Given the popularity of television shows such as "TMZ," "Entertainment Tonight," "Access Hollywood" and others that spotlight the glamorous and sometimes bizarre life that is played out in celebrity-ville every day, it is evident that vast audiences are fixated on those who have reached superstardom.
Auditions for "So You Think You Can Dance," "American Idol" and the no-talent-required roster of reality shows reveal the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people who have a burning desire to become a rich and famous celebrity.
Within the line-up of voyeuristic following on TV, the Internet, radio and print media the emphasis is largely on the rewards that often come with massive exposure. How the fervor of media attention is garnered is seemingly irrelevant.
Pretend to lose your kid in a UFO-like balloon, crash a presidential dinner or stun and audience with an extraordinary talent and performance -- all will deliver even more attention from the media and viewers. Cash and opportunity comes to those caught in that spotlight.
A huge global audience is tuned in and turned on to the outer image of what it must be like to be a celebrity. Celebrity-oriented advertising offer products and services to people who crave an outer image just like the celebrities he or she is drawn to.
The beauty of today’s plethora and diversity of content media platforms and channels is that it offers another choice for the other vast collection of eyeballs who have largely tuned out of this type of programming and are turned off by egoic attachment to fame. There is a huge groundswell of programming that focuses instead upon the magnificence of the inner self.
Tony Robbins, author and popular self-help trainer, has a television show. Deepak Chopra, endocrinologist, prolific author and founder of the Chopra Center for Well-being, can be heard on Sirius radio. The queen of self-improvement and empowerment, Oprah Winfrey, is a media maven delivering self-help content in a variety of media outlets. In partnership with Discovery Communications, she is launching the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) dedicated to inspiring viewers to "live their best lives." Programming will inspire and help people to develop a healthy self-esteem and express full and authentic potential.
It seems as if the more one side of the media caters to the audience that is attached to a false outer image, the more another aspect of the media targets viewers who are more interested in revealing, exploring and maximizing the inner, true self. Both attract viewers and excite the advertising community who want to reach various consumer demo and psyco-graphics. The polarity in programming choices is a fascinating phenomenon to observe.
I watch and enjoy some news and reality-based shows. They are often fun, entertaining and funny. Sometimes these shows uncover more shadowy and desperate sides of the human condition.
I also engage in the menu of alternative programming delivered by those who seek to educate and enlighten as well as entertain. The individual viewer has an abundant array of programming options from which to choose. To select celebrity-oriented material because you have a curious interest is vastly different from a denial of inner truth by self-defining and seeking value and validation through the measure of fame.
There is a distinction between having a healthy sense of self while seeking fame and fortune and the placement of self-image in the trappings of a celebrity-like outer image at the expense of true self.
Just as there is a seemingly unlimited amount of material to choose, there is a purpose and place for all of it. It's not what is tuned into that will drive the collective emotional intelligence of the populace.
It is what is tapped into and energized -- ego or authenticity -- that will ultimately deliver the human condition and experience of this and future generations.