Everyone wants to be a star. Or, so it seems from the number of reality shows on TV. One of the first reality shows was American Gladiators.
Don’t ask me why, but we watched American Gladiators before it was cool, before the age of DVRs, and before it died a quiet death the first time. Why did we watch American Gladiator?
I’m not really sure. Maybe it was the lesser of 500 evils. You know, 500 channels and nothing’s on except American Gladiators. Maybe it was muscled babes.
Whatever it was that made us watch American Gladiators back before it was cool probably had more to do with good triumphs evil, bad guy gets his due, the underdog takes some licking but keeps on ticking.
In an age where there are more people than ever and more ways for each of them to express his or her self to the rest of the world, involvement in anything with an audience has become a participant sport.
Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, even if it’s on cable.
How else do you explain the explosion of reality television shows replete with unknown guests that will rise from the ashes of anonymity only to be relegated to the abyss of historical footnotes a season later. “What a great and glorious 15 minute ride it was,” they’ll say.
Granted, some shows display talent, hence the continued and growing popularity of American Idol. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, whatever the cost, because, as they say, it means more to them than life itself.
Is that even possible?
How does the attainment of a goal in life become greater than life itself? Maybe the journey is more important than the destination. If a bad diet trims five years off your expected life span, so what? How good was life going to be from 82 to 87 anyway?
If 15 minutes is all you get, some reason, go for it. How much better is a life that shows up on the back of a Trivial Pursuit card than one that did not, but ate sensibly all the way up to the point of death?