Fame and Un-Fortune

It has come to my attention that one of the “Glee” cast members died recently from an OD. I never watched the show, but this is just one of many incidents of celebrity drug overdoses. Russell Brand once got himself fired by bringing his heroin dealer into work on bring your daughter to work day, while simultaneously dressed like Osama Bin Laden. Matthew Perry has always seemed together, but during the later years of “Friends” began using and abusing. Robert Downey Jr, one of the half a dozen or so actors that Reddit seems to love, has had quite a few problems, and ended up in rehab. So what is it that draws those with sudden fame to drugs? You could immediately point to escape from the lifestyle of being glorified and vilified. Or perhaps that there is the reason we think celebrities use more than regular people. Because when someone you see on TV goes to rehab, it shows up in tabloids. When your neighbor goes to rehab, nothing happens. If you look at the history of the celebrity culture (and cult of it), it really begins with films.

Rudolph Valentino, pictured to the left, caused mass hysteria when he died. It resembled Michael Jacksons death, but was in 1924. He starred in several silent films and became a sex symbol. He wasn’t loved because of his riches, words, or power, like previous famous people, but because of low quality media coverage and his body. Exactly the same as modern day celebrities. This culture is not natural. Why should the small percentage of actors that become big get paid so well, and all others remain impoverished? It’s capitalism at its finest. Inequality.

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