Sorry, We're Closed

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On Celebrity

I had a recent encounter with a Chicago-area celebrity. This fellow, who has been in the local consciousness for the last 35 years or so, came by a place where I was trying to do some business and made it clear, through body language and not-so-subtle eye movement, that he wanted me to give him the product I was selling--a product that I'd sweated to my eyeteeth to produce.

Just give it to him, as if his celebrity and his public standing warranted this.

(Shortly after this, said celebrity was seen cutting into a line, in front of others who had been waiting much longer than he.)

Over the years, I have met athletes, musicians, and other public figures who have--to say it kindly--a tenuous grip on reality. Treated like Gods and Goddesses their entire lives, they have come to expect the "public" to fall all over them, to cling to them, to remove from them any vestige of inconvenience or trouble, as if the world were their personal lint brush.

While I don't read crap like People (I consider these voyeuristic star-making and star-breaking magazines evil), I do work peripherally around celebrity; most of my writing concerns baseball and music. So I can't say I have entirely clean hands in this matter. But I try to write about the product itself--the art, the game--and not the perks, the glitter, or any of that bullshit.

So my learning for today comes back to the individual. Gandhi said that we must be the change we want to see in the world. While I can't change the way some moron "celebrity" acts, I can keep tabs on myself.

Therefore, I invite you--friends, family, and dear readers--to hold me to this point: if I ever big-league anybody, or start acting like a pampered "celebrity," please punch my lights out.

Thank you.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Dan E said...

It was Walter Jacobsen, wasn't it?

9:40 AM, August 14, 2007

 
Blogger Larry Epke said...

The paradox is, of course, that most celebrities get LOTS of money for whatever it is that they do, so he should have been able to afford your book much more than you could afford to give it away!

1:28 PM, August 14, 2007

 
Blogger Stuart Shea said...

Hey, fellas.
It wasn't Walter "It's really cold out here" Jacobsen. But I can't reveal who it was.
And what makes you think, Mr. E, that it was a book I was trying to vend? :)

4:12 PM, August 14, 2007

 
Anonymous Dan E said...

I honestly can't think of another Chicago-area celeb who fits the description, except...

Dennis DeYoung?

6:16 AM, August 15, 2007

 
Anonymous Jonathan said...

My first thought was Terri Hemmert (sp?), but 1) the description doesn't fit and 2) I can't imagine her being such an ass. Hmmm...circa 1972...I know! Joe Pepitone!

10:16 AM, August 15, 2007

 
Blogger Stuart Shea said...

Fellas,
Neither Terri nor Dennis. Nor Joe Pep. But I truly cannot tell you, at least publicly.
Stu

4:14 PM, August 15, 2007

 
Blogger Crotchbat said...

Was it Chicago hit-maker Jan Terri?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ94vnmvPrw

10:10 AM, August 17, 2007

 
Blogger Stuart Shea said...

no way. Jan Terri would have been cool.

7:40 PM, August 17, 2007

 
Blogger YourFriendFrank said...

Floyd Kalber? Joey D'Auria? The Empire Carpet Guy?

I give up.

9:12 AM, August 18, 2007

 
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Caught you on WMVP today -- now there's a local celeb that earned his stripes :-) (poisonally I think Chet is a luvable ham)

12:47 PM, August 18, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wha... you mean you're not a sycophantic ass kisser? Way to go hon. Proud of you for sticking to your guns.

Did the celebrity in question have minions? handlers?

Wish you could tell us, I could use the laugh

-Amy

3:15 PM, August 18, 2007

 

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