One name doesn’t = famous
Nov. 18, 2013
by Ivan Raconteur

The world is being overrun by fake celebrities.

To call someone a fake in an industry based on illusion seems redundant, but it is difficult to know how else to describe them.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

I chanced to be in the vicinity of the bachelor pad near mid-day recently, so I decided to stop in for a bite to eat. While I was there, I flipped on the television, hoping for some light entertainment to accompany the feast.

I soon flipped it off again. It didn’t take long to discover there is nothing on television in the middle of the day that is of any interest to me.

Another thing I discovered, and this is what prompted my earlier comments, is that just about everyone on daytime television goes by only one name.

Now, I have nothing against people with a single moniker. There have been plenty of people I have admired over the years who were in this category.

What I object to is the way they are going at it these days.

There was a time when, with a few notable exceptions, most people used their whole name (either the one their parents gave them, or one they or their publicist chose).

It was only after people had achieved some degree of notoriety that they started to be known by one name. It was a natural development, because by the time this change began to take place, most people knew who they were.

That was, in fact, the point. It wasn’t necessary to use the whole name, because people would know to whom we were referring when we simply mentioned the one name.

The difference now is that every Tom, Dick, or Bethenny who comes along thinks by using just one name, they will create the illusion that they are a major celebrity.

I happily concede the point that I am rather out of the mainstream when it comes to talk show hosts or purveyors of gossip, because there’s practically no chance I am ever going to watch any of their shows.

I have the good fortune to be employed, which keeps me away from the television during daytime hours (and a lot of evening hours).

Even if I wasn’t employed, I am sure I could find better things to do than watching plastic people sitting around gossiping about other plastic people.

I have a suspicion I am not the only one to whom this new breed of one-namers are unknown.

That is why I describe them as fake celebrities.

The fact that they pretend to be celebrities does not make them celebrities. It just makes them silly.

If we look up the word “star,” we find, among other things, it means the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles.

Well, that definition doesn’t fit many of these poseurs.

Star can also mean “a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer.” That is probably the definition that comes nearest, because these people are often highly publicized by their networks.

I think we can discard the remaining definitions, which include “an outstandingly talented performer” and “a person who is preeminent in a particular field.”

Nothing I have seen in my limited exposure suggests these people are outstanding performers or preeminent in their field.

These people would be a lot more credible if the success came first, and the one-name thing came later.

Suppose for a moment the guy who works on my car is named Fred. He isn’t, but let’s suppose he is.

If he started going around using only the one name, it wouldn’t make him a better mechanic.

I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t make him any more popular, either.

People would probably start calling him “Fred the mechanic” just to identify which Fred they were talking about.

If we have to use modifiers, the person probably is not that popular in the first place.

While we’re on the subject of celebrity names, let’s knock off the weird spellings and symbols in names, too.

If you have to go around shoving dollar signs into your name to get notice, like Ke$ha, for example, people are probably remembering you for being weird, not for your talent.

It seems to me the whole fake celebrity thing is just another example of the “I want it now” attitude that is so pervasive today.

Instead of earning respect or a position, or working toward a goal, too many people just expect things to be handed to them.

They want a quick fix, and they don’t want to put forth any effort to achieve it.

Today’s fake celebrities may have talent, or they may not.

Chances are, if the image is artificially created, the person behind the image is probably also fake.

Popularity that is earned seems a lot more likely to endure than the pretend popularity some people are tying desperately to create for themselves.

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