Fireside Chat #11 (Spring ’06)

PRIVACY: A SMALL PRICE TO PAY

Green Day’s tour is over, which means I’ve missed my chance to pay to see one of America’s biggest rock bands play “We Are the Champions,” an experience I’m sure would have boosted my fragile self-esteem for months.

The band’s bassist, Mike Dirnt, recently said it’s time "to call it quits for a while and go home and rejuvenate.” That sounds pretty good to a normal citizen. I mean I’ve spent all of Christmas break sleeping and watching my “Golden Girls Season One” DVD with director’s commentary, but I’m afraid a celebrity band like Green Day has lost its rejuvenation rights.

The old question that is often posed is: Do you have to give up your privacy when you become famous?

The old answer: Absolutely. The minute you apply for that SAG card, you sign away all rights to privacy, seclusion, isolation and alone time.

That’s not to say that privacy is any big loss. Have you ever noticed how creepy people get when they spend too much time in private? It’s almost saying, “Why don’t you want to be photographed? Do you have something to hide?”

Celebrities have no right to complain about invasions of privacy or about anything — they’re happy all the time. It’s just that they operate on such an elevated plane of existence that, at worst, a celebrity is super-stoked on life and at best, a celebrity attains a demigod state of omniscience and satisfaction. The problem is, when they hit a low point of super-stokedness, they don’t realize how happy they are because they are comparing it to the demigod state.

I’ll grant that occasionally, occasionally, it might be annoying to unsuspectingly have your child’s 8th birthday photographed with a telephoto lens from a nearby skyscraper only to have it appear four days later in Us Weekly, but really, when you think about it, it’s kind of awesome too. The Pepperdine intercampus mail system takes three weeks to move a note across the room, and in four days people all over the world knows what kind of cake your whimsically-named kid likes best.

People point to Princess Di’s death as an example of the paparazzi going too far, but what they don’t realize is that when celebrities die, they go to “Paradisio Praeclarus,” (that’s Latin, suckas) also known as “Business Class Heaven.” There, those who achieved fame get many of the same perks they got in earthly life, such as never having to wait for a restaurant table and getting their DUI charges overlooked, but they also get new benefits such as being told the secrets of the universe by Jesus himself and getting to haunt the earth every All Hallows Eve. So Diana is doing fine, trust me.

Sorry Billy Joe Armstrong, Lance Armstrong and even you, Satchmo. You’re in the public eye for good, even after a long tour. If we see you at IHOP, we’ll make you take a picture with us. If you really are the champions, you’ll take it like men.

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