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The International Writers Magazine
Reverend Father Antonio Hernández, O.M.D., A.B.F.
Founder of the Independent Order of American Buddhist Fathers

Fickle Fame- Leave celebrities alone

Daniel Radcliffe- who is usually called Danny, I'm told- is beautiful. His personality shines out in the same measure as his physical attractiveness. We want to take this lead star of the "Harry Potter" films home with us. He is famous, after all.

Daniel in the new Hary Potter film

What struck me long ago is that entertainers, especially very famous ones, must have miserable lives.

That's right: MISERABLE. If I were Danny Radcliffe, I asked myself the other day, where in hell could I go and not get mobbed? If I were like him, like his co-stars, the equally handsome Rupert Grint, or the lovely Emma Watson, or someone like Uma Thurman, or Tom Cruise... it matters not. My life would probably be sad and somewhat empty. It already feels that way now, for some reason- and I'm not even as famous as my old grade school custodian!

As celebrities, what new friends could one make? How would a celebrity know that people were trustworthy? What about gold-diggers? Those are the least of the worries. It suddenly struck me that no one can possibly imagine this life, unless they've lived it or witnessed it.

The legal outlook (in the U.S. anyway) doesn't help. A public figure is open to potshots like no one else. This is because the public figure is in the public eye. That's a bit of "reasoning" I won't even try to unravel. Apparently it's fine to harass stars to the point of insanity, just because we all saw them in our favorite film. This isn't restricted to on-camera celebrities: poor Steven Spielberg hasn't been the same since being horribly stalked. He could not have imagined a film so horrific.

Once upon a time I attempted to make myself available to celebrities who wanted spiritual friendship, or perhaps guidance. It isn't 'out of my league', because they are people: no more, no less. Soon it was clear that my idea was just so much helium. I could not place myself in such a self-defeating and superficially hypocritical situation. Instead, writing about it is the answer. It's something one doesn't see published very often: defense of celebrities. Everyone thinks they have a right, a claim, of some sort, to their favorite person. Albert Einstein, the greatest of the great, knew how to handle this problem. He did what His Holiness the Dalai Lama does: treat everyone like a friend.

Yet very few people have the power, let alone the obligation, to do that. Whether in front of a camera or otherwise, people are people for God's sake. When will we learn that the best thing to do is leave them alone? After all, if you are a really fantastic person, with something incredible to offer, don't you think a celebrity would seek out your friendship? It happens more often than you think. Still, if you look into it carefully, you'll find that celebrities who want to meet other celebrities generally leave each other alone. They show respect. They wait for the right time. Proof enough?

The sick justification of brute behavior toward celebrities is twofold: they make a lot of money, and they have an obligation of some kind due to their fame. Nonsens.! Even the crowned heads of the past didn't hold their entertainers "responsible" for anything but a job well done. And we think we're entitled to more?
All that can be done is to vow: the next time we run across our favorite celebrity, we shall do them a kindness and LEAVE THEM IN PEACE. A smile of recognition and a wave would be fine, if we catch their eyes. Then back to our own business.

I'll have to stop sending greeting cards to Elijah Wood. He'll probably be grateful. Also have to stop pestering a few other people with whom I'm acquainted. They won't be offended. But, I wonder how many other people would be willing to do this kindness for a fellow human being.

Think about it: EVERYONE staring, all the time. Not a moment's peace. No chance for romance outside the celebrity sphere. No place to go and hide. No end to being pummeled by the star-struck praise, the nattering, the begging for autographs or some holy relic, the zaniness of someone trying to steal your old underwear from the trash. What if the sufferer of these wonderful displays of humanity were YOU?
© Rev Antonio Hernandez March 17th 2004

The Passion of The Christ

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