(WASHINGTON POST) -- The American fascination with celebrity is strong. So strong that, as my Spanish wife has noted, even our serial killers get flattering biopics. ("Ted Bundy - a monster, yes, but what a brilliant, handsome guy!")
The president of the United States rose to public consciousness not through a single minute of public service but rather via reality television. In a world dominated by social media, people increasingly don't even have to do anything to be sought-after public figures - they can be famous simply for being famous, as the saying goes. In 1968, when Andy Warhol predicted a future in which everyone would be world-famous for 15 minutes, it sounded ridiculous; today it sounds increasingly plausible.
Advertisement - story continues below
And fame is all we really want, isn't it? All the twisted, celebrity-obsessed aspects of American culture and politics are just a mirror of our own unfulfilled desires to be loved and admired by millions, right? Wrong. The truth is that, despite our prurient interest in celebrities, the overwhelming majority of people do not want to be famous, and the minority of people who truly desire fame are abnormal.