What price too high for fame?

Friday, December 4, 2009

The desire for recognition is as old as humanity itself, but new media has expanded it to a worldwide scope.

From the old "Candid Camera" to the modern manifestations like YouTube, the desire for recognition has reached new heights.

It started with MTV in 1992, when seven strangers were boarded in one house, their every move videotaped for "The Real World."

Scandals started early, with "Survivor" veteran Richard Hatch going to jail after winning a million dollars in 2000.

More recently, reality wanna-be's Richard and Mayumi Henne got in big trouble after touching off a $1 million drama by claiming their 6-year-old son, Falcon, was adrift in a balloon. (McCook native Nicole Vap, a producer at a Denver television station which fed live video of the balloon to the world, has been called to testify in the couple's prosecution.)

And this week, another couple vying for a spot on reality TV crashed President Obama's first state dinner, apparently breezing past the Secret Service on pure force of personality.

Truly, it's sad to see the lengths some people will go to for fleeting fame, but all is not evil on the reality television front.

Several successful singing careers have been launched by shows like American Idol, and how can we help but cheer for dowdy Scottish singer Susan Boyle, who placed second on a British talent show?

Boyle's debut album, "I Dreamed a Dream," sold more than 700,000 copies in the United States during its first week, a sales record for a female debut album and the highest selling debut album since 1993.

Yes fame has its rewards, but it also has a price -- just ask Tiger Woods. It's an unfortunate person, however, who will pay whatever it demands.

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