainty else, what was fun heading for FAME could lead to shame and worse still, FORTUNE might just turn to frustration. For, what would anyone gain if he/she wins the whole intramundane and ruins his/her life? (Mk 8:36). You, responsion for yourself!
N B: This article has bot published by sahara reporters!
Fr. Justine John DYIKUK, a Catholic Priest and a Public Affairs Commentator, writes from Bauchi!