BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day
© John Denney 16 August 2008 prerecorded
There seem to be an awful lot of people these days who are famous for being famous. You don't have to have achieved anything to become the subject of the celebrity magazines and the more lurid of the tabloid newspapers. Look at all those WAGs - the wives and girlfriends of footballers and other sportsmen. One or two have even been given television programmes, where they demonstrate the sad fact that their only claim on us is as the WAG of someone well-known. And there's Big Brother, where vacuous people pass their wishy washy lives in front of a gawping public.
Once upon a time, our heroes were people who were worth looking up to. Cricketers who "walked" even if the umpire didn't look likely to raise his finger. War heroes and firemen and policemen who'd risked their lives to save another. Television and radio personalities who led blameless lives and worked unheralded for charities.
But nowadays, the tabloids - what we used to call the "yellow press" but now call the "red tops" - love to build people up as heroes only to demolish them at the earliest opportunity. They like nothing more than a juicy scandal concerning someone well-known, even if there's no truth in it.
But of course the great British public fuels all the talk of sleaze by buying the papers and magazines. And many of the people appearing in them actively seek notoriety. Anything to become famous, even if it's unpleasant and sordid.
Wise old King Solomon had something to say about this about 3000 years ago, and it's as true today as it was then:
Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful face on an empty head
 Proverbs 11:22 MSG