Friday, July 15, 2005

Who are the Real Stars?

Like a lot of people, I have Hollywood stars whom I love to watch, some who I find attractive, and some who I even have slight crushes on (ahem ahem: Tom Cruise:))….but I can never understand the people who go completely nuts when they see their favorite “star”….just like I cannot understand those who think of Jessica Simpson or Nicole Kidman or George Clooney or any other Hollywood celebrity as their role models! ROLE MODELS??? Role models of what??? I think Hollywood is the place where when people enter it they leave their morality and ethics outside the door….I mean is there anything that these “stars” haven’t done? And by “anything”, I am referring to the negative things of course (drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity etc.)
The reason why I am writing this is because I received an article via email from a friend that I really liked, which I am going to paste here….these are the real Heroes and Stars that we should admire and look at as role models, not some Hollywood big shot….enjoy reading!
""""Ben Stein's Last Column...For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called "Monday NightAt Morton's." (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to befrequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now,Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life.Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.
How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?
As I begin to write this, I "slug" it, as we writers say, which means I puta heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is"eonlineFINAL," and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doingthis column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I lovedwriting this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end. It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person andthe world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, whilebetter than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It stillbrings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw SamuelL. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right beforethat, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, inwhich we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton'sis not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again. Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywoodstars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people,and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or womanwho makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of acamera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to. How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insaneluxury really be a star in today's world, if by a "star" we mean someonebright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are notriding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trainedin yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamesegirls do their nails. They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me anylonger. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who pokedhis head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met bya bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject SaddamHussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world. A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to aroad north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killedhim. A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S.soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexplodedordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed heraside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a familydesolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad. The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavishweddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after twoof their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped forthe sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists. We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of ourmagazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military paybut stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarinesand near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die. I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poorvalues, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that whois eating at Morton's is a big subject. There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the policemenand women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if theywill return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people whohave been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachersand nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children;the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards. Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the WorldTrade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of areal hero. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one thatmatters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it anotherway. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier oras good a comic as Steve Martin...or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or asgood an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer asFitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them. But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, aboveall, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to bemy main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty wellwith my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). Icared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayedwith my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma andthen entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms. This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiersin Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life livedto help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, inreturn for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He hasplaced in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human. Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will. By Ben Stein"""

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