RUSH: Now, yesterday I had a story I was intending to get to and didn’t get to. I said yesterday I was gonna get to it today. Let me briefly tell you what it is. Those of you who listen regularly are well aware of the fact that I have called attention to what I think is a major, major problem among young people, and that’s this endless quest for fame that young people have. It’s not just young people, actually, but they are probably the largest group seeking fame.
They watch TMZ, MTV, they want it, they want all this. They go on these social websites and they vomit everything about themselves they can. They want everybody to know everything about them. They want TV cameras recording everything they do. They want people to be aware of who they are and what they’re doing. Fame equals substance to them. Fame equals success. Fame equals wealth. Fame equals love. They associate fame with the way Hollywood and other entertainment types are covered. The TMZs and the Entertainment Tonights, they love these celebrities. They make ’em out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, because they want access to them.
All these celebrity reporters are groupies anyway. So they take these media celebrity jobs as an opportunity to get close to these people hoping that they might become friends with these people and end up in their orbit and not just distant journalists covering them. So it’s sort of an incestuous cycle. But the viewer watching all of this gets a distorted idea of what’s going on and think, “Wow, look at fame. Everybody loves Leonardo DiCaprio. Everybody loves Robert De Niro. I want to be loved like that. I want to be written about like that. I want to be spoken about like that. I want to be in the movies. I want to go to the fashion shows. I want to be on fashion row. I want to attend all the openings. I want to go to the red carpet. I want to be the focus.”
That’s what it leads to. I’m telling you, it is unhealthy as it can be. And these people, particularly these young people, they’re giving up every aspect of their anonymity and privacy in this quest, because they associate fame with love. They associate fame with adoration. They don’t take note when somebody in the entertainment business is ripped to shreds. No, they participate. They have fun in the exposure of whoever in the entertainment world is being skewered, but they never think it’s gonna happen to them. They focus on all the love and the hero worship and so forth. And I think it’s what leads people away from things in life that will actually help them become something.
This endless quest for fame ends up being a life of emptiness. I mean, the number of people who achieve stardom in the television and movie business as a percentage of the population is infinitesimally small. And yet these young people are pursuing it with everything they’ve got, ’cause they think it’ll give their life meaning, and everybody wants to be loved and adored, and they want to be the object of affection, and they want the wealth. To them all celebrities do is go to bars and nightclubs and movie openings and star in movies, and of course the movie is real. They don’t see the hard work that’s involved in making the movie or the job of acting to the extent that it is. They just see the trappings, and they want that. As such, they ignore anything that might actually be substantive or meaningful in their life.
Well, this has been a concern of mine for many, many moons. A little Indian lingo there. So on February 4th I happened to see a story in the Washington Post by Petula Dvorak. It is a story that’s focused on the pitfalls of seeking fame. “What do you think kids want most in life today? Money? Marriage? Adventure? A cool job? Spiritual fulfillment? Nope. ‘Quantitative analysis revealed that fame was the number one value, selected as the most important value for participantsÂ’ future goals,’ according to a study done by psychology professors at the University of California at Los Angeles.
“We got freaked out by kids sexting. We were shocked when some high school football players ordered prostitutes with their smartphones. And now, some ambitious members of Generation Text have taken the sex/technology nexus to a new low by producing and distributing teen porn in Northern Virginia,” as they seek fame. That’s a whole new level of degradation and compromised values these people are engaging in, all in the quest for fame.
“This is the generation that has been born, fed, diapered and directed on camera. While my generationÂ’s childhood memories come down to a shelf of photo albums or a cardboard box of faded Polaroids, Generation Y has been documented since birth with thousands upon thousands of digital images. They are the real, live ‘Truman Show.'”
Anyway, I just found it interesting. The Washington Post with a story on the dangers and the pitfalls of so many youthful Americans obsessed with fame.