Burriss: A few words about fame

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Since last week it seems everyone I've talked with has been saying how everyone is talking about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Most of the talk is supplemented by comments about why the story is generating so much interest. But after all, it's Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie we're talking about here: masters of the world, if not masters of the universe.

But I also wondered how much, in fact, people are talking about the erstwhile couple, and how much time we are spending talking about the media talking about them.

By coincidence, just yesterday I read an article about how the Mona Lisa really isn't such great work of art. And if it had been painted by someone named Skeezik instead of da Vinci it would probably have ended up on a scrap heap. So is it really a great work of art in itself, or is it great because someone we trust says it's great?

One only has to look at the dozens of disgraced celebrities to see how fleeting glory is, and how easily one can be toppled from the top of the pyramid.

So I got to wondering, just what is it that makes someone famous?

Actually, there are two kinds of fame: the kind where someone actually does something worthwhile or out-standing, and the pretend kind, generally conferred by the media, and then taken up by the public.

Now to be sure, some celebrities got to where they are by virtue of their abilities, and that can certainly include sports figures and media personalities.

But how many people are famous simply for being famous?

Actually, I rather wonder where all this talk about celebrities will take us. After all, here I am, writing about people talking about people writing about people.

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Larry Burriss
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