American Idols


Apparently, the internet is in a tizzy today because of Kim Kardashian’s butt.

Yeah, that’s a real thing. I have no interest in knowing why her butt is such a spectacle, so I haven’t looked up the pictures that are making her more ridiculously famous than usual, and I have no intention of it. I seem to be one of the few, however, since the internet is “exploding” and Kim Kardashian is “trending” and so forth.

Honestly, it makes my head hurt. I don’t understand why we as Americans have devolved into such peons that we idolize any ridiculous antic a celebrity comes up with. From football players to singers to actors, we put famous people on pedestals. Kim Kardashian doesn’t even DO anything except be famous, and yet her butt is the topic of conversation. Even those who aren’t interested in her are talking about her–much like I’m doing right now. From Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the Superbowl to Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance to Ray Rice on video beating up his wife, to Michael Vick and his dog fighting, to everything Lady Gaga has ever done, to every celebrity EVER’s eating habits, and now to Kim Kardashian’s butt, everything “they” do is golden. No matter how awful or bizarre or just plain stupid it is, we as a culture eat it up.

Moreover, because they’re famous, their words are somehow more profound or meaningful than everyone else’s. We quote celebrities on politics and religion and war and science and so on, and the implication is that because they’re famous, their words are somehow meaningful, regardless of whether they have actually studied the topic at hand or know anything about it beyond what they think based on their limited amount of hearsay.

Why? Why are we as a culture so obsessed with fame? Why are famous people so interesting? Why do we care who is fighting with their spouse or on a new diet or spouting off about why a president is the best thing since the invention of chocolate, or why another one is the devil incarnate. Why do we idolize them when our friends, neighbors, and coworkers have done the same interesting things and more? There’s a lady in my MOPS group who has adopted THIRTEEN kids, not because she’s rich or famous, but because she cares about kids in the system, but she’s looked at as weird, whereas Angelina Jolie is hailed as a great humanitarian. Several friends of mine are actively into helping rescue animals, but they’re not considered any smarter or better than anyone else, while Michael Vick is notorious for being abusive. Several people I know have escaped horribly abusive relationships, but no one is hanging out in the grocery store aisles hoping to hear more about their stories.

Celebrities entertain–their job is little more than that of a court jester. They are not royalty. They are not more educated than the rest of us. They aren’t even more interesting than the rest of us. So why do we sit at their feet and slobber on ourselves to see what they’re doing and hear what they’re saying?

Every week there is some new scandal, some new outrage or accomplishment that one of “them” achieves, and people go crazy to be the first to be in the know, to have all the information so they can converse about it, to form an opinion based on gossip.

What will it take for us to realize every single person is as interesting and as valuable as every other? That money and fame don’t magically make you better, smarter, or more worthy of our time?

Or are we doomed to bow down to our American Idols until they crumble?


About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

3 comments on “American Idols

  1. Hm, let’s see… the four carnal temperamental drives are vanity, jealousy, lust and greed. WEBSTER’S 1832 DICTIONARY (first definition therein, on my copy of the e-Sword program), has this illuminating discussion:

    JEALOUSY, n. jel’usy.

    1. That passion of peculiar uneasiness which arises from the fear that a rival may rob us of the affection of one whom we love, or the suspicion that he has already done it; or it is the uneasiness which arises from the fear that another does or will enjoy some advantage which we desire for ourselves. A man’s jealousy is excited by the attentions of a rival to his favorite lady. A woman’s jealousy is roused by her husband’s attentions to another woman. The candidate for office manifests a jealousy of others who seek the same office. The jealousy of a student is awakened by the apprehension that his fellow will bear away the palm of praise. In short, jealousy is awakened by whatever may exalt others, or give them pleasures and advantages which we desire for ourselves. Jealousy is nearly allied to envy, for jealousy, before a good is lost by ourselves, is converted into envy, after it is obtained by others.

    > Jealousy is the apprehension of superiority.

    > Whoever had qualities to alarm our jealousy, had excellence to deserve our fondness.


    I believe this form of idolatry you describe stems from this very power drive, turned in another direction. We don’t and can’t have certain advantages which we think grant personal worth, so we idolize those who do.

  2. Right on the button and just the same in the UK as in the. USA!

  3. Hi Avily- felt your passion on this subject. I have in past times felt angered by the seemingly displaced loyalties or unworthiness of some persons, in getting attention over things, that in the bigger scheme of things , had no importance. For me the realization that my discontent was maybe justified, but still not worth my time, made me understand all the more that my life felt unimportant or insignificant at that time. Nothing helped me feel special to anyone , much less myself.
    I don’t really pay these persons any time now except the occasional glance at the news worthy magazines such as the ” Enquirer” in the rack by the place I check out my groceries. First I think, that God literally that my life is normal and not for display in such a classless magazine. Second, that no matter how self important these people might think they are, God doesn’t see them through try same eyes. And God’s opinion matters more to me. God us not a respect of persons. We ate all important in His eyes. And He sees the heart and not the outward appearance. These people would not be rich and famous if that is the fame you want, if people didn’t acknowledge their importance. I can’t help but feel that it is the lacking people feel in their lives and themselves personally, that make them have to try and seek it by living in the lives if those they feel have something we don’t. In reality, they have just just as much heartache and disappointments and failures as we do. They are only “important ” because people make them so. But their importance is not real. Their lives are not real. I feel pity for them . There is nothing they have that I’m aware of that I would want. And you don’t need to feel like you don’t measure up to them. You are important too and in the eyes of someone for whom loves you for your worth and heart. That’s what really matters in the big picture. It’s not that I’ve never felt jealousy. But it’s been over people like me who I sensed were taking advantage of someone I love. And my jealousy that the one I love wasn’t able to see that this person was not showing their true side to him. And that it would cause us needless conflict. You have a lot going for you. See your beauty and that which God created in you to be.
    Thanks yisraela

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