Monday, January 19, 2009

The Lesson of Icarus

Perhaps, dear Constant Reader, you remember the Greek myth of Icarus from a long ago school lesson. Perhaps not.

In any event, I am going to use my first entry of the new year to demonstrate to you why it is so important that we never forget history, as we become doomed to repeat it.

Icarus was the son of a gifted craftsman named Daedalus. Daedalus had created a labyrinth for King Minos where the Minotaur was to be imprisoned. Daedalus and his son Icarus were exiled to the island of Crete after the King discovered that Daedalus had helped the Minotaur to escape. In an effort to escape their exile, Daedalus fashioned a pair of wings on which he and Icarus were to fly away on out of wax and feathers. But, the father warned his son, that if he flew too low, moisture would weigh down the wings, and if he flew too high, the sun would surely scorch them. Travel between the two extremes, he cautioned.

Of course, you know how this ended. Tragically, as most Greek stories do, with the boy so delighted in his freedom of flight that he soared ever so high, allowing the heat from the sun to melt his waxen wings and sending the boy crashing to his death.

The lesson gleaned fro this fable is to remember not to get too close to the sun, as you may very well be burned.

How true this lesson is, even today.

Only today's entry is about celebrity and how what we see isn't always reality. Celebrity, for what it is worth, is little more than smoke and mirrors, with heavy editing involved so we see only what our celebrity of choice wishes us to see. It's nothing new. It's gone on as long as man has existed. But it is only when we get too close that we begin to see the cracks in the facade, where the truth has a tendency to ooze out a bit, if you pay attention closely.

Obviously, I did not pay enough attention in class when we were reviewing this myth. Perhaps, if I had, I would have avoided any involvement with the message boards of TV's Mike Rowe. Perhaps, if I had, I wouldn't have been so disappointed in what I've come to realized of late, and that is that the internet version of Mike is perhaps the real version of Mike, and that maybe the TV version of Mike is really only culled together by directors and editors. Charm and charisma can only hide so much, I'm afraid. Eventually, you start to see things and become aware of the truth.

Likewise, it appears that only a certain kind of "fan" is acceptable on the afore mentioned message boards. Only a certain kind of pandering and gushing warranting any sort of tip of the hat from the object of their desire. All others are left to swing in the wind at the mercy of the hungry vipers who fancy themselves to be the chosen ones. Some are ignored completely, apparently so offensive in their daring to be seen and heard that they are never to be spoken to, only about in thinly veiled ways. Others are berated and belittled publicly in order to pay for their grand sin of attempting to talk to TV's Mike Rowe. The remaining few who maybe have working brains and are able to think for themselves are left to fight for their rights to keep their opinions, as while the chosen are entitled to have them, those with brains clearly are not.

Sad, really, as this is a man who has, within the last 6 months, embarked on a crusade of sorts to highlight the need our country has for skilled laborers. Of course, you won't find any evidence of this on the website that bears his name and was apparently born for that express intention, as it has devolved and has become little more than a place for the faithful to vie for attention, agreeing with everything Rowe and a few "key" disciples say. They then snipe at other interlopers who dare attempt to feel a little bit of the sunshine that is Mike Rowe on their faces, regardless of the validity or importance of the post in question. The fact that the fearless leader is self admittedly at a loss for what his project even is holds no concerns, as to question would surely put one on the fast track to being viewed in an unfavorable light. Instead, the sniping at key offenders, the gushing at chosen postings, the orgasmic postings around anything from The Master instead continues.

So, I heave a heavy sigh, dear Constant Reader, for as they say, the best of intentions do go awry. I flew too close to the sun, it seems, and as the wax melted, I saw it for what it really was.

No comments: