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In 1968, Andy Warhol quipped that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”  Most people at the time thought he was making a visionary statement of how he viewed the future.  I am beginning to think otherwise.

I think it was a threat.

The truth is, in today’s ultra-connected, 24 hour news cycle culture, the statement is closer than ever to becoming reality.  The problem is that many people quite overstay their 15 minutes.  Reality TV, gossip shows, and celebrity antics give us a fresh crop of familiar faces on an almost daily basis.  We are quickly becoming a culture where the question isn’t “Are you famous?” but “Why aren’t you famous yet?”

This would be an irritating enough trend all on its own.  The problem is that as the reality shows and celebrity gossip programs search for more and more fodder to fill their time, we are getting more and more of the worst humanity has to offer being put on display.  In fact, it seems like the quickest way to get yourself on TV is to do something beyond the pale.

Now, I don’t like to get preachy.  No one likes to listen to someone lecturing them.  But, why is it they we are justifying theses disgusting behaviors by giving the perpetrators all the attention they can swallow?  For example, do you know what the number one costume was last Halloween?  The octomom is a variety of different incarnations.  I saw many of them, and there was definitely some creativity.  But why, in the name of all that’s holy, are we giving a woman who showed a dizzying lack of responsibility, judgment, and respect for herself and the lives she created all the attention?  It doesn’t matter that we are making fun.  Even the negative attention just encourages the behaviors.

And then you have the reality stars.  Every week we watch them scheme and betray one another in pursuit of God Money.  Put in close proximity, with cash on the line, it’s amazing to me what people will do to one another.  And yet, we cheer on our favorites week after week.  Of course some reality shows just dish us the celebrities.  But how serious am I supposed to think you are taking your recovery when you’re doing it on “Celebrity Rehab?”

We really need to take a step back and see what we are putting out there as fame-worthy.  Our children see everything that goes on around them and they learn the lessons we teach, not the ones we intend to teach.  And right now their learning that any number of destructive and irresponsible behaviors can get you a reality show and a fat bank account.

Imagine what the next generations will consider acceptable?

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