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A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.
There I was on a July morning,
I was looking for love.
With the strength
Of a new day dawning
And the beautiful sun.
And at the sound
Of the first bird singing
I was leaving for home.
With the storm
And the night behind me
Yeah, and a road of my own.

Uriah Heep - July Morning
Learn English in June

Monday Night Owls - 17 August 2020 - Is the age of the celebrity over?

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,337 Teacher
edited January 18 in People and Society
We read an article which looked at the ways our interest in celebrities has changed over the last few months:


Vocabulary Top 10:

fraught - causing or having a lot of emotional stress or worry

line-up - a group of people who are going to perform at an event

inkling - a slight, uncertain idea about something; a slight amount of knowledge about something

don't give two hoots - to not care at all about someone or something

light the touch paper - to do or say something which causes people to react in an angry or violent way (touch paper is a strip of paper treated with potassium nitrate that is used as a fuse for explosives)

ostentatious - displaying wealth, knowledge, etc., in a way that is meant to attract attention, admiration, or envy

tone-deaf - unable to hear the difference between musical notes or sing the right musical notes; unable to comprehend the different facets/nuances of a given situation

relatable - possible to understand because of being like something you have known, experienced, etc.

nook - a small space or corner (or group) that is inside something

unfettered - not controlled or restricted

Do you follow stories about celebrities?
Do you think people in general are less interested in the lives of celebrities now than in the past? Why/why not?

@fatimuccia @Shiny03 @filauzio @Danne @hberimi @FerZaca
Post edited by Teach on


  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,890 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This is what happens when you are not articulate, people start making you wrong. I have watched a video which introduced the people who work with sound recently. When you are going to hold a concert, you don't just invite an orchestra and a conductor. You allocate those performers' seating places considering how big the hall is, indoor or outdoor, and so on because the sounds differ from those elements. Furthermore, if playing the piano is the main performance, they arrange it differently to make those sounds glamorously. I was amazed by their profession and how profound the world of sound is. Even though I couldn't tell how different it had been changed, they knew exactly. I mean they don't just play the instruments, they know how sounds work, besides, it's more about the mechanism. Imagine you are going to make an album, you don't just sing a song and record it. You hire a professional a.k.a a producer who will try to present your singing with sounds harmoniously.

    When I read the article, I assumed that those celebrities didn't have this kind of knowledge. Therefore, I said they probably didn't know much about music. Because even if you are good at playing the piano or singing, it doesn't mean you have this sort of special knowledge unless you were majoring in it or you are gifted. Do you remember the story of the song, 'Helter Skelter'? McCartney attempted to create a sound as loud and dirty as possible. What makes the Beatles so great is because they know 'sounds' (music) very well. They successfully made this song. In fact, we never really reckon it as 'loud and dirty'.

    When I said that those celebrities didn't know much about music, it was not for mocking them. Actually, I was trying to express an idea generally. We know that they are not professionals of music and presume they know that either. So we don't really expect they sing excellently. Then, what is it all about? For fun. Well, I can't guarantee you that the Kardashian acts the same. However, it could be as simple as it is- they did it for fun and we watched it for fun too, well, maybe part of for curiosity. Basically, I am of like mind about the article. Suffice to say, I am one of the people who don't give a hoot about what a bunch of rich and beautiful people had to say. Yet the fact is different and I can't ignore it. First, the thing 'we suddenly found magazines covered by National Health Service heroes and David Hockney paintings.' During this special period of time, of course, we give all our attention to everything about this pandemic. It's uncertain, but no matter how long it will last, it's provisional. I mean it's not like the next ten years magazines will be covered by National Health Service heroes. I've been through SARS before. Guess what, people are really forgettable. Otherwise, history doesn't repeat itself.

    Second, 'the distance between a celebrity today and us.' They say it like it's a bad thing- 'false intimacy', but I see it as an inevitable trend because of the development of social networks. In the past, they used a different strategy than today. Because we didn't have any method to access those stars. They created a false image of stars and convinced us to believe it. Up to this point, I don't see any difference between famous people in the past and today. Unless you are a friend of them, it's impossible for you to know who they really are. On the premise that people choose what to believe and only see what they want to see. Besides, our lifestyle has been changed. Somehow we crave for connection with celebrities and they are eager to express themselves on their own.

    I'm not finished, yet I can't focus at the moment. erm, will try to organize my mind and continue it.
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,337 Teacher
    Don't worry @Shiny03 , I don't think anyone misunderstood you. You might not have been mocking them, but the article was, and explained that other people were mocking them for their decision in creating this video.

    The idea in the article is that the famous people were tone deaf in two ways: 1. they can't really sing well, and 2. what they were doing was insensitive to other people. That's why people didn't understand why they made the video. The article explained that people were making fun of them for singing something when they aren't musicians and don't know much about music (so as a nice piece of music to listen to it didn't work), and because they were trying to send a message that everyone is in the same situation while singing from their mansions, which not everyone has, obviously! (so as an inspirational message it also didn't work).
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,890 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    I apologize for causing any disturbance.
    Post edited by Shiny03 on
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,117 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Honestly, @Shiny03, if I can dare giving my humble opinion, I really don't think @hberimi intended to be any rude by saying that it was just his own opinion.

    Then, as for me being unable to answer your questions, @Shiny03, the reason is that I didn't quite understand them and I didn't want to bother you by asking you to reformulate it; call it kindness or gentlemanlike behaviour if you feel like.

    I take this opportunity to apologize to you for my awkwardness due fundamentally to the fact my grasp of written English isn't as quick and thorough as I would like it to be yet. I hope you can forgive me :)

    You wrote:

    ' ... In the end, we have been making an effort to make this forum a place where we feel safe and comfortable to speak of our minds. I thought we came to this agreement, except for a few... '

    This phrase of you, especially as I see one of the ' few ' you're referring to is actually me, made me feel very bad.

    I think it's ungenerous and false, firstly to our esteemed teacher @NatashaT who, I think, with her weekly efforts managed to build a great and reliable group which keep regularly on attending her sessions.

    Secondly to our @Teach who run this splendid forum and was successful in spite of any difficulties.

    We all, with no exception known to me so far, are trying to make this place a wonderful place where to help one another improving our English: think how strange of it, there are @filauzio and @Shiny03 among them too.

    I always found friends willing to help me and, for my part, I always tried to be helpful someway, as long as my skills would allow me to be.

    It has been six years, this August, since I've started on forum and never happened to feel so poorly held, if with good reasons, especially by a person whom I feel a lot of respect and sympathy to, and whom I hold a very clever one too.

    Sometimes I could have disagreed with someone but always being respectful of other's opinion. Am I ever been rude to anyone, to you in particular @Shiny03 ?

    If the answer is yes, you should have told me before, so I would have faced the red card, be kicked out or taken my steps and managed to correct myself not to ever been blamed to be one of a few evil saboteurs of ' ...a place where we feel safe and comfortable to speak of our minds.. '.

    Whenever I felt, or was told, I was being offensive or inappropriate towards someone, also with my obscure jokes, I always promptly offered my apologies: sometimes, in fact, with a language not your own you can easily do some gaffes, saying something wrong.

    By the ways, me, I would never dare blaming anyone on The Forum for having mistaken or failed to understand me; finally, I suppose, it just boils down to anyone's personal style of interaction though.

    Nevertheless, @Shiny03, in a bid to reconciliate after whatever wrong could have happened you feel angry for, I offer you my hand to shake, if you don't mind, and I promise you I won't ever dare to interfere with your clever course of thoughts, during session, with any of my inappropriate comments anymore.

    At least I won't have to brood over and try answer questions I couldn't have grasped on the spot.

    Let's have a belliger... oops a belly-laugh together and keep on like friends, will you ? ;)

    Ouch... now I don't recall what I had to say about celebrities.. but I'm grown one myself though: The famous Forum Saboteur.. wow.. check my socials to keep in touch with my private life :D
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,337 Teacher
    @Shiny03 You made some very good points related to the article in your post above, but I think the final comments were unnecessary.

    We all need to remember that 99.99% of the people in the sessions and on the forum are all communicating in a language that isn't their first language - which means that misunderstandings can and will happen. This is why we need to give people the benefit of the doubt.

    @hberimi stated his opinion, and also told you that he respected yours, even if he didn't agree. For me, this is not being rude, or disrespecting you. People are allowed to have different opinions. You can agree to disagree.

    @filauzio was agreeing with you, providing another example of the point you had made. I think this is why he was confused about your questions, especially because they were phrased in a rude way. When you said 'so what?' I was very surprised. This phrase is used to describe complete lack of interest in what another person is saying.

    However, your language in both these situations, @Shiny03 , could be seen as aggressive and rude, but both @hberimi and @filauzio gave you the benefit of the doubt, as did I. However, since you chose to complain about them both publicly here on the forum, I am forced to discuss and correct the situation publicly, and I think you should too, by apologising to them here. I don't believe either of them did anything wrong.

    Everyone can and should express their opinions in the sessions - and that means we won't always agree on everything. And that's fine! Arguing about ideas doesn't mean we don't respect the other person, or aren't allowing them to give their opinion. I welcome and encourage people to comment and reply on other people's comments - that's what a conversation is. If we aren't going to talk to each other, just state our own thoughts, we could all just sit at home and talk to ourselves instead of having a session together (which I don't think would be very fun for any of us!)

    Let's draw a line about this right here - I don't want this to affect future sessions. A misunderstanding was made, but this is not the appropriate way to deal with it. In the future, if anyone feels upset by a comment someone has made to them, they should clarify it with the other person immediately. I do not want misunderstandings leading to accusations of bad behaviour.
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,890 ✭✭✭✭✭
    This reminds me of many years ago, I had joined a forum about parenting for several years. People there were from different places around the world. There was a mother who lived in Japan because of the necessity of her husband's job, but both of them were Chinese. She was articulated and very talkative. I liked to read her comments about how it looked like to live a life with a baby in Japan. She also gave people lots of information about tourism there. People admired her. She had many followers and influenced every aspect of the forum.

    But I started feeling strange because I lived in Japan too. What she said didn't come accurately with what I knew here. For example, the vegetables sold in the Japanese supermarket were all organic. They grew banana in Japan. In fact, all bananas in Japan are imported. I was so afraid she brought wrong messages to people because she was so influential that I posted a comment telling my concern. Suddenly, my post got the most clicks and people started reproaching me severely. I explained to them the purpose of the comment was to express my worry about the bad influence of the wrong information. But people didn't listen to me and even my friends accused me, 'why did I do such thing?!' on the forum and in person. No one believed me. This is the so-called friendship - how fragile it is. Although I didn't disagree with their accusation, I made an apology because I thought maybe I did hurt people's feelings. However, the situation had become worse because people became 100% sure that I was wrong. They don't talk to me anymore and I left the forum forever.

    I feel exactly the same this time. No one likes to be wrongly accused and certainly doesn't like to apologize for something they didn't do. This causes our blood to boil and we become defensive. @NatashaT I have explained to you this is not what you think, but you keep insisting I am being rude and embarrassed me publicly. My initial intention of mentioning @hberimi and @filauzio in the comment is to untangle the misunderstanding (because I am one of those who try to make this forum a place where people can feel safe to speak.) and complain I was misunderstood by the way. And for avoiding any further misunderstanding in future sessions, I promised not to comment on their comments. I even posted a clip to show my regrets, I coulda have been a contender.= I could have successfully expressed myself during the session.

    Actually, this won't affect anyone except me. @NatashaT I don't trust you anymore, but don't worry I won't make any trouble on the forum and in sessions.
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,337 Teacher
    @Shiny03 I'm sure the other members feel the same way - they also don't like to be wrongly accused, or embarrassed publicly, like you did to them - even if you have since deleted this message.

    I'm sorry if I embarrassed you, that wasn't my intention.

    I would have preferred to sort this out in private, or at the time of the session, to prevent it from becoming what it has become. However, you chose to make your statements very publicly, and I was forced to respond to them publicly. I am not happy at all to have to make these comments.
  • fatimucciafatimuccia Posts: 90 ✭✭
    Along five months and until now, many businesses have been collapsed due the covid 19. Celebrities, in many fields, are among the category that was affected.

    Most activities were if not cancelled postponed indefinitely. Like cinema Awards, big sport events and huge businesses’ conferences. In these fraught times, and in order to attract attention and to bridge the gap that the pandemic has caused, celebrities have been using the social media to interact with their fans by showing off their life and expressing sympathy. But, as the article mentioned, people seemingly haven’t given two hoots about what they do.

    Thanks to the internet, many people from different ages make subscriptions for online gossip magazines to be always in touch with their idol’s life. This phenomenon has been further reinforced by the pandemic as people were stuck at home for months. In order to kill time, they always have been looking for news which celebrities posted it publicly and deliberately online.

    Honestly, I’m not used to go after the celebrities’ life. Instead, sometimes, I follow their works to be updated with cinema’s film. In my opinion, stars continue to have many fans because the current situation will not be longer.

    @natasha, I would like to express my displeasure about what has been posted before. Surely, it was only a misunderstanding. I discovered this forum during the lockdown. It helps me a lot overcoming the tough moments that everyone had passed. I feel comfortable in all sessions even if my level is lower than many. It’s not an obstacle. For me is an incentive to move forward and to improve my English.

    It’s a great job that teachers are doing for us. I want to thank them including you @natasha.
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,117 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think this tragic period, in which a lot of people worldwide are still struggling to keep afloat, has laid bare the real identities of many show business celebrities and famous persons at large.

    The covid19 pandemic, with all the deaths and sufferings it has brought along, has made it felt an ethical obligation, on the part of many among the best off artists and successful people, in any respective fields, from movie industry to sports and business, to partake in the solidarity race, either by providing financial donation to hospitals and research institutes, or to contribute any kind of relieving artistic performances.

    Many celebrities donated money to replenish the stocks of hospitals, relative to facial masks, gloves, gowns, which nurses and doctors keep running short of; even costly ventilator equipments, used to keep patients alive in ICUs rooms, were to be replaced over and over again.

    Many celebrities even showed a sincere merciful attitude, in a different though equally valuable way. They offered a remote performance, to be seen streaming on socials, to try and alleviate the sufferings of people most harshly struck by the infection and their relatives, or whoever experienced losses and terrible grief.

    That's, I suppose, what the public and their fans expected them exactly to do. In any cases of immense tragedies or terrific catastrophy, there echoes just one scream, bouncing from mouth to mouth, in an endless chain: ' every hands on deck ! '.

    Everyone must do their part, according to their abilities, talents or possibilities, to help those who are fighting at the frontline, provide a continuous stream of resources to sustain and support them both physically and morally.

    At the end it's just a matter of not letting the boat we all are in to sink.

    Nevertheless, a few very influential people sang in a tone-deaf fashion during the earlier stages after pandemic outbreak. Exactly as the group of celebrities who gathered in a luxury home to sing a classic song, to try to transmit false sympathy and spirit closeness to the worst-off.

    Take for instance Elon Musk: the worldwide famous business man, who was incredibly successful with his entrepreneurial achievements in futuristic spacial voyages and power-fuelled ecological vehicles.

    One of his Tesla plants, in California US, was due to shut down temporarily, earlier this year, during lockdown, according to a state order issued to prevent contagious to further spread.

    The cautious measure, however, enraged the celebrity boss, who grew frustrated and eventually was to let off steam on twitter, where he could count on millions of enthusiastic followers who not less than worship their idol, and hang on his unquestionable lips.

    He wrote statements whose sense was to condamn and describe as dumb, silly the measure to force factories to close and people to stay at home.
    He also, quite in a bizarre way, dared to forecast a zero-cases of covid19 scenario in the US, by the end of April.

    The prediction proved totally wrong and triggered outrage and anger among his fans who naively thought he could have been well advised to make such a statement by important epidemiologists and scientists.

    Letting aside the lack of sensitivity and solidarity showed in a time when all people were being disciplined into avoiding unnecessary gathering and refrain from going to work to lower the contagion curve, the statements bore a hint of greed, not to lose profits in spite of risk.

    Newly arrived fans, whom Musk was growing up on, started having second though: maybe the person didn't deserve so much attention after all.

    The older fans, on the other way, started mocking his silly comments; they began thinking a celebrity should always keep to their own turf of specialization, where they excel; they preferred Musk as they had known him before: a visionary, innovative manufacturer of genius.

    When celebrities pretend having a say in matters not theirs own, as virology for instance, that's where unquestionable blind worship starts showing its cracks and squeaks, the underlying moral.


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