Brian’s Column: Leaving Fat City

Leaving Fat City
Maybe Oprah shows us the way out

This is an early column of mine (December 2006) that seems fitting to recycle at this time of year…

Everybody_ReadsIn some of my writings, and in my conversation, I’ve been insensitive and negative toward people who have a glaring weight problem.  Recently, when I came to realize one of my friends is truly suffering from the problem, I felt the need to make amends.

Jack (not his real name) has gotten noticeably larger, too.  He’s a great guy, and I care about him, about his health and longevity.  All he seems to get from his friends, including me, is laughter or offhand comments about fatsos.  My column today is partly an attempt to redeem myself. Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Liberty and Celebrity

Some thoughts on ‘being known for being known’
and what it means to the freedom movement

This definition of celebrity—being known for being known—is pretty close to a quote from a an interesting piece I read from a Web article by Daniel Epstein published a couple of years ago in The Weekly Standard of all places[1].  Actually, Epstein was quoting Daniel Boorstin from The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream: “The celebrity,” Boorstin wrote, “is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness.”[2]

Epstein continues by making a distinction between fame and celebrity: fame being based more on actual achievement, while celebrity especially recently become more the art of being paid attention to by large numbers of people on television regardless of any personal noteworthiness. Probably the most classic example is Brian “Kato” Kaelin, the house guest of OJ Simpson.  The Kaelin persona reminds me of the Woody Allen movie, Zelig, in which a nondescript man seeks to blend in and dissemble as if he were one of the famous people himself. Continue reading