Who’s Fascinating?

December 7, 2011 § 6 Comments

Good grief. During my drive to the pool this morning, I switched on the news and caught a snippet about Barbara Walter’s list of 2011’s “Most Fascinating People”. With all due respect for a long and illustrious career, Ms. Walters’ bow to Celebrity Pop Culture is not so much surprising as it is inane.

I can accept that people are infatuated with celebrity. Beauty, fame, wealth, drama, have long held allure. But beyond the limelight, are these people, themselves, fascinating? (The Kardashians, Modern Family stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, Simon Cowell, New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, Donald Trump, pop star Katy Perry and Pippa Middleton.)

I suppose it’s about ratings, the way sex sells cars and gossip sells magazines. But, in my humble opinion, celebrity in and of itself has become over-the-top grandiose. I don’t even see the luster of glamour; just pretentiousness.

Maybe I’m in the minority. Somehow I escaped the gene that lauds fame for fame’s sake. I’m not enamored, and frankly don’t care what the Kardashian sisters do, think, eat or wear.

So I turned off the radio. And I thought, alright, who really IS fascinating? Who do I find fascinating? Who do YOU find fascinating? There may be glitter involved, and (more likely) there may be none at all ~ as neither make the person. So what does make a person fascinating?

What made Grace Kelly fascinating, or Princess Diana? Einstein? Picasso? Or my friend’s father who rose to a high banking position but also raised bees, made homemade wine from backyard grapes and could name any bird by it’s whistle?

It’s their mystery…. their complexity, their multi-dimensionality, their intellect. And their very apparent human-ness despite their looks or talent or wealth or achievements or social stature or fate.

It’s a mind ticking with passion and ideas. Someone who inspires. Someone who you are sure holds much more than meets the eye. Someone you might like to have over for stimulating dinner conversation. Someone who may not even have the slightest idea that they are “fascinating”.

Some are regular people. Some have acquired some fame, perhaps celebrity ~ but they aren’t the ones on the magazines at the supermarket check-out, who by virtue of obsessive media coverage have been called “the most fascinating” by the likes of Barbara Walters.

(Now if she had Morgan Freeman on that list, I might listen in…)


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§ 6 Responses to Who’s Fascinating?

  • saxtonstudio says:

    Thank you all for your thoughtful comments on this post! Like minds… much appreciated.


  • Dorothy says:

    people who face life’s adversities with strength, determination and tenacity are fascinating to me…Randy Pausch comes to mind. People who have an insatiable desire to attain wisdom and share it in their lifetime are fascinating to me…Wayne Dyer and Oprah come to mind. People who have limitless talents whether they be artistic, culinary, wordsmiths, or social skills are fascinating to me….Patricia Saxton comes to mind. People who give endlessly and tirelessly of themselves for the benevolent welfare of others fascinate me….every teacher I know comes to mind. Every child I have ever known has been fascinating to me. Celebrities, stars……not so much!!


  • David G says:



  • Leah says:

    Amen, sister! I’m surprised at Barbara Walters for displaying what appears to be such a lack of depth. I chuckled in agreement at “I’m not enamored, and frankly don’t care what the Kardashian sisters do, think, eat or wear.” They did what to gain such a prominent place in our culture?!? Playing devil’s advocate, though, it might be fascinating from a sociological perspective that everyone on her list is a involved in a pop-cultural phenomenon.


  • wartica says:

    I feel the same exact way on how the media portrays “celebrities.” A renowned scientist once said that our society focuses on people hitting balls around, wearing skimpy clothing, getting drunk everday etc. The people that come up with ways to actually help society, go totally unheard of.



  • I couldn’t agree more-couldn’t care less about celebrity. For me, “fascinating” has absolutely nothing to do with success or fame. You hit it on the head in paragraph seven… “someone who may not even have the slightest idea that they are “fascinating”. For me, that’s almost a prerequisite. Great post!


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