Many papers are reporting on the recently released Forbes Celebrity List, which claims to know the relative power of various well-known individuals.
My feeling is that the people responsible for compiling this list (and complicit editors) are fooled by name recognition. Name awareness is not the same as power. It might draw a crowd (fans, paparazzi, hangers-on, etc.), but it doesn't mean that someone can do something meaningful.
Does anyone really believe that Tiger Woods is important (7th most-powerful person in the world!)? The guy can't win a tournament, has fallen out of the top ten players, and repels sponsors like a plague.
And, the folks at Forbes might have confused album sales, Twitter traffic, and number of "friends" in awarding the number one spot to Lady Gaga. Although Oprah has slipped to number two, I bet she can get more truly powerful people on the phone than can the young woman from New York. And, guess who has more money.
Lists can be entertaining, but are usually space-filling fluff or PR efforts by the publications needing to boost sliding circulation. Only those found in the page of National Enquirer should be taken seriously...
Here we go again with another saying: Variety is the spice of life.
I disagree with this on. Variety is life, not merely some exotic spice
One is constantly confronted with lists of "favorites" or some demand to reveal one's favorite this or that. What is your favorite color, city, restaurant, vegetable, etc.?
Dumb question (unless you're a magazine editor out of ideas). Why have a favorite anything? (Naturally, this does not apply to one's wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend!). If one would be forced to eat only one variety of fruit, vegetable, meat, dish, or cuisine, it would soon become loathsome. And, there is no perfect place to live, no perfect city to visit, no perfect hotel, or no perfect vacation spot. There is no "best" restaurant. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. Each fruit has a perfect natural season, regardless of what science has done to manipulate growth. Strawberries look great at Christmas, but lack the flavor of those picked from a field in June. Blueberries taste somewhat like the ones I used to pick in the woods, but only somewhat. And, I like fruit salad, which disallows having one favorite at that moment. Blue is a nice color, but some shades are less appealing. Often, if not always, context, setting, or mood determine appeal.
Strangely, "favorite" works with something as uber-eclectic as the Internet. Having a button for Favorites on Safari makes sense, perhaps because each one is so different and because it can be changed, as habits, practices, and tastes evolve.
This leads to the subject of "friend". Who is your favorite? This question could cause a whole bunch of trouble, especially with females of the species (It's not necessary to repeat what Kipling wrote!). One can get into a discussion about what is a true friend, as opposed to a counterfeit one. This has always been a topic, even before being exacerbated by social media websites. A friend can be someone with whom you spend most waking moments, but are not married to, all the way to someone with whom one played in the sandbox years ago. Why have a favorite? One can collect as many as one wants and use them accordingly. What are friends for, if not to exploit for one's own benefit?
Like a favorite of anything...have as many as you like, and...keep changing your mind. After all, variety--not a single favorite--is life. Case closed.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.