Why do we worship celebrities?

Jeffrey Tangney Collegio Reporter

Why are celebrities followed by masses of people in this country? Why do people feel the need to follow the downward spiral of celebrities such as Charlie Sheen, Britney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith?

I admit that I occasionally enjoy hearing the crazy things that celebrities do and say. On the surface, it seems innocent to hear Charlie Sheen’s plan to make millions by suing the producers of “Two and a Half Men.” But I cringed when I realized that he has a chance to make money off of the whole situation. It doesn’t seem right that we are idol-worshipping people who act irresponsibly and profess the desire to profit from it.

Furthermore, why are people in the entertainment industry publicized so heavily? If the only news I ever saw about entertainers concerned their latest project, then I would not have a problem with the attention they receive. However, when did the political views, daily activities and questionable behavior of celebrities become relevant to how we live our lives? Why should I care what Brad Pitt thinks about health care? What does it matter if Lindsey Lohan gets probation? Why in the world would I want to know what Snooki (Nicole Polizzi ) did today?

None of these should matter and they shouldn’t be plastered all over news channels. Celebrities are the same as any ordinary person except for their jobs. The fact that they get paid to entertain us through cinema, music and television does not mean we should follow their every move. It also doesn’t mean we should celebrate the crazy shenanigans that make it onto various news shows on a daily basis.

It boggles my mind even more that reality television shows make people into celebrities. Aren’t they supposed to be regular people? The whole point of calling it reality is that people want relatable programs. But elevating the people on those shows to star status removes the ability to relate to their situations.

I admit I know more about what Mr. Sheen is doing than I know about how my congressman voted on the latest bill. This makes absolutely no sense to me, because the bill is more likely to affect my life than Charlie Sheen’s ranting and raving. There is no reason I should care about anything he does unless he comes to my house and insults me. That scenario is highly unlikely, to say the least.

What bothers me most is that, were he an average person, nobody would think he was special. We would consider him to be troubled and some of us would try to get him the help he clearly needs. However, because he is a celebrity, we sit and wait, eagerly anticipating the next thing he does.



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