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.