By George Cerrigone:
Testosterone fuels the endless parade of male celebrities from all walks of life to suffer the ax of sex scandal. Thanks to the media, all are, "Shots heard 'round the world." There are hardly greater media quakes than idols dethroned.
Fame and its negative form-notoriety-share high profile separate from anonymous masses. One price of distinction is loss of privacy-a red flag not to be ignored.
Naive, a polite word for ignorance, is an attitude befalling male celebrities who prefer arrogance to humility in their social life. Experience confirms celebrity is a magnet drawing the envious-the "wannabes." They are proverbial "moths to the flame" seeking attention at any price. Celebrity scandal in collision with media is a dynamic beyond good and evil. Vice and virtue fade into an amoral media circus. The result is a firestorm of public emotion witnessing male celebrities in the throes of social, if not professional, suicide.
In great contrast to the stormy scandal lashing male celebrities are their women partners. Of course, those with any celebrity stand to lose reputation, therefore, prefer not to surface. Others, the unknowns, seeking publicity, are cast as pathetic victims exploited by the "rich and famous." Seizing its opportunity, the media quickly lures these women from the shadows. A combination of compassion, limelight publicity, and financial benefit is the reward for exposing their celebrity liaisons to the public at large.
The women brazen enough to surface catch a bit of stardust. Conscience soon dies a quick death. Vows of silence and hush money are forgotten. Betrayal paves the way to limelight attention.
Obviously, women of modern society are no longer the property of men. Having largely adopted behavior patterns of men, they possess power to decide their own destiny. In short, they are their own property, and prove it regularly.
Despite growing behavior similarities shared by the sexes, women celebrities are set apart from the deadly embrace of male celebrity sex scandal. Perhaps genetic wisdom of the female gender largely protects them from "wannabes" and other publicity hounds that slam reckless hormone and ego driven male celebs. Discretion finds female celebs socially swimming in the quiet waters of their elevated status. How different from the parade of mindless celebrity testosterone. Their indiscretions create a rolling thunder of gossip and anger as worshiping fans witness their idols self-destruct.
However, upon close examination, the pain of disillusion impacting the public is self inflicted. Imperfect humans, according to psychology, create icons of perfection to admire and emulate-only to be disappointed. Eventually their idols, unmasked, are merely human and imperfect.
If one is to judge celebrity scandal, a humanistic argument is the only wise approach. The power of "rich and famous" to realize dreams and fantasies of human society is a mind-altering phenomenon. The resulting closed class or separate society creates its own values and behavior patterns. If reason is to prevail the probable bizarre and eccentric behavior of celebrity scandal must be morally judged by a jury of "rich and famous" peers, unless felony crime is involved. Except for, and aside from serious criminal activity, this approach minimizes certain prejudice displayed by the general population. Having experienced the great temptations of "fame and fortune," a jury of peers is not blinded by the bias and envy that plague the general population. It is beyond probable and perhaps a truism, that average citizens on a jury- suddenly endowed with "fortune and fame"- will become victims themselves.
They will fall to the identical temptations seducing and disgracing those they seek to judge - what irony. The historic phrase, "power corrupts," is easily restated as power seduces.
Celebrity status does have its price. Psychologists may describe the apparent power of "fame and fortune" as the shining façade of celebrity prominence creates the illusion of omnipotence. In reality it provides high profile targets for the "bird dog" media.
They flush out any scent of celebrity scandal for the public's morbid shark feeding frenzy, and of course, their own profit. Meanwhile identical behavior in general society is protected by the surprising power of low-profile anonymity.
The freedom of "fame and fortune" is purchased at the price of security, enjoyed by the ill-defined, and the low-profile members of society, the anonymous.
The history of human society has proven, beyond a doubt, the power of economic and social status. These forces ultimately determine human behavior far more than any moral values voiced as standard in any society.
George Cerrigone is a Retired Educator and a Political Columnist.