Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spin Cycle: Celebrity

Don't forget to enter the Hawaii Goodie Box contest.

What a mixed bag of ideas the topic of celebrity represents for me.

I grew up in Southern California. Various Los Angeles suburbs. My dad was a film editor and my uncle was a cameraman. I was allowed on sets and saw a few celebrities in the process.
For the most part, I have narrow and somewhat negative opinions on celebrity. I admire and respect artistry over celebrity. Although the two may come hand in hand, I turn sour at a person who works their celebrity past the level of his or her artistic ability. I admire the artist recluse.

I boycott movies by Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt because they gross me out in their celebrity. I never see the character they are supposed to become anymore. I only see them acting. And full of themselves.

I don’t buy magazines which feature photos taken by paparazzi as I try not to contribute to that mess.

I think athlete celebrities should represent better as role models instead of the way that many of them behave as if they are too good to live by the rules the rest of us are supposed to follow.

I wish Americans were more interested in their own lives than in celebrity gossip.

However.

We moved in 1968 from the San Fernando Valley to live full time at the mobile home park on the beach where we had only before spent our weekends and summers. Most of the weekenders at the park earned their living from the film and television industries. Most of these industry people were from behind the camera. Other film editors and cameramen. My sister remembers the names and occupations much better than I do. She’s good like that; check out this post. I was a daydreaming child who loved to be active. Remembering details like names and occupations even then was not my strong suit. There was a man in his thirties who we of course thought was old (being adolescents) but still a hottie. He was a stunt man. There were some retired actors, some who had had their days of glory, but they were eccentric old people to me.

There was one resident I was mightily impressed with though. Sheriff John. Sheriff John had a TV show for kids in LA and I had grown up watching it. My friends and I would walk by his place hoping to catch a glimpse of him. If he was outside we would smile and wave and he would smile and wave back.

The daydreamer in me had a fantasy where he sang the birthday song for me, and give me a private wink on his show.

Put another candle on my birthday cake, my birthday cake, my birthday ca-ake. Put another candle on my birthday cake I'm another year old today.

I thought he was awesome.

For more spins, head on over to our wonderful host, Sprite's Keeper.

26 comments:

Jan said...

Is that Wally from Leave It To Beaver introducing that?

mo.stoneskin said...

I think you would hate London's free papers as much as I do then, one huge celebfest of terrifying proportions!

Kristan said...

I agree that artistry > celebrity, but I do like both Cruise and Pitt. Cruise is always Cruise and I can accept that, because I think he chooses good movies (Last Samurai and the Mission Impossible Series are my faves) but I think Pitt is actually a pretty good actor. And I don't think he was a ridiculous celebrity until he got with Jolie... (Although I also think she's a really good actress, despite her ridiculous celebrity.)

I dunno, haha, maybe I'm easy. It's people like Paris Hilton that I can't take seriously.

And lately I'm having trouble with Christian Bale, because of all his outbursts...

Oh, and more to the point, I also agree that people would be better off worrying about their own lives instead of celebrities'!

IB said...

Great video. We had a show like that where I grew up: "JP Patches". I'm still a "Patches-Pal", all these years later.

IB

Michele said...

Ditto on what you said about celebrity vs. artistry. On an added note, I refuse to watch slasher type or uber violent movies because I feel that paying money to see them only encourages producers to make more like them and that these types of movies make people a little to comfortable with violence.

Gaston Studio said...

It would be really nice if we Americans didn't look on our movie stars as royalty, as if they're the only worthwhile people out there to emulate. Having said that, I'm a huge movie fan, but don't watch ET or read those celebrity focused rags!

Your childhood sounds like quite a happy one, kudos to your parents!

Went to visit your sister's blog and as soon as I figure out how to join her, I will. It looks great!

Wonderful memories.

p.s. Is today your birthday?

Melissa B. said...

Wow...your childhood would be good fodder for a memoir, don't you think?

Mama Dawg said...

What a wonderful memory!

only a movie said...

That mobile home park has some good old stories in it, eh?
:-) Like this post.
Oh, and with you on boycotting Cruise movies. I'm usually not into a blockbuster type movie, anyway, when I have time to watch them. I look at People magazine in a doctor's office waiting room and sometimes don't know who these people are...

smiles4u said...

I'm with you on this. I am not into celebrity worship.I have never bought one of those magazines because in all honesty I really don't care. I think often times their privacy is so violated and it's really none of my business what they are doing. I think we the people put a lot of these actors/actresses, sports players, musicians...ect. up on pedalstals and act as if they are not human. Yes, there are some great performers in all those area's but they are no better than the every day people I know. I don't think they are more interesting or extrodinary just because they are famous.

I am just not goo goo ga ga over famous people. Of course I live in the middle of hicksville Minnesota and there are no celebrity sightings here...lol...unless of course your talking about Ole, Lena and Sven!

The Rambler said...

Enjoyed the video.

Mr. Rogers was my childhood TV guy. I always wanted to be there on the train going through the walls into another place :)

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I'm with you on all of it.

I am also so sick of these "celebrities" being made out to be superhuman, and worth millions of dollars, and for what? Nothing, that's what. Meanwhile, people all over are starving, suffering and needing basics.

Jack said...

I can see how you would be turned off by celebrities... seeing them up-close and somewhat personal, would take all the magic out of seeing them on the big screen portraying the cop, serial killer, or spy...

Great spin cycle!

blueviolet@A Nut in a Nutshell said...

What a great memory! You got your own wink. :)

Beth said...

And FINALLY I meet someone who despises Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt as much as I do (actually, my list is a little longer).

Thanks for being *real* and not swayed by the famous-ness of the celebrities of the world. I like who you chose to honor (even if I've never heard of him).

Sprite's Keeper said...

That IS Tony Dow! What a great video! I remember Mr. Rogers and Romper Room were THE places to get your name mentioned when I was growing up. My mom tried to convince me that my name was read on Romper Room for my birthday and I believed her until the host went through 3 or 4 Jenny's and I turned to my mom and said, "So which one am I?"
Great Spin!
You're linked!
(And we were just talking about Tom Cruise today and how it's hard to see him in a movie and not think of the actor when we're supposed to be following the character. You're right on.)

Amy said...

I have to say I love the mags and the gossip. I do not like Brad Pit or Tom Cruise either.

Casey said...

I had to stop reading the celebrity baby sites for that same exact reason....

Casey said...

I had to stop reading the celebrity baby sites for that same exact reason....

Cristin said...

Cruise has always grossed me out...

I can handle Pitt... I think he's at least trying to use his celebrity for good with his work in Louisiana... I think he's smart and pretty...and Fight Club is one of my favorite movies ever....

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Ah yes, I did not mention the Paris Hilton type of celebrity. Someone doing so much good in the world with her ancestors success...

Camille said...

I have never heard the word "celebrity" used like that! I looked it up, and lo and behold, you're right---it works! Thanks for teaching me something new today. (Talk about taking your work home with you, eh?)

Brigit said...

Yep the celebrity thing is pretty vulgar. I haven't bought a magazine of any sort in years, and don't think I've ever bought one about celebrities.

A memoir about living in the caravan park, sounds pretty good to me.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I love these old memory posts. It's like going back in time. We had Cowboy Bob instead of Sheriff John.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I'm back to say that Sheriff John seems like he was a great guy on and off the screen.

Hugs

Whitney said...

I agree with your view on celebrities. Something else that bothers me is that, nowadays, it seems that they worse they behave, the more money and attention they receive. That sends such a terrible message to our kids. How can we teach them about ethics and good morals when these are the people that they see "succeeding" in life?

I'm dropping by from SITS. This is the first time that I've seen your blog. You have some interesting posts here, especially the spin cycles! Thanks for sharing! :)