A couple of Saturday's ago we all went out for our usual pancake breakfast at a local restaurant. While waiting for our food, I overheard a conversation between a Father and Son in which the Father was quizzing the Son in preparation for a test or something along those lines. After answering several of the questions correctly, the child was hailed by his Father as being a rock star.
That comment really got me thinking. I know I certainly had an ample share of rock star years to add to my Dilettante's list of foolish endeavours. And those years are not something I'm proud of. What does it mean to be a rock star? To me, it means one must wear scanty bits of clothing, involve ones self with many dubious individuals, partake in the imbibing of illegal substances, and possibly overdose on those substances or choke on ones own vomit in the dead of night. It does not entail studying diligently with Daddy at the IHOP on Saturday mornings.
I've begun to notice a growing trend of deifying celebrities in our culture and I now see it trickling down and affecting our children at earlier and earlier ages. Last night at a local baby store I saw a receiving blanket with a skull and cross bones that said rock star and another that said rebel. Is this what I want my children to aspire to be from infancy? By offering this type of praise and encouraging the attitudes and emulation of these characters would I be not only condoning but encouraging this? It really scares me, to be quite honest.
I do not want my daughters to be the next Hannah Montana, nor do I want them to aspire to look or act like her. These people are vapid and sad and the more I see of this trend, the more I am compelled to withdraw from fascination with pop figures and culture. Maybe it's just me, but I think we're headed in the wrong direction and as one of my favorite quotes states, "It's never too late to turn back when travelling down the wrong road."
So, how will I turn back? Well, maybe when my girls answer the right questions for a quiz, I'll exclaim that they are tiny little Einsteins, or Marie Curies, or maybe that they posses a literary style reminiscent of Jane Austen. But I think that mostly, that is the kind of superstars I will try and expose them to. And when they ask me why I don't care for celebrity culture, I'll reply, "Well my dears, because they're like shooting stars. They look so beautiful from far away but they're gone in a second and underneath that flash of light that we call a star is merely a piece of rock falling from the sky. Here and then gone. Except for The Rolling Stones, and the only reason they've lasted so long is because they sold their souls to the devil, plus just LOOK at Keith Richards, he should have croaked about a thousand eight balls ago."