Celebrity culture - a blessing or a 1__________?
The world's first celebrity was Alexander the Great. Not only 2_________ he want to be the greatest man 3________ history, 4___________ he also wanted everyone 5________ know it. Alexander employed historians, sculptors and painters 6________ tell his story 7______ posterity, and they succeeded. But of 8__________ his achievements were astonishing. Today, many people become celebrities 9__________ doing little 10__________ than craving 11__________ be the centre of 12____________. 13__________ so many magazines, chat shows and websites needing content, such 'celebrities' fill a void, but many would argue 14_________ they fill a void with 15_____________ void. The question is, does celebrity culture matter? Is it just harmless fun or does it erode our values?
On the one hand, there is the fame industry: Hello and OK magazines, gossip 16___________, Oprah Winfrey-style 17_________ shows. These give us insights 18__________ the rich and 19_______. They show us the ups and 20__________ of people 21__________ lives seem 22_______ larger than our own. Most of us enjoy a bit of gossip, and what could be better than hearing about some superstar finally getting 23__________ he deserves (24________ good or bad)? This view sees celebrity culture 25_________ a branch of the entertainment industry. In 26__________, fame has become democratised. On reality shows 27_________ Big Brother, the participants needn't have any talent and many see this as a good thing. 28__________ everyone can be an Einstein or a Messi.
On the other hand, there are 29_________ who believe celebrity culture has got out of 30________. They argue that people now idolise mediocrity. It is no 31__________ the greatest who win our hearts, but the loudest. A recent poll discovered that almost fifty percent of teenagers simply want to 'be famous', without specifying the profession and presumably without 32___________ any effort to learn a skill. The danger is that fame can be 33___________ with achievement. Appearing on TV is not the same 34__________ spending years mastering an instrument or working for peace or inventing a cure.
So, is celebrity culture a blessing or a 35_________? Those in 36_________ say it entertains us, sells newspapers and allows us to dream. Those 37_________ say it promotes 'fame for fame's 38________' and doesn't value effort or skill. One thing we know is that the actions of most of today's celebrities will soon be forgotten, 39_________ real achievements won't. William Shakespeare, Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela: their work will live 40________. And we're 41_________ making movies about Alexander the Great two thousand years after he died.
curse: /kɜːs/ something that causes harm or evil. E.g. the curse of drug addiction. Noise is a curse of modern city life.
blessing: something that is good or helpful. E.g. Lack of traffic is one of the blessings of country life. It's a blessing that nobody was in the house at the time.
celebrity: a famous person. E.g. TV celebrities.
astonishing: /əˈstɒnɪʃɪŋ/ very surprising; difficult to believe. Amazing. E.g. he ran 100m in an astonishing 10.6 seconds. I find it absolutely astonishing that you didn't like it.
Posterity: /pɒˈsterəti/ all the people who will live in the future. E.g. Their music has been preserved for posterity. Posterity will remember him as a great man.
crave (for) something/ crave to do something to want something very much. To have a very strong desire for something. Synonym long for. E.g. She has always craved excitement. Lewis still craves for the recognition he feels he lacks in America. Novak Djokovic craves to win.
void: a large empty space. E.g. Below him was nothing but a black void. (Figurative) The void left by his mother's death was never filled. She sat staring into the void, emptying her mind of all thoughts.
erode (something): /ɪˈrəʊd/ to gradually destroy something or make it weaker over a period of time; to be destroyed or made weaker in this way. E.g. Her confidence has been slowly eroded by repeated failures. Western support for Yeltsin was slowly eroding.
gossip column: a piece of writing in a newspaper about social events and the private and personal lives of famous people.
chat show: a television
or radio programme in which famous people are asked questions and talk
in an informal way about their work and opinions on various topics. E.g. a chat-show host.
insight: insight (into something) an understanding of what something is like. E.g. The book gives us fascinating insights into life in Mexico. I hope you have gained some insight into the difficulties we face.
ups and downs: the mixture of good and bad things in life or in a particular situation or relationship. E.g. Every business has its ups and downs.
Also possible: much, considerably, infinitely, a lot, miles, a good deal, decidedly, significantly. (Way and loads are very informal and only used in spoken English)
1 [uncountable] (disapproving) informal talk or stories about other people's private lives, that may be unkind or not true. E.g. Don't believe all the gossip you hear. Tell me all the latest gossip! The gossip was that he had lost a fortune on the stock exchange. It was common gossip (= everyone said so) that they were having an affair. She's a great one for idle gossip (= she enjoys spreading stories about other people that are probably not true). He became the subject of much local gossip. One day Sam heard an interesting piece of gossip.
2 [countable, usually singular] a conversation about other people and their private lives. E.g. I love a good gossip. She just comes round here for a gossip.
3 [countable] (disapproving) a person who enjoys talking about other people's private lives. E.g. My uncle Michael was a great gossip.
gossip: (V) to talk about other people's private lives, often in an unkind way. E.g. I can't stand here gossiping all day. Gossip about somebody/ something She's been gossiping about you.
idolise: /ˈaɪdəlaɪz/ idolize somebody to admire or love somebody very much. E.g. a pop star idolized by millions of fans. They idolize their kids.
mediocrity: /ˌmiːdiˈɒkrəti/ the quality of being average or not very good. E.g. His acting career started brilliantly, then sank into mediocrity.
no/any longer: used to say that something which was possible or true before, is not now. E.g. I can't wait any longer. He no longer lives here.
poll: (also opinion poll) [countable] the
process of questioning people who are representative of a larger group
in order to get information about the general opinion. Survey. E.g. to carry out/ conduct a poll. A recent poll suggests some surprising changes in public opinion. A nationwide poll revealed different food preferences in the North and the South.
master: master something to learn or understand something completely. E.g. to master new skills/ techniques. French was a language he had never mastered.
sake: purpose; motive. E.g. a quarrel only for the sake of argument. For clarity's sake, I'd like to reword my statement. I believe in education for its own sake. Art for art's sake.
39. while, whilst, whereas
live on to continue to live or exist. E.g. She died ten years ago but her memory lives on. He lived on for fifteen years after his wife died.