28 February 2004

From the Skies to the Center Stage

Star. That word is one of the most abused words there is. Say one of the most abused metaphors as well.

Starstruck. Star Circle. Search for a Star. Star in a Million. Star for a Night. Star Search. The susurrous and sibilance in these phrases really tickles the ear. Haven't we all dreamt about our fifteen minutes of fame, that moment in time, of our glory? Who among us would deny of ever wanting to become a rock star, a drama queen, a Nobel Prize Awardee, cum laude? Haven't you desired going to the moon? Or farther there in Jupiter?

I just finished watching one of those TV shows with thousands of hopefuls vying for the title: STAR. As an outsider, I pity those who, at first glance, I know will never make it--or have not yet reached their "time." I also cringe not only at the sight and sound of horrendous singing and the foolhardiness to do it, but with talks of "my family is poor," "I've got to help my sick mother," et cetera. Judgmental? Maybe. Is this really showbizness in the Philippines? Personalan to the core? For all its worth, it is in watching these kinds of shows that I get to train my eyes back to myself and figure what is the difference between courage and foolishness, between arrogance and confidence.

I believe that "stars" are "real" people (what are real people, anyway?), capable of nobility, humility and service. If there is one thing I truly admire about them, that is their honesty in asserting their need for fame. A need for judgment that is acknowledgement. This is what poets and showbiz stars have in common, they thrive in relation to their audience.

Funny whenever I think of Margaret Atwood's little verse (forgive me if I won't be able to present it in its proper versification, I'm all relaying this from memory): "I'd like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only, I'd like to be that unnoticed and that necessary." Beautiful and breath-taking, isn't it? But would you really like to be unnoticed? And only necessary in the meantime? In these instances I get quite convinced lies are more beautiful than facts. Romanticized reality sells. While we like to serve and are willing to sacrifice, some recognition would have to be required.

You are a star when there are so many stars. What separates one star from the others? Your brand of light from theirs? Your breath of life from the rest? What have you got to offer? To whom will you give? What would you demand in return?

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