CHURCH OF TWAIN: The truth behind a guilty pleasure


  I have to admit a guilty pleasure. I sneak regular peeks at columns written by the Review-Journal’s celebrity-sighting men-about-Strip  Norm! and Doug Elfman.

  Granted, it’s not quite like admitting an obsession with porn, but in the local news racket there’s a certain snobbery when it comes to celebrity journalism and star-expletiving generally. The sniff from the serious scribes starts with down-the-nose scoffing, as if journalism were practiced by poets and priests, and concludes with eye-rolling shrugs about the relative lack of worth of the work in question.

  Me, I just like to check out the degree to which the celebrated seek their self-important heights. Because, as we know, if we’re being honest, it’s from those heights that many of us desire to see them tumble. The tightrope walker is fascinating most because of the possibility he’ll take a header.

  So I check out the nightclub sightings and count all the celebrities whose names I’ve never heard of and am struck by two feelings. First, I am hopelessly out of it, a real Mr. Nowhere Man sitting in his Nowhere Land. Second, the young turks and hotties have no idea what’s coming next.

  They don’t know that the fame will fade like their expensive jeans.

  They don’t know. But Saint Mark did. He wrote in his “Notebook” one day, “Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.”

  You won’t see that line on a sign outside the door of Pure, but it’s something worth remembering.