Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I'm Not Impressed By Celebrities

Who are these people, and what are they doing in my living room?

I remember meeting my first celebrity, way back when. I won't date myself by identifying the woman, but she was a young, beautiful, and an established television actress. I was in my tweens and, besides the awkwardness when a puberty-stricken boy meets a beautiful woman, I do remember that I held no awe merely because she was an actress on TV.

I've met several celebrities in my life and have had the same basic reaction: "So?"

By contrast, one of the great moments in my life was when I met a man who was a true intellectual, who had built up a large company, and who kept improving himself by constantly striving to learn and to do more. He was an old man when I met him, yet he continued tirelessly to work by using his resources and money to help others. He was also one of the kindest men I have ever met.

He impressed me. His accomplishments went far beyond merely doing a good job as any decent actor or celebrity would do. His accomplishments included personal improvement, then using his abilities to help others.

I've met one celebrity who impressed me but not for the usual reasons. When I was at UCLA, John Lithgow used to hang around the campus where his wife worked. besides seeing how he treated his wife, one day, as I was going to a movie, I saw him, his wife, and his children all heading into the theater. That impressed me. Mr. Lithgow as an actor does a decent job. As a human being who spent time with his family, he impressed me.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm judgmental. This is a good thing. Unlike the progressive ideal to remove all discrimination, to get off our high horse, or to stop judging people, we all have to make judgments. Progressives, who claim otherwise, delude themselves by thinking they are non-judgmental. My experience, and judgment, tells me otherwise.

We make value judgments. All of us do this,whether we admit it to ourselves or not. When I make judgments, I value honesty, integrity, accomplishment, true intellectualism (not the pseudo-intellectualism taught in universities), compassion, and duty. People who impress me have done something with their lives and have made something for themselves.

Often those aren't qualities we find among among celebrities. Rather, those qualities are found among people who work hard and strive to improve themselves. They are found among the selfless, not the selfish.

Too many progressives, especially progressive celebrities, think they are important, merely because people fawn over them and compliment them. We'll see celebrities make a big show over how much money they donated to a charity, or how many children they've adopted from Cambodia. While some good is brought to the world, these few actions do little to impress me.

By their actions you will know them.

In my experience, truly impressive people do great things because that's who they are, not because that's what they do to promote themselves. There are a lot of smart people in the world, but that means little if being smart also means being ignorant (for example, Barack Obama). There are a lot of wealthy people in the world, but that means little if the wealth is used to destroy the foundational social institutions of Western civilization (for example, George Soros). There are a lot of famous people in the world, but that means little if fame is used to promote more fame and decadence (for example, Miley Cyrus).

I'm not impressed by celebrities. I'm only impressed by accomplishments.