Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Finest Hour

I’ve been thinking more about Spencer Pratt, the reality TV actor I mentioned in my last post. Pratt was just voted one of America’s most hated celebrities, coming in second behind Casey Anthony. Was being unpopular in his vision for himself? I doubt it, even though Pratt and his wife, Heidi Montag, have shown that they are publicity hounds, a term for those who believe that any recognition—positive or negative--is good.

The couple, whose show was cancelled in 2010, now lives with Pratt’s parents. They recently told US Magazine that fame had destroyed their lives. Both went on “star trips” early on, spending big money on themselves. Already beautiful, she underwent ten plastic surgeries in one day; he bought a $1 million wardrobe. She squandered $2 million on a failed music career. He bought a fancy truck that he drove only once.
I’m taking their story with a grain of salt, but think about it. Like many of us, Pratt and Montag were preparing for the future. Most of us are taught to do the same. We may not be able to invest millions, but don’t we all see ourselves as bright stars of something?   
I think about Don Knotts playing Barney Fife. The Andy Griffith Show was his finest hour, but did he know it? Did anyone? Did Knotts see the Griffith show as a jumping-off point for greater things? It would be human nature; he was only in his thirties. After he left the show, Knotts went on to play many other parts, but he never quite captured the magic of Barney again.  
I’m looking ahead to author events for my first book. Right now my schedule consists of local and regional book signings and a few radio interviews. Will I ever go on television? Will It Started with Dracula become a New York Times best-seller? Will I be rich and famous? Or is this my finest hour, right now, writing this blog?
We never know, do we?
Buying new clothes, picturing oneself on a stage opposite Ellen DeGeneres or Piers Morgan, and laughing all the way to the bank are examples of positive thinking. They’re harmless—even helpful--unless we fall overboard like Spencer and Heidi did. Is fame fun? I don’t know. I guess it depends on where life takes us and what we’re made of.

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