Living in LA, one is often faced with the phenomenon that is celebrity. Who you are and who you know counts for everything. It is superficial and fleeting. I follow the comings and goings of the rich and famous as much as the next person – it’s difficult to not be fascinated with their lives, especially when they are so far from the tedium of most of our every day realities. I’ve had very limited interaction with any true celebrities (beyond the occaisonal sighting, which is always kind of a thrill), but two will forever stand out in my mind.
When we were kids, our grandfather worked at the Museum of Science in Boston. When I was about eight or nine, Christoper Reeve was filming some sort of PBS children’s science special at the museum. My grandfather snuck me, my sister and mom in to watch because he knew we were big fans – especially my sweet, sensitive sister who had the biggest crush on him because of Superman (yes, we were children of the 80s). When filming wrapped, all the kids that were part of the special were asking him to sign comic books, toys, etc. When he was done, my grandfather brought my sister and me up to him and said, “Would you mind signing two more?” Christopher Reeve rolled his eyes, gave an exasperated sigh as though he couldn’t believe he was being asked to do something so menial for these stupid peons, signed his name, and handed it over without even looking at us. My sister was crushed. Me? I was pissed. How dare he be so mean! My poor sister!! I held a grudge against him from that day forward, and did not feel bad when he fell off that horse. God never sleeps. If he was that rude to us, how many other people was he mean to in his life?
My second story is more recent. After our wedding in Boston, my husband and I decided to throw a party at our favorite local bar for all of our LA friends who couldn’t make it to the festivities. We then proceeded to get really, really drunk. At some point in the night, Seth McFarlane, creator of the Family Guy (among other things) was there. He is from Rhode Island and I am from Boston, a fact which I must have mentioned to my husband at some point in time. Which led my husband to have the drunken good idea to tell Seth McFarlane, as he was walking past us, that I’ve always wanted to meet him and that I love his show. Now, truth be told, I was only a moderate fan of this guy’s work, and I was well aware of the fact that I was pretty much inebriated. But I had to think of something to say and ended up with, “Your show is really great and funny!” or whatever the drunk equivolent of that sentence would be. Granted, it was probably annoying for him, but I clearly did not want to hang out chatting, and I did just give him a compliment, right? He looked at me like I’d just crawled out of a toilet and said “Why don’t you have another drink.” And walked away. I have since boycotted all of his work and will not even tolerate his stupid Hulu ad when it’s on TV. Jerk.
Here’s the thing: if you’re rich and famous, why do you have to be an ass? Does the fame really inflate your egos that much? Is it the power that comes with having that much money? Whatever happened to basic human courtesy? The kicker is, in many cases, it could all be gone tomorrow, and then where will you be? Chances are the people you have shat upon will be long gone. But, again, God never sleeps, so maybe that would be no less than you deserve.