Recently I was scrolling through a news website and saw a story about some celebrity coming out of her most recent rehab. During an interview, she declared that she was a “spiritual” person.
I don’t know how many celebrities are religious in the conventional sense, but few celebrities seem to want to declare that they are. It seems old-fashioned, and inconsistent with the cutting-edge personas that most celebrities want to portray to the world.
At the same time, some social niceties must be observed, mustn’t they? Celebrities can’t be all about getting hammered at late-night raves and being photographed under tables and shacking up with a new, dim-witted actor or rock star. It seems so empty and vacuous. So, their publicists decide that celebrities need to have a pet charity to show they support larger causes. They need to make mindless political statements from time to time. And, to show they’re really deep, they claim to be “spiritual.”
What does being “spiritual” mean? Who knows? It sounds good, though, doesn’t it — like maybe, once in a while, amidst the drinks and the drugs and the wild partying, the celebrity pauses to reflect on deeper issues. It’s a wonderfully flexible, elastic term that has no fixed meaning. Every listener imbues the term with their own sensibilities.
Our celebrity-obsessed culture disgusts and amuses me, and in this case the “spiritual” claim is worth a chuckle or two. Really, is anyone fooled by this stuff?