I am here in LA once again; a place I absolutely LOVE to visit. I know, I know. I hear all you compassionate conservative types accusing me of caving to the Hollywood Liberal Elite lifestyle. Oh well. I also hear all your crunchy, granola East Coasters gasp, “But isn’t San Francisco so much BETTER?! LA is so artificial! Eeewww!” Again, oh well.
I cannot tell a lie: I love coming to LA. For lots of reasons, which would constitute a whole other bloggerific entry. What I love about coming to LA is that I fly into LAX, that roiling, toiling sea of humanity that is at the top of Al Qaeda’s target list. What I love about LAX is that—sin excepcion—I always see a celebrity. Or rather, a pseudo-celebrity. You know who I mean: those “stars” of TV or film who aspire to greater things and who you just know are currently doing the coffee and nicotine diet and the casting couch workout. Yes indeedy, pseudo-celebrities are my stock in trade.
You might feel sad for me that I am bumping into “The Donger” from Sixteen Candles instead of Tom Cruise. Save your pity. Save it for the truly needy, such as the bar owners in Georgetown who will have 4 more years of the Bush twins falling off their bar stools after their weekly parties, Colin Powell whose reputation will continue its slow, inexorable, painful decline in the face of further military chaos in Iraq, or (to be bipartisan here) Michael Moore, who will face certain malnutrition and wasting now that he is off the campaign chicken-and-peas circuit.
No, don’t pity me. Envy me. Loathe me for my great good fortune. Seethe with jealousy that you did not just see Roseanne-avec entourage-in the Delta Crown Room. Nor did you see Connie Sellecca, former costar of 80’s show The Greatest American Hero and multiple Lifetime Television For Women movies of the week, and wife of the musical powerhouse John Tesh doing electronic check-in in Terminal 5. No you did not. Betcha can’t think straight for the envy, huh?
You also did not see David Hyde Pierce, Frasier’s Niles Crane, who in person is potentially the slimmest man I have ever seen in my life…not to mention my chief rival for palest human on the planet. Nor did you see Casey Affleck, the “LaToya Jackson” sibling of Ben Affleck, who as you can imagine just stopped all traffic with his presence…or not.
Okay, so now that I am truly channeling the egregious Larry King, I will wrap this self-serving entry up thusly: Why would I prefer to meet The Dad from Malcolm In The Middle over Justin Timberlake? Because pseudo-celebrities are, ipso facto, better than bona fide celebrities for three reasons:
1) Because they are accessible: they still go to the mall and stand in lines at airports. They are not famous enough that they avoid attention, and in fact they love to run out for a latte just to get mentioned in the media. Alternatively, they *used to be* super famous and now crave a little bit of the lovin’ they used to have.
2) The kitsch factor in meeting James Garner from The Rockford Files or the now-deceased Perry Mason from Matlock far outweighs the palpitations of meeting George Clooney. Come on! Which one can you share a moment with your grandmother about, huh? Pseudo-celebrities foster intergenerational family bonding. It’s just that simple.
3) Finally, pseudo celebrities generally have not had the major “work” done that major celebrities have (or have had some bad, obvious work done), so the experience of seeing (let’s say for instance/as an example just in case she’s litigious) a certain model-trying-to-be-an-actress whose skin is shockingly acne-scarred in person---is good for the average person’s self-esteem.
Short Story Long: Celebrities—in their varying levels of box office bankability—are fun if stared at from a safe distance. Do NOT approach them or in any way reveal that you give a rat’s a** that they are in the room. Admitting that you notice them is not cool. Fainting, screaming and blathering about “loving their work” is *beyond* not cool. Seeing them and then snarkily writing about them in a blog is, since you asked, immeasurably cool. ;)