Claim: Ben Stein penned an essay on the nature of stardom.
Example: [Stein, 2004]
How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today’s World?
As I begin to write this, I “slug” it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is “eonlineFINAL,” and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started.
I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end. Lew Harris, who founded this great site, asked me to do it maybe seven or eight years ago, and I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.
But again, all things must pass, and my column for
He could not get over it, in fact. So, he said I should write a column about the stars I saw at Morton’s and what they had to say.
[ . . .]
But Morton’s is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.
Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.
A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today’s world, if by a “star” we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model?
[Rest of article here]
Stein, a lawyer by training, has also served as a speechwriter for President
For several years (through the end of 2003),
piece for that venue, published on
Mr. Stein’s column evidently struck a chord with a good many readers, as it continues to be circulated widely via
Last updated: 14 July 2009
Stein, Ben. “How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today’s World?” E! Online. 20 December 2003.