By Z.S. Roe
It’s no secret that many of us like to get the “inside scoop” on our favourite celebrities. We want to know what they’re like during their personal time: What they do, who they hang out with … you know, the usual stuff. And—wouldn’t you know it—a near countless number of reality shows are available to satisfy that very hunger.
I often get the impression that most celebrity reality shows are successful partly (if not mostly) because of how good it is to know that even the rich and famous are as screwed-up as the rest of us (and sometimes more so). But maybe what we actually want is not a dysfunctional celebrity drama, but a story of success, and hope, and love. Well, at least some of the time, anyway. A good role model goes a long way, right?
Maybe, then, we can find the answer with celebrities that aren’t really celebrities. I’m sure you know what I mean—those figures in the music and arts and entertainment industry who aren’t rich or even that well known, but have a dedicated following nonetheless.
For me, that not-so-celebrity is Mike Herrera, frontman for the once mildly popular pop-punk band MxPx. Never heard of him or his band, you say? Well, the video below gives a taste of what they offer:
Back in high school, I was obsessed with MxPx; these days, my adoration of the band is a little bit more moderate. But a year or so ago, I stumbled upon a blog written my Mike Herrera’s wife, Holli. Therein, I found personal photos, videos, and stories of her life with Mike, such as this video she recently posted, which compiles video correspondence between them during one of Mike’s tours:
I find that I’ve been regularly returning to Holli’s blog. Her life with Mike is not extraordinary or glitzy or marked with any particularly surprising drama, and yet I find myself riveted by it. I don’t know why.
Some may say I’m looking to escape my own life by trying to live vicariously through theirs. And, honestly, there may be some truth to that. God knows I pretty much wanted to be Mike back in my teens, and so maybe there’s still a part of me that aspires to live his kind of life … well, the dreamy, fantasy version of it that I imagine.
Is this a problem? I’m not sure. I think that fantasy is an essential part of a balanced life—I really do. Could it get out of hand? Well, sure, but so could anything. From what I hear, it’s all about moderation. And so, for now, I think I’m all right.
But maybe I’ve hit upon something … or at least stumbled upon something (I certainly can’t lay claim to it). Maybe more reality shows should centre on (relatively) normal people. Maybe the world would be a far better place if we celebrated the common person, and not the drug and sex crazed celebrities who dominate public consciousness.
Sure, ratings would drop and a lot of people would turn off their TVs, but maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing either.
Opinion is a bi-monthly column of just that, my opinion. While opinions are like noses and everyone has one, mine are especially snotty. Please leave a comment or question—all opinions are welcome, and all contributions are greatly appreciated. If you like what you read here, please subscribe.
I remember the first time I took you to see MXPX in London. Went to some restaurant in not the greatest part of town and low and behold…there they were! That was cool. Better than that was when I took you and your 2 friends to Buffalo to see them. We stopped for a quick meal at Burger King I think…and there they were again!! I have to admit, they are a good band, just too bad they couldn’t have gotten farther then they did. Thanks for stirring the good memories up, Zac!