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  1. #1
    countybear's Avatar
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    A "rant" no more - just My Two Cents

    For those who have read "the countybear rants", I've decided to throw in a bit of a curve. I'll no longer be "ranting", I'm just going to throw in "My Two Cents". Welcome to the first edition.

    My Two Cents - Countybear

    Fame's Price Increases Again...

    The story of a superstar burning out of control brings back memories of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix... the list is seemingly endless. Certainly it can be said of all of these that living life with reckless abandon while basking in the centerstage spotlight led to the untimely demise of many of those who were considered the superstars of twentieth century America. America made them what they were... taking them from a being UCLA drop-out, an aircraft assembly line parts sprayer, a UCLA film student, and a failed car thief respectively and catapulting them into cultural icons. The price each paid for living "on the edge" so to speak, was ultimately the forfeiture of their very lives, each at a point when their stardom was in full bloom. For each, their self-destruction was shocking and scantly predicted, but then again, the public's eyes were cast only on the personae that they projected. Simpler times meant secrets were more easily guarded.

    Much has changed since then. Imagine what our great grandparents would think about a $4.00 pack cigarettes, a $3.30 gallon of gasoline (that you even have to pump yourself), $2.00 bottles of water, and every 13-year old walking around with a telephone on their hip. Our cars cost more than most of their homes did, and we spend, borrow, and spend again more in a month, than many of them made in a year. Our innocence is long-lost as well, with what would have amounted to a shocked silence back then now only solicits a "yeah, ok"... I have 131 television channels now, when I was 12, there were 3, and I still have the nerve to say, "there's nothing on TV tonight..." Given the news channels, reality shows, expose' serials, our celebrities have few secrets anymore. There is no retreat for them from the public eye and fame is beginning to demand yet even higher prices.

    No one was stunned to hear Michael Jackson was (allegedly) diddling little kids, everyone knew he was weird anyway. No one was truly shocked when O.J. (allegedly) whacked his ex and her new mate, although perhaps the trial becoming a three-ring mockery of the justice system was a tad unexpected for some. Few were dumbstruck to hear of Anna Nicole's demise, but her son's death sharpened the blade without a doubt. Britney drops her baby, Michael acts like he's going to drop his... these people live to shock and annoy. Publicity rules their lives, and hell is any place without a camera and a direct feed. But notice the difference in the times... what was once characteristic self-destruction has seemingly graduated into the destruction of others, and in an ugly twist, it has become the ones closest to the white-hot flames of celebrity...

    Chris Benoit thrilled professional wrestling fans with an innate persona, dramatic ability, and certainly acrobatic athleticism. His stunts in the "squared circle" brought many to their feet, live and on television, yet he was viewed by his fans as more tame, decent, and upstanding than most of his "ring associates". He really wasn't the height of flamboyance in the WWE, yet his popularity was perhaps unmatched by any of the "bad boys". He was by no means a James Dean, but in his own circle, he was golden. His legacy could have easily been a casting into an MTV home special, but not anymore.

    Benoit's legacy is now that of a man of blinding rage, fury, and catastrophic tragedy at the height of his career. The price that Benoit paid for his fame was simply too high for only himself to afford. His wife and child fell prey to his demise as well.

    Now, we're shocked... not that there were steroids in the home, not that he was (allegedly) abusing controlled substances, but by the tragic price paid by the innocent on fame's sacrificial altar. Benoit chose his career above his emotional stability. He elevated his greed for fortune above all else, and it demanded that he push himself beyond the limits of his sanity untill his mind became a chemically-altered mass of rage, bitterness, and despair. But the venom he injected into his body destroyed far more than its carrier, it destroyed the lives of those he held most dear as well. For those wondering how awesome a society we would have with drugs completely uncontrolled, legalized, and unrestricted, perhaps your dreams should be visited by the ghosts of Nancy and Daniel, and they could explain what an out-of-control powerhouse of a man is capable of.

    Perhaps it is time that we re-evaluate our vicarious craving for what makes celebrities "tick". Their darkest secrets really mean little to us. There is no benefit to becoming focused how long Paris stays in jail, or Britney stays in rehab. Celebrity lives are so in tatters that we begin to look in the mirror through a tinted lens, when we take the time to even look. You think Rosie is a loudmouth? Have you heard your 3 year old lately? Ah, yeah... when he interrupted that episode of Big Brother...

    We must reverse the course of our fixation on the "Phearless" and the "Xtreme." Turn off every one of those 131 channels, turn off the cell phones, (yes, the kids' too), and just go to a park for a picnic. Quit being bored by your life, take stock in it. Focus on what's important, and guard your legacy, rather than neglect it.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  2. #2
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Good post.

  3. #3
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    I think that was worth far more than two cents, Countybear.

    I think that some of the fascination with all things celebrity related is part of the fallout of people, particularly young people, needing to be constantly entertained and stimulated by something other than their imagination. Or is it that there's a need to hear of and take such delight in the failure of celebrities, the privileged, and the extraordinarily wealthy to make us feel better about ourselves and our own lives?

    Is technology to blame, the ease of which information/entertainment is accessible now - has technology forced us to actually devolve, to rely on external imagery and sounds to keep us amused instead of actually having intelligent discourse or paying attention to the world around us?

    Sorry, I started out with one thing and ended up on another.


    Excellent post as always, CB.




  4. #4
    countybear's Avatar
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    Is technology to blame, the ease of which information/entertainment is accessible now - has technology forced us to actually devolve...
    Funny you mention that. I have recently read an article (I think in New England Journal of Medicine), which claimed that the ease by which we obtain information now has caused a measurable drop in the average IQ... I'd call that "devolving", certainly.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  5. #5
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    CB rolls off another one, good job!
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  6. #6
    BEB
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    Keep'm coming. 2 cents? 50 cent? Time for a change.

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  7. #7
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Another great post, and this time one I agree with. The world would be a better place if everyone tuned into countybear rants instead of the usual bread and circuses.

  8. #8
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    Ecellent Post CB!

    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to countybear again "
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  9. #9
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    Anything over two paragraphs looks like a rant to me.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



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  10. #10
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    nice

  11. #11
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    CB, Your 'Two Cents' Are Worth a Million
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  12. #12
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    great post CB. now go find a publisher
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  13. #13
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    excellent

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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    Funny you mention that. I have recently read an article (I think in New England Journal of Medicine), which claimed that the ease by which we obtain information now has caused a measurable drop in the average IQ... I'd call that "devolving", certainly.
    That doesn't surprise me a bit, and I'd love to read that article. I was thinking about that with the "Riddle" thread. Rather than think it through, the first thing some people are inclined to do is use Google in order to answer a question correctly faster than anyone else, even though they possess the mental acuity to figure it out themselves. I don't mean that as an insult to anyone by any means, Google is a great tool and I use it when necessary, it's just something that crossed my mind while reading that thread.




  15. #15
    lewisipso's Avatar
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    Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    Everyone that know's me here know's my belief in God. However, this is not a religious response except for the example contained in the above.
    The pedestal of which we place the "stars", celebrities, sports figures, etc., is without a doubt more responsibliity than can be managed by the average person. People with improper mindsets will do themselves great harm to obtain the level of the spotlight they desire. And sometimes that isn't enough. As long as we feed that need the cycle will continue. The more we feed that need the more it will grow out of hand.
    The example that is provided by these individuals is then passed on to the public. Especially children who are lacking the persona of someone to look up to at home and find it in these individuals. It is examples of this kind of behavior all around the world that is helping in the degradation of society. (only helping, I know there is no one cause)
    Our society needs positive leads in their lives, not "musicians", athletes, drama kings and queens, etc. The price of ultra fame is simply too high to pay for society or the "stars". We need to put more important things in our lives than that of mortal "stars" that are burning out to fast for us to keep up.
    It is truly sad to see persons engage in such flamboyant lifestyles to the extent of their own demise and the demise of those around them.
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  16. #16
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    My ADD wouldn't allow me to read the past the 2nd line, but if it came from CB then I am sure was informative.
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  17. #17
    countybear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    Another great post, and this time one I agree with. The world would be a better place if everyone tuned into countybear rants instead of the usual bread and circuses.
    Bearification is almost complete, now...

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
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    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  18. #18
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    CB -you must be around my same age--and probably had black and white tv---and there was only one tv in the house. Saturday nights were spent playing board games with the family and then we'd all watch Perry Mason. Sunday was have the grandparents for dinner and then all go for a ride in the country or to the seashore. So much has been lost through the years even though we have made such advances.
    "Never Forget 9-11"

  19. #19
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    CB, another great post!!!

    I have never undestood what the facination is with celebrities and their lives. There are so many different programs on tv dedicated only to that. Let them have some privacy and spare us the day to day BS that they do and we will all be better off.
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