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Cheapo Celebrity

 
 
snood
 
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 09:49 pm
In my whole life, there have only been a handful of people who I might've asked for an autograph. Right now, I can't think of one. The thrill ain't totally gone - I mean, there are still some folks I would definitely do a double take at if I saw them on the street - but I don't see much of anyone as extraordinary.

Part of that is because I think part of growing up for me has been losing the illusion that any celebrity is anything but just another fallible human being; who picks their nose and can get streaks in their shorts just like anyone else...

...But another part of that I think is the cheapening of the whole concept of celebrity over the course of my lifetime. Nowadays, people get to be famous (and it isn't treated as infamy, though sometimes it should be) for things that sane people would be ashamed for even their family members to know - much less the whole tv watching world.

Billion-dollar careers have been launched on raunchy amateur sex tapes. Starting back with The Real World on MTV and now in a dozen or more incarnations - groups of people fight, spit, backbite, curse and are generally foul to each other to the delight of millions of loyal watchers. People have gotten famous for having way more babies than they can afford.

I'm ashamed to admit I even know who Snooki is. Be glad if you don't.

Maybe its the natural outcome of having instantaneous access via cyberspace and HD tv to the whole world - crap gets notoriety faster. So be it, I guess.

But here's what I wanted to ask you A2K'ers:

Who do you consider a real celebrity, or "star"? Is there anyone you would ask for an autograph? Is there someone you might be a little starstruck by, if you met them in person?

I would be a little impressed by maybe Denzel Washington or Barack Obama, and there are a couple of authors I'd like to ask questions of.

What about you?

 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 10:10 pm
@snood,
Quote:
I would be a little impressed by maybe Denzel Washington or Barack Obama, and there are a couple of authors I'd like to ask questions of.
That would be super cool, but I would never dream of approaching them -- fear of intrusion, etc. Plus, I'd probably be tongue-tied and that would be so lame lol.

The rest of your post, I totally agree with.

0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 10:18 pm
Stephen King.

When we went to Maine a few years ago, we made sure we went to Bangor to see his house.

It would have been cool to see him there, but I personally wouldn't ask for his autograph. Just not into that.

I would have enjoyed letting him know I was one of his Constant Readers, and thanked him.

We did take a picture of ourselves in front of his house, as so many others have.

This isn't the one we took, but it gives you an idea.

What was so cool was that it's not isolated. It's in the middle of a neighborhood with old houses just like this one.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_iAhmZqq6o58/TIOm_NkkAuI/AAAAAAAADOo/IAuEqsY_dbs/s1600/Stephen+King's+House.jpg
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 10:39 pm
@chai2,
That's awesome chai. When I was in my teens and twenties King was all the rage in my crowd.
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:05 pm
@snood,
David Gilmour. I reckon I'd be struck dumb.

I stood next to Jon Voight in an hors d' oeuvres line at a party some years back, and I was definitely starstruck. Didn't ask for his autograph, though.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:10 pm
@chai2,
I suppose it's accidental that that gate looks like a nice pair of boobs, decorated with a pair of tassels.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:14 pm
@roger,
Just your over-wrought imagination.....
roger
 
  3  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:17 pm
@DrewDad,
Well, somebody better iron that out.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 May, 2012 11:27 pm
I once had a Count Basie autograph which, if I still had it, could conceivably make me a rich man. Here's the thing: it wasn't just that he had personalized it by writing, "For Andy. Nice to have met you," and then signed it. What it was, was that at the time the only piece of paper he could find to write on was a blank page torn from a pocket address book/appointment calendar he carried. On each page of that little booklet was a quotation from Chairman Mao. How cool is that?

I have no idea what ever happened to that little slip of paper.
snood
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 06:04 am
@Lustig Andrei,
When I was about 12 or 13, my dad was a cab driver in Fayetteville, NC. One night he came home and gave me a dollar bill that he said had been signed by a "country music star". It was Loretta Lynn. Somehow he had given her a ride on the day she appeared in Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium. He loved country music. Looking back on it, he probably wanted me to frame it or tuck it into a big book or something - not spend it the next day on the bagful of sweets a dollar would buy back then... Shocked
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 06:34 am
I don't think I'd ask for an autograph, but I've always respected Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

Having lived in Hollywood North most of my life, I've seen or run into lots of famous people - Alan Thicke and his then wife Gloria Loring (soap star), Bryan Adams, Sarah McLaughlin (she lived in West Van so we always said we were neighbours, lol), David Foster, Ed Broadbent (well-known Cdn politician), Goldie Hawn and her son were at the same restaurant once, and lots more.

But what would I do with an autograph? Rather have a conversation if I could get my tongue to work.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 07:01 am
I was eating at a Ballentine's Cafeteria restaurant in Chapel Hill back in the 70's with my mom and dad. I saw Hall of Fame Coach Dean Smith at another table with a bunch of important looking 'suits'. Always the NC Tarheels fan, I went right up and said hello and praised the 'Heels. Only years later did I have sense enough to regret having bothered the man during his lunch.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 07:12 am
There are several people i'd like to meet, to just talk to them for a while. However, these people have thousands, tens of thousands, of people whom they encounter every year, many or most of whom want to get next to them. By applying my own reaction, i'd say the decent thing to do would be to leave them alone.

Politicians, now, i'd have no interest. I was visiting The Girl once many years ago, and while she was at work some folks came to the door, one of whom was a candidate in the upcoming Federal election. He was so glad to see me, wanted to know my views, and oh by the way, what party did i usually vote for. So, i said i'm an American and wouldn't be voting in the election . . . and was about to say that if he wanted to leave his literature, i'd be happy to pass it along to The Girl. But i didn't, because as soon as i said i was an Ameican, you'd have thought i had disappeared. His face went blank, he turned around and walked off the porch. One of his companions, a campaign worker i'm assuming, looking very embarrassed, hurried up to me and gave me their literature, thanking me for my time. I smiled and told her no problem, and as soon as they had gone down the street, i tossed their literature in the recycle bin.

In 1968, i was employed as a short-order cook at the university union, when my supervisor asked if i would be willing to come back at 4:00 p.m. to help set up tables and chairs in the ball room, saying we would be paid $10 cash for two hours work (it was actually less than two hours, and ten bucks was big money at a time when the minimum wage was $1.65 an hour). Just after we got started, Hubert Humphrey walks in and starts shaking people's hands. When he got to me he asked if i would be willing to talk to him, so i said OK, but i've got work to do here. So, for the next ten minutes, he followed me around, asking what i thought about the war, about the draft, about civil rights, about the war on poverty--and at one point i reminded him that i wouldn't be voting for him (you had to be 21 in those days). He said that it was more important that he and the Democratic Party "engage" with young people, and that i would be voting in a year or two. I was impressed despite my callow youthful cynicism about politicians. By the questions he asked it was obvious that he was listening to what i had to say.

Almost 20 years later, i was walking up Cedar Creek Road south of Carbondale, Illinois, on my way to a local market. A car pulled over, and a woman on the passenger side leaned out to ask me if i wanted a ride. So i ran up there and climbed in the back, and saw that the driver was Senator Paul Simon--bow tie and all. He asked how i vote, and i answered that i tried to stay informed so that i could vote for the best candidate. I then said that i was raised by my grandparents who were conservative Democrats, that my grandfather was the precinct committee man, so that my default vote would be for the Democrat. He asked my grandfather's name, so i told him the family name, and he said he had met him, which i believed because he knew his given name, which was an unusual name. He knew what county his precinct was in, too--that, although it was hundreds of miles away, and my grandfather had died 25 years before. Now that was a politician's politician!
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 07:14 am
@snood,
snood wrote:

That's awesome chai. When I was in my teens and twenties King was all the rage in my crowd.


Seriously, you should check him out again.
His work has matured, and for me, he gives me a lot of food for thought about life, time etc.

I would suggest you pick up "11/22/63" It's obviously about the Kennedy assassination.....I'll say no more.

It's a "can't put it down" read.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 07:16 am
i've met a few "celebrities", never got an autograph, and only declined to talk to one, after seeing him in an uncomfortable conversation with another person,i figured i would have had a better conversation but he was so rattled by the previous one i just moved on
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 07:23 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

i've met a few "celebrities", never got an autograph, and only declined to talk to one, after seeing him in an uncomfortable conversation with another person,i figured i would have had a better conversation but he was so rattled by the previous one i just moved on


I'd not engage a celeb in conversation either. I imagine if they walked in a room where I was, or vice-versa, I'd lightly smile, the same as I'd do to a stranger and mind my own business, not staring or gushing.

I'd think it would be interesting to get close to, listen to Christopher Walken. I like him. He's humble I think. In an interview, he referred to his acting as "his job", not "art". He got that this is a service he provides for the benefit of others.
Same with Steve Buscemi. It would be interesting to talk to him.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 07:45 am
I've met a pretty fair number of celebrities by virtue of where I lived (west los angeles) and where I worked (hospitals, labs) and friends of friends. One guy I'll name because I would have loved to burst out chattering to him and controlled myself was George Carlin. Sigh.

A fellow I did get to have a good conversation with at a party given by a mutual friend was the actor and comedian Paul Rodriguez. Liked him, smart man.

Anyway, the only person I ever asked for an autograph - that I remember, because I had more than one autograph in a small book as a kid, and maybe the rest were autographs my father got for me - was Sky King, whatever his real name was. Just looked it up, Kirby Grant. The tv series was in the early fifties, and they were shooting for some reason in front of a corner store in our neighborhood in Evanston, Illinois. I was probably nine.

Now? I wouldn't be going for an autograph but wouldn't mind talking with some people, mostly writers or photographers.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 07:49 am
Wow, Set. Very cool stories.

And I'm enjoying reading about everyone's encounters or not-so encounters, and everyone's thoughts about "celebrity" in general.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 07:53 am
Nigel Adkins.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3019/5706076057_1e6d56e7a1_z.jpg
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 May, 2012 08:04 am
I have a few autographs, but now I am simply satisfied knowing I have seen someone famous in person. I have been working downtown Chicago five days a week for the last 35 years. I once saw Sidney Poitier filming a movie near my workplace.

A year ago, I ran into Rahm Emanuel three times at three different train stations in a two week period. At first I thought he was stalking me, and then I realized he was running for mayor. Smile
 

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