Who would it be, and how would you react?
For some reason, when I thought of this scenario, I thought of Jeremy Renner, who I’m not sure is entirely real. For the sake of this scenario, however, I’m going to refrain from Googling his name and seeing what comes up. I think he’s Hawkeye, though, in the most recent Avengers reboot. And has possibly been in a Bourne movie or three.
You’ve just been selected out of millions of people to meet Jeremy Renner. How do you feel?
To be honest, I don’t think I would react particularly strongly. I mean, yes, of course, he’s a brilliant actor, I’m sure, and he’s incredibly famous. I’m sure that Tumblr and Twitter and Facebook are all blowing up right now at the injustice of not being the girl picked to meet this handsome man. But I wasn’t even aware of him. I knew about him, of course, but I don’t particularly care.
Why should I scream and cry and jump for joy about a man, who I’m neither going to marry; have a significant, life-altering conversation with; or will benefit from in the long-term? Is he the person who is going to be my ticket into an excellent university to study with equipment and people I’ve only dared to dream about?
But wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a picture with him?
Of course, I would love to have a picture with him, if only to commemorate the day I met Jeremy Renner, movie star, and post it to Facebook for all my friends to see, but I don’t think that college admissions officers particularly care about whom I’ve met unless I’ve done something with them that is of note.
And no, I do not mean “of note” as in “Miley Cyrus twerking”-“of note” because things like that are fleeting. They grab your attention the way something shiny grabs your attention–briefly. I mean something “of note” as in worth bringing up to tell your grandchildren. The “I won the Field’s Medal for Mathematics”-“of note”. Things that will be written down in history.
Tomorrow, Jeremy Renner will probably not remember me. And I will probably not remember him beyond “that movie star I met by chance”.
Ultimately, I believe that meeting celebrities is utterly meaningless. Jeremy Renner is a nice man, I’m sure, but neither of us will be benefiting from our meeting. I might leave having crossed off something on my bucket list, while he might leave thinking, “Wow, I met a fan today. What’s for lunch?”
But really, you haven’t answered the question.
Yes I have. I told you. It’s utterly meaningless. I don’t feel anything for having met Jeremy Renner. We’re still two strangers who were thrown together by chance. As far as I’m concerned, I should really be at home completing my summer homework and drowning myself in fanfiction before having to go back to school and wallow my way through two more years of high school. He will continue to star in movies and be tough and rugged, while I will continue to bristle at the injustices of the dominantly male writing-producing-directing teams of which Hollywood is inundated.
It leaves its mark, you know, unlike meeting a celebrity whom I’ve never considered a role model, a possible partner, or even remotely relevant to my life.
People have the strangest priorities. You see them utterly focused on precisely the things that shouldn’t matter, like the state of dress of one woman, or the sexual conduct of another man. We forget that they’re just people and not things to be put in glass houses on a hill. When we do that, we freeze them in a position of permanent adolescence, wherein they never have to face the consequences of losing because they will always be praised, always be vilified, always be paid some form of compensation, most often in the form of attention and drama and money from publicity stunts.
We like it because it’s more interesting than our lives, because it’s good to feel superior to people whom we thought were above use, because it’s fun to watch their rise and fall in the spotlight.
We like it because it allows us to point the ridicule and the irony away from us and onto caricatures that we’ve created out of these people who really could do with some cutting down.
So who is Jeremy Renner?
I was right. He is Hawkeye, he was in a Bourne movie, and he is very much real. He looks a lot like Daniel Craig and Martin Freeman if we crossbred them and squared the offspring’s head. He was also on House.