More Stars Than There are in the Heavens ~ by Allen Kopp
I was scrolling through an article on the Internet called “Stars We Lost in 2016.” About half of these “stars” who died during the year I never even heard of. A person who appeared on the TV show Survivor (which I never watched) in the 1990s is a “star.” A person who once sang a song on the TV show American Idol (which I never watched) is an American Idol “star.” A person that nobody ever heard of who appeared on a TV soap opera in the 1960s is a “star.” An obscure character actor who had a tiny role on the TV sitcom Bewitched (which I remember watching on Thursday nights in sixth grade) is a “star.” A person who applied Ellie May Clampett’s makeup on the set of The Beverly Hillbillies is a behind-the-scenes “star.” A director who directed several episodes of the TV sitcom Hazel in the 1960s is a directing “star.” A high school boy killed in an automobile accident who used to play football is a high school football “star”—he was also a fourth or fifth cousin of 1950s Mouseketeers “star” Annette Funicello, so that makes him even more of a “star.” A girl on the cheerleading squad in high school thirty years ago is a cheerleading “star.” A sixth grader who won the spelling bee at his school in 1959 is a spelling “star.” The undertaker who embalmed several famous show business people is an embalming “star.” The TV bloviator who used to give the weather report on a local TV station from 1961 to 1967 will always be remembered in history as a bright and shining TV “star.” A congressman who was in office for four years in the 1970s and hoped to one day be president will always be a political “star,” even though nobody remembers him except his cleavage-on-display ex-wives and his illegitimate children.
In this celebrity-obsessed age, almost anybody can be a “star.” It’s one of those words that has become meaningless through repetition. If anybody can be a star, it doesn’t mean much. A person who saves lives and expects nothing in return is really the “star.” A person who goes into battle and dodges bullets so the rest of us can sit at home and be safe is the “star.” A medical researcher who battles and eradicates disease and alleviates suffering is the true “star.” A person who creates something of beauty from nothing and expects no recognition for it is the “star.”
We live in a very silly age. The news cycle, which used to be limited to a few hours a day, is now twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. With all that time to fill, the news people often resort to throwing junk at us that isn’t really news. Somebody’s opinion isn’t news. It’s somebody’s opinion. Speculation isn’t news. What might happen or what could happen is not news. (Remember all the political talk during the summer of a “brokered” political convention? It didn’t happen.) A Hollywood “star” who didn’t get his or her way having a temper tantrum isn’t news. The tacky and tasteless comments of a female “singer” of miniscule talent is not news. I don’t care how many people idolize and worship her or how big a “star” she is or thinks she is, there are a lot of us who just want her to go away. All we want to see of her ass is of it disappearing —permanently—over the distant horizon.
So, you think you want to be a star? Just wait around long enough and you’ll become one. If not a true “star,” then maybe a “star” by association. It’s not what you know but who you know that matters. Oh, and, if you somehow miss being a “star,” you can always be a “star f***er.” That’s always fun.
Copyright © 2017 by Allen Kopp