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greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

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Many people in this world are more famous than me. I guess that means they're better people than me, right? And better than you, right?

I probably don't even need to example some people more famous than me, famous for their positive achievements. Brad Pitt; Bill Gates; Peyton Manning; and so on. If they're more famous than me for good things they've done, that means they're better than me, right? And also better than you, right?

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    Apr 8 2013: Dunbar's number is a suggested limit on how many people the average person can maintain stable social relationships with. A glance at a concert is not meaningful in this sense, but you can look that up for yourself.

    If your impression is that 'stars' don't loose fame then; You are ignoring a great theme in drama form 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane' to 'The Wrestler' that explores what happens when they do. I'm guessing you have not done that much research into, say, who were stars in a particular medium at a given date and who were well known 10, 15 or 20 years later.

    On the generational issue since the advent of popular culture fans have admired their heroes, One Direction are not more admired now than Elvis was half a Century ago. It seems from a quick read of this debate that no-one else is buying your suggestion that famous people are better, so unless there is more evidence I think that one is case closed.

    A review of 'Saul Bellow's Heart: A Son’s Memoir by Greg Bellow' described as heartbreaking the realisation that great (and famous) writers are often not great people. It is a realisation that many young fans eventually make about famous people.
    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/culture/books/non_fiction/article1239499.ece

    As for the communication technology connection, it is the means that the celebrity form of fame is created. The meaning people take from this type of connection is important to understand. For example there is the quasi-religious view of some Elvis fans that he did not die in 1977, complete with reported sightings.

    If a sizeable number of people started to believe the being famous had to equate to being good that would indeed be interesting.
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      Apr 9 2013: Well, again, Seamus, there are many levels of meaning, and probably different kinds of meaning. I think someone who was a big fan of the Beatles, bought some of their records, went to an occasional concert, had a somewhat meaningful relationship with them, the Beatles brought fun and joy into their lives, and stimulation and ideas. I think to some degree the Beatles had a meaningful relationship with their fans, they saw them, talked to many of them, got letters from many of them, and I'm sure were changed by many of them. Maybe this is the state of fame, that a famous person knows how to speak meaningfully to more lives than the average person does. Of course a young female fan had a different relationship with her own parents, perhaps the Beatles were more distant, distantly providing fun and happiness, and happiness only under particular circumstances, when the young fan wanted the joy of music.

      I can't remember why we were talking about whether stars lose fame. My impression is that most extremely famous people stay famous a long time. The Beatles are a good example, movie stars like Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie; political figures like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. I suppose for less famous people fame might fade, but I would say even to have been famous for a while says a person probably has better-than-average character, the things you have to do to get fame take character.

      I'm not trying to "sell" the suggestion that famous people have better character. It strikes me as true, but if others don't believe I don't think I'll be harmed. I guess the only way to know for sure would be to get to know a bunch of famous people. But until I do, I would still maintain that, logically, someone who becomes famous would have great character. In almost every case fame is about serving somehow, by entertaining, stimulating, governing; and people who serve are already showing character.

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