The Pressure of Expectation

“Can we all get along?” The famous phrase uttered by Rodney King, who on June 17th, he was found drowned in his pool.

Who was Rodney King?

Rodney King, the black motorist whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers was the pivotal touchstone for one of the most destructive race-related riots in US history. Fifty-three people died during the riots, estimates of the material losses vary between about $800 million and $1 billion. Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying 1,100 buildings. Widespread looting also occurred (source).

Catapulted to celebrity-hood, he became the poster child for police brutality. He wrote a book titled The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption.

It is worth mentioning at this point that Rodney struggled for years with drug and alcohol abuse, which was probably brought around as a result of his becoming a lightning rod for ethical treatment.

A man who did not choose to be put in the spot light was thrust into it. The end result? Jumping into a pool, drunk and high on drugs, to end up dead.

It is amusing how the audience plays a role in the death sentence of individuals in the lime light. Many a time we as TV viewers are the main source of strife in these people’s public lives. We demand perfection from them, whilst avoiding it ourselves. Anyone on TV has to be a role model, they have to sign autographs, they have to live up to our superficial expectations.

We place celebrities on a high pedestal, and are the first to tear them down should they falter and be human, which in turn leads to their downward spiral that more often than not ends with their untimely demise.

The likes of all washed up actors and actresses, celebrities and icons, draw from this. It is the constant pestering into their lives that pushes them over the edge. Whether it was Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston, these are the true drawbacks of fame.

Take heed of the price of popularity, for in actuality, it is a person’s individuality that is lost.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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