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Never Meet Your Heroes

My first negative interaction with a “celebrity” came at a tiny independent wrestling event in Memphis, Tennessee while I was in high school. A pretty much forgotten wrestler, Curtis Hughes was wrestling for the local promotion, and they were doing an autograph signing before the event. I won’t go into the details, but he was a pretty miserable man.

Fifteen years later, I was at Wizard World Richmond when I got a chance to meet one of my favorite comic book artists Neal Adams. Let’s just say, it’s really hard to listen to people talk about how impactful and great he was after my short encounter with him.

It wasn’t until I read Matthew McConaughey’s autobiography that I realized how unlikeable and full of crap he was. Then I read Elvira’s, or at least, half of it, before realizing she also was a liar. I didn’t have much of a celebrity worship issue, but these two books opened up my eyes to the reality that celebrities, even non-A listers don’t seem to exist in the same world as the rest of us.

It’s made it difficult to watch some behind the scenes stuff or read any further autobiographies because I want to keep the facade alive that’s in my head. But the reality is, these people are not the characters they play and despite having way more positive interactions than negative (Bruce Campbell, Dee Wallace, Lea Thompson, James Marsters, Jewel Staite.. the list goes on and on) it’s been a nice reality check for me.

I’ve even noticed when watching certain documentaries about folks that once the interpretation I have in my head is sullied, I struggle to connect to them as much. But I guess, that’s why you shouldn’t know too much. I can interpret the art however my brain intakes it, but the moment I know the motivation for a song or how stupid the song writer may be, it destroys the experience.

These days, I take extra care in who I follow or pay attention to. I don’t buy autobiographies anymore and I stay away from documentaries. Actually, unless a documentary is about movies, I tend to avoid them these days as anyway.

I guess, I have little interest in supporting people I don’t agree with. I’d much rather put my time and money into folks who seem to share the same values or reality that I do.

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