By Morgaine Bergman, one of the “little people”:

It is not celebs we should be celebrating, but the work they create. Yes, we should be supporting the development of talent and anyone who is ‘great’ at their job should have job security and make a good living; but no one should earn obscene amounts of money or live in ridiculous luxury, because no one (and no job) on earth deserves that kind of compensation. Ridiculous wealth can only be had by exploiting others, it cannot be earned ‘honestly’.

In my mind, the ideal world would be one in which works are celebrated and admired and not the people who made them. People should only be admired for good character (i.e. good morals, ethics, and values, not popularity). One can be gifted and still be a horrible person. Why should that be rewarded? We should each be treated according to the character our words and actions reveal about us, and what good character should earn us is respect, not adulation.

In the perfect world, artists should be able to share and exchange ideas whether or not their work is known. The wider the dialogue, the better! Experienced artists should be helping new unknowns, not living as pampered sideshow exhibits while the next generations wilt and wither for lack of guidance. Society’s great artists, inventors, and scientists should be able to interact with others normally, without worrying about being ambushed by stalkers or being exploited by media. In this ideal world there would be no ‘celebs’ or ‘fans, and the media would have no cause to chase them. People would interact normally, with respect for each others’ privacy, boundaries, and basic humanity. I don’t think that world is unattainable. I don’t think we can’t reclaim it; I think the mega-corporations want us to believe we can’t, because their wealth relies upon preserving the status quo. This more normal society is much more common in other parts of the world, where everyday life hasn’t been ‘commodified’ as it has been in America.

However we do it, we have to change the way we’re interacting and reclaim our humanity, because at present we’re complicit in making our own hell out of what might have been paradise.