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Arizona Daily Wildcat

By Zack Armstrong
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 25, 2000
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Sunday night gave us yet another look at the pathetic admiration of celebrity that this country wallows in. The Golden Globes placed our favorite superstars on pedestals so that they could look at each other in their fancy clothes, and the rest of us could look up at them from the gutters. What is the point of these award shows anyway? Other than making the celebrities involved feel even more self-important than they already do, these shows really serve no purpose at all.

Celebrities are not worth such affections. They are just up there giving these awards to each other, and the public eats it up. They adore themselves, and we adore them. We adore these people for doing almost completely nothing. They are performers, and that is all. They aren't saving lives; they are putting on a show and then patting themselves on the back over and over again. This was seen plainly on Sunday night.

At this year's Golden Globes show, the powers that be decided that it was a good idea to spend 25 minutes for one more tribute to the most overrated performer that the world has ever known: Barbara Streisand. She is not talented, and yet people love her. She has a decent voice, but John Ritter is a better actor.

Shirley MacLaine introduced her and spoke about her as though she were married to the woman in one of her dozen's of past lives. After Shirley's 15 minute speech (which seemed to look back on Streisand's entire career in real time), Barbara got up and talked for another ten minutes. Barbara looked like she was in love (and I don't mean with James Brolin). They showed a few shots of the audience, but soon realized that it was a mistake. Half of them looked more bored than the people working the phones at a telethon hosted by Bob Saget.

Barbara Streisand said the same crap they all say on these shows. She talked about how hard it was and how much her life had been enriched by show business. I didn't think she was going to stop. At one point, she said that someone recently asked her if they should be an actor to which she so nobly replied, "If you have to ask, then no." I'm not certain, but I feel like this question and the show "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" are deeply related in some way.

Streisand is the perfect example of how we let our obsession with celebrity get carried away. She is average as a performer, but we have elevated her to an almost godly level and we do it all the time. Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger was the best thing going? They are just actors. I hate to throw in a clich­, but why don't we honor our teachers like this? Our doctors? Our garbage men? Imagine life without those saints.

I'm not saying that we don't need this kind of entertainment in our lives at all, because we do. If done correctly, it is a kind of art and should be treated as such. Art and beauty comprise an enormous part of culture, and these award shows are degrading to it. Picasso and Kandinsky never went head to head for a little gold statue.

The Golden Globe Awards are competition where competition is not needed. Art is a form of expression, not a medium for a contest. The people involved in making films should be satisfied with a job well-done and not worry about what the Foreign Press Association or the Academy thinks about them?

I like movies, but I cannot understand the obsession with the people who make them. Celebrities are people and the truth is that if you got them one on one, the majority of them probably are not very interesting. We need to stop praising them so much and maybe they will concentrate more on their art than their acceptance speech. It can only get better.

Zack Armstrong is a Creative Writing junior. He can be reached at editor@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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